Facebook bug reverses blocked accounts

BY LEAH WILLIAMS
Posted on FEB 20, 2019

800,000 accounts were affected by a Facebook bug, temporarily unblocking users.

Facebook announced on Monday an initiative to notify 800,000 individuals concerning a bug that unblocked accounts those users had previously blocked.

Facebook said the bug was active between May 29th and June 5th.
In a blog post, Erin Egan, Facebook's chief privacy officer, explained how numerous blocked users may have viewed shared posts, providing them with access to the user who performed the block.

"We know that the ability to block someone is important and we'd like to apologize and explain what happened," Egan said in the post.

Typically, when a user is blocked on Facebook, the particular person cannot view posts on a specific profile, chat through Messenger, or add the blocker as a friend. The user is also automatically unfriended.

According to Facebook reports, 83% of users impacted by the bug had one person temporarily unblocked. A user who was unblocked during that time may have been able to talk to the person who blocked them on Messenger.

Facebook has been managing diverse privacy issues surrounding its platform, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal and a bug that changed 14 million users' privacy setting defaults to public.

The social media company recognizes the inadvertent action of unblocking blocked accounts without a users' consent is a major oversight. Facebook says the issue has been resolved, and all previous settings have been reinstated