Facebook, Facebook, Facebook – between malware leveraging Facebook Messenger to send phishing messages, to apps on the platform mishandling customer data, the social media network has dealt with its fair share of cybersecurity woes these past few months. And just this week, yet another issue has emerged. It was discovered that a bug within Facebook may have accidentally changed settings for 14 million users, causing their posts to be shared publicly, even if they thought they were being shared only with friends.
When users share something on Facebook, they’re shown an audience selector, which provides a handful of options for who exactly gets to see a post. The user can select “Friends,” “Only me,” “Friends except,” or “Public,” with the choice supposedly defaulting to the one last used by the account owner. However, this bug made it so the default for all posts was set to public – meaning if the user was not paying attention, they unwittingly shipped their post out to a larger audience than they were anticipating.