Published: Tue, July 03, 2018
Electronics | By Shannon Stone

Facebook bug temporarily unblocked persons from 800,000 users’ blocked lists

Facebook bug temporarily unblocked persons from 800,000 users’ blocked lists

Facebook is primarily about connecting with other people, but its "block" functionality certainly has its place for avoiding those you don't want to be in touch with for one reason or another. At least unless you say otherwise. Claiming that the bug had been fixed, the Facebook post also suggested that users check their block list, to see if they were affected in any way.

Today, the company said it had discovered a bug that, from May 29 to June 5, accidentally unblocked more than 800,000 people that Facebook and Messenger users had blocked.

When a user blocks someone on Facebook they can not see things posted by the user, start conversations with the user on Messenger or add as a friend.

The post explains that users who get unblocked will not be restored as a "friend", but will get increased access into a person's profile. This will come as little comfort those anyone who found (or, indeed, is just now learning) that people they purposely blocked was able to see their posts. The bug deleted these "associations", which hit the block lists of Facebook and Messenger for some users.

The vast majority of the more than 800,000 people affected by the bug had only one person they had blocked be temporarily unblocked, according to Facebook.

People are blocked for harsher reasons, such as harassment or bullying, Egan added. The bug allowed users who'd been blocked on Facebook and Messenger to become unblocked - without those who blocked them knowing about it.

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year was grilled by the European Parliament and the US Congress about a massive breach of users' personal data in the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

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