Facebook disclosed a bug that randomly unblocked people from a user's blocked list in a blog post published last Monday. And those people may have been able to contact people on Facebook Messenger who'd blocked them, potentially leading to harassment. "For example, pictures shared with friends of friends".
The glitch active between May 29 and June 5 has been fixed, according to Facebook, which has been striving to regain trust in the aftermath of a Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal.
So if Facebook sends you a notification asking you to look at your blocked list you should probably do it just to make sure that someone isn't missing from it.
The fact that this was possible is a concerning breach of Facebook users' online safety. The other 17 percent of users had more than one person unblocked, thanks to the bug.
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For the second time in less than a month, Facebook is having to alert users that their accounts may have been negatively impacted because of a bug. Blocking also automatically unfriends them if you were previously friends.
Egan acknowledged how serious the bug was, especially for users who blocked possibly invasive people.
"We know that the ability to block someone is important - and we'd like to apologize and explain what happened", said Erin Egan, the company's chief privacy officer.
For some people, who noticed that their block list had gotten shorter without their doing or knowledge, it would have been an unsettling notion that these blocked people now had access to their lives again. The scale and scope of that bug was much larger than this one and affected a whopping 14 million users over several days in May.