Bug temporarily unblocked Facebook and Messenger users

A Facebook bug quietly unblocked people that 800,000 of its users had previously 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. In a blog post, chief privacy officer Erin Egan noted that the unblocking did not surface information shared with friends, but did show things posted to wider audiences, for example, images users shared with friends of friends.

Mind you, they couldn't see private posts, or posts you'd only shared with your friends.

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

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The company said in a post that the bug was active between May 29 and June 5. Blocking also automatically unfriends them if you were previously friends. The company has started notifying users of the glitch on Monday, July 2, it announced in a post, adding that it has been fixed, and everyone has been blocked once again. The bug deleted some associations across Facebook and Messenger, and this caused the block settings for the affected users to be lost.

Facebook says the bug did not reinstate any friend connections that had been terminated and that 83 percent of the 800,000 users (664,000) affected by the bug only had one blocked person temporarily unblocked - which means 136,000 users may have had multiple blocked people become unblocked while the bug was in effect. Affected users, nevertheless, are going to get a notification encouraging them to review their blocked list. 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.

Facebook has apologised for its second high-profile bug in as many months.

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