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Facebook Says That Blocking Accounts Didn’t Work For 800,000 Users Due To Bug

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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Facebook is planning on telling more than 800,000 users that a bug unblocked accounts that they wanted to be blocked, the company announced Monday.

The bug affected the “associations” aspect of the social media platform in which different friends, depending on certain factors between the relationship, can view different content and data from one another.

Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan claimed everyone who was supposed to be blocked is now obstructed again.

“People who were affected will get a notification on Facebook encouraging them to check their blocked list,” Egan wrote on a company blog post.

Details are sparse for now. The bug affected the main social media platform as well as Messenger, its proprietary instant communications service.

Also, 83 percent of the accounts influenced by the technical problem “had only one person they had blocked temporarily unblocked.”

All communications and engagement was supposed to be cut off for reasons like harassment, bullying, or even posting annoying content — all noted by Egan. But users weren’t able to block people from May 29 to June 5 even if they thought they were doing so successfully. (RELATED: Facebook Bug Makes 14 Million Users’ Posts Automatically Go Public, Not Private)

“While someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience. For example pictures shared with friends of friends,” said Egan. “We know that the ability to block someone is important — and we’d like to apologize and explain what happened.”

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