Facebook has admitted that a software glitch resulted in the private posts of million of users being made public.
The flaw, which affected 14 million users who made posts between May 18 and May 27, occured when Facebook was testing a new feature that meant it accidentally changed user’s privacy settings to public.
In a statement, Facebook’s chief privacy officer Erin Egan said the company had “found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts.”
The firm has said it has now fixed the issue and correct some posts but has not been able to fix all of them, which is why it is in the process of notifying users.
“Starting today we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during that time,” Egan said.
“To be clear, this bug did not impact anything people had posted before — and they could still choose their audience just as they always have. We’d like to apologize for this mistake.”
Users who are affected by the bug will receive a notification from Facebook which will prompt them to “please review your posts” with a link to the view the posts they shared.
The incident is the latest in a series of embarrassing incidents related to user privacy to hit the social network.
Earlier this week, Facebook admitted that it had been sharing user data with a number of Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as Huawei, Oppo and Lenovo for years.
“Facebook along with many other U.S. tech companies have worked with them and other Chinese manufacturers to integrate their services onto these phones,” Francisco Varela, vice president of mobile partnerships for Facebook, said in a statement.
“Facebook’s integrations with Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL were controlled from the get-go — and we approved the Facebook experiences these companies built.”
The revelations come just weeks after Facebook admitted that the personal data of 87 million users was hijacked by British consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica which worked on the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
The incident resulted in Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg being questioned by Congress.