Assume There Are No Privacy Settings on Facebook, and Proceed From There


"It's just a little bug in the system. No need to worry about it...move along, there's nothing to look at here."

That's what Facebook would have us believe, as it attempts to explain how some users' private photos were suddenly revealed for all the world to see.

ZDNet reported the morning of Dec. 6 that a flaw in Facebook's "report abuse" feature enabled Facebook users to see photos that were supposed to be hidden by the social network's privacy options. When a user reported an inappropriate, public profile photo on a Facebook page, they were given the option of viewing additional photos linked to that particular profile—images that were not meant to be seen by the entire Facebook audience—to include in their report of offensive images.

Facebook acknowledged and fixed the "glitch" the same day, but did not say how many Facebook users were affected or how long the bug made private photos available for viewing by those savvy enough to exploit the reporting option.

One of those user's affected by the glitch was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The lesson here is the same one we keep repeating: Don't post anything on Facebook—including content and images you think you're keeping from public view by using privacy settings—that you are not willing to share with the world at large.


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