Facebook glitch shared 14 million users’ private posts publicly

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Company says it will notify users affected by bug involving its ‘audience selector’ tool

Facebook said Thursday that it would notify 14 million users that posts they intended to share privately may have been published publicly, the company’s latest setback as it tries to rebuild user trust after the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

The issue arose from a bug affecting Facebook’s “audience selector” tool, which allows users to decide whether to publish a post only to their friends or to a broader audience. The tool usually remains on the setting that was used most recently so that a user who only wants to share posts with friends does not have to keep selecting that option. But while the bug was active, from 18 May to 27 May, the setting was automatically changed to public.

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