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Facebook bug leads to users being unblocked

When it comes to Facebook, we get to choose who our “friends” are. We decide whose posts and stories we would like to follow, while at the same time choosing who will get to see ours.

Or, so we think. Unless specifically set to be private, most profiles are public to the point where someone who you are not “friends” with could see your page if they search for it.

Maybe that does not bother you, but no doubt there are certainly people you know of or have come into contact with who you would rather not see your posts, message you or otherwise have any contact with you online.

You can block those people

Understanding this, Facebook offers a handful of tools with which you can regulate who can see your posts as well as get in touch with you through the site. There is a restricted list as well as the ability to block users, messages, app invites, event invites, apps and pages.

Each feature generally works well, except Facebook on Monday alerted users to the fact that a bug caused the site to unblock some people who had been blocked. Specifically, blocking someone means they cannot see your profile, start conversations with you on Messenger or even add you as a friend.

And, if you were previously friends, blocking them will automatically unfriend them. Facebook went into detail in a blog post.

The issue affected more than 800,000 people, who because of it were able to be messaged or have their profile viewed by someone who they had tried to prevent from doing that.

The bug, which has since been fixed, was live between May 29 and June 5 and anyone who was affected will receive a note from Facebook.

What exactly did the bug do?

According to Facebook, the bug did not reinstate any severed friend connections. Of the 800,000 accounts impacted, 83 percent of them (664,000) had just one person previously blocked that was temporarily unblocked.

If you get a notice from Facebook, there really is not much you will need to do other than check your blocks to make sure everything is in order. Otherwise, feel free to continue using Facebook in whatever manner you choose.

Just in case, how do I block someone?

There are many reasons for why you may want to block someone, which is why Facebook makes it pretty easy to do so.

To block someone, just go to their page and click or tap on the button for “More,” which will show three dots next to the “Message” box on a desktop and inside a black circle on mobile.

Once doing so you will see a few options, including one to block them. Selecting it will bring up a notification informing you of what that action will mean, before you decide to either confirm your choice or cancel it.

If you want to see all your blocking-related choices, go to your Facebook settings and then click or tap to see “Blocking.” From there you will be able to see a list of everyone you have blocked, and even be given the option to unblock them if you so choose.

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