That is what the headlines ought to be. Not “A Facebook bug changed suggested sharing settings to ‘public’ for up to 14 million users“. Think about it. Assuming Facebook is telling the truth (and we have absolutely no way to know if it was 14 million, 140 million or all of Facebook affected) out of the 14 million there is an enormous probability that they affected users with serious legal, social or psychological problems. Maybe a crazy ex wife, a stalker, a student or some other privacy problem which led a percentage of those affected to suicide. In fact, based on the evidence accumulating scientifically, it is not entirely unfair to say that Facebook not only did it’s best to grab users with mental problems but also that it actively does its best to make those problems worse.
It is pretty safe to assume that Facebook didn’t release this information because of their new drive to honesty. Even if it was only 14 million users affected (which I highly doubt), that is a lot of time wasting Facebook psychopaths online with the potential to uncover it. Many of those are constantly checking other people’s feeds, gossiping and trying to find out whether their boyfriend saw that post about that other girl or not. (And other such human micro drama.) Facebook had to reveal the bug because a lot of people would have noticed and proved it’s existence. A lot of the users it managed to make addicted during one of the many hours they spend aimlessly scrolling up and down their timelines and checking other people’s timelines.
Here’s one problem: nobody can really check up on Facebook. Here’s a worse problem: their infrastructure is terrible. Here’s the real issue: Facebook remains the toy of an unbalanced teenage hacker at heart.
In many ways it is a self repairable problem. Unlike other online tools, Facebook is a complete waste of time. The company has specialized in providing inconsequential services. It’s not helping you get to work. It’s not giving you free document processing tools. And it’s running out of ways to entice users to spend time on it’s useless, buggy, platform.