This article was published on September 28, 2018

Facebook allegedly blocked users from sharing stories about its data breach

Facebook allegedly blocked users from sharing stories about its data breach

Facebook revealed, earlier today, that it had detected a data breach affecting at least 50 million accounts (and as many as 90 million). Within minutes, as you might imagine, multiple sites including TNW were rushing stories out to inform everyone. Just as quickly, concerned readers began posting the news, including to the site in question. Now Facebook is actively stopping people from posting those stories.

Multiple users have reported that, when they attempt to post links to the stories, their actions are blocked. This has occurred with multiple different links, apparently, though the main victim appears to be The Guardian.

The links appear to be working normally at the moment — I was able to post the Guardian story on my own Feed — but multiple people experienced the block.

Ostensibly, Facebook flagged the posts because a great number of people were posting the same stories, and that tripped some kind of censor that tells Facebook the post is spam. By itself, that explanation doesn’t make a lot of sense. I could see someone posting the same link multiple times being kind of spammy, but multiple people posting the same story is more likely viral, which isn’t the same thing.

That said, I wouldn’t blame the more conspiracy-minded among us if they were to speculate Facebook has a more selfish reason for quashing the sharing of these stories. It’s not as though Facebook could really use more bad publicity, given the dreadful year it’s thus far had.

Still, even taking the spam explanation at face value, there’s something sadly apropos in the idea that so many people are rushing to report Facebook’s fuck-up that Facebook is fucking up.

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