Facebook suffered a bug leading to users’ feeds being spammed with posts from strangers on the pages of celebrities on the site earlier today.
The social media platform’s parent company Meta blamed the problem on a “configuration change” in a statement to Metro.co.uk, adding: “We resolved the issue as quickly as possible for everyone who was impacted, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
The technical glitch meant that when anyone posted a comment on a celebrity’s page, it appeared on the feed of anyone who followed that celebrity. This issue reportedly began at around 6.30 am BST on Wednesday, August 24.
Users quickly took to Twitter to share what they saw on their Facebook feeds and post memes about the incident. Some suggested the site may have been hacked, but the problem appears to be caused by an internal error.
However, there are reports that the bug was exploited for nefarious purposes, such as pushing out potential cryptocurrency scams.
The incident follows a previous configuration error at Facebook in October 2021, which left users unable to access the site and Instagram and WhatsApp for hours.
Cybersecurity experts have expressed concern about the number of IT issues affecting social media firms, and the potential implications for users’ data. It was reported yesterday (August 23) that Twitter’s former security chief ,Peiter Zatko, filed a complaint to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 6 accusing the platform of severe cybersecurity mismanagement.
Also, in July 2022, it was reported that 5.4 million Twitter users’ data was reportedly for sale on a popular criminal forum.
Commenting on the story, Chris Vaughan, area vice president – technical account management – EMEA at Tanium, said: “This is the latest example of a serious IT issue that was caused by human error after Facebook was impacted by a separate incident in October last year that was also caused by a staff slip-up.
“The weakest link in IT and cybersecurity is always likely to be the human element, but there are measures that can be taken to minimize the impact of these potentially damaging mistakes. The main one is for organizations to boost their levels of cyber hygiene, which refers to a set of practices that organizations and individuals perform regularly to maintain the health and security of users, devices, networks and data.”
He added: “I expect the high level of attention to continue being placed on the practices of social media companies in regards to IT management and security. By focusing on boosting cyber hygiene and demonstrating these efforts to the public and government, trust can be built. This is important for social media companies because it directly influences a key goal that many of them share – growing the number of users.”