Facebook bug showed moderators' identities to suspected terrorists
MANILA, Philippines – A bug in Facebook's moderation software may have inadvertently exposed the personal details of more than 1,000 moderators to suspected terrorists.
The Guardian reported Friday, June 16, that the bug, found in November of 2016, resulted in personal profiles of content moderators automatically showing as notifications in activity logs of Facebook groups whose administrators were taken off Facebook for breaching the terms of service. Personal details of the Facebook moderators would then be accessible to the remaining group administrators for a page.
The Guardian report added 40 of the 1,000 workers worked in a counter-terrorism unit based in Facebook's European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Among the 40, there were 6 "high priority" victims of the Facebook bug, as Facebook concluded their personal profiles were seen by potential terrorists.
The Guardian found one of the 6 workers mentioned – an Iraqi-born Irish citizen – fled Ireland and hid after finding out 7 individuals associated with a suspected terrorist group he banned from the social network viewed his profile. The group he had banned was an Egypt-based group which backed Hamas and reportedly were ISIS sympathizers.
Facebook said it has since made technical changes to “better detect and prevent these types of issues from occurring," though the software bug was not fixed until two weeks later, on November 16, 2016.
The Guardian report comes as Facebook sought to make itself "a hostile place for terrorists" to operate in, following a blog post on June 15. – Rappler.com