Facebook glitch reveals private photos

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -  We have talked to you before about how "digital is forever" and to assume that your personal conversations could be exposed.

Still, many of us expect a reasonable amount of privacy if we take the time to turn on privacy settings.

Apparently that's evidently not good enough.   Even Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook learned that there is no such thing as private or personal on Facebook.  A small glitch temporarily allowed people to see photos, regardless of the privacy setting.

WBTV's cyber expert, Theresa Payton, explains what happened:

The good news is that Facebook seems to have fixed the issue.  The bad news is, people had a false sense of security that if they locked down their privacy settings to share photos only with friends that they had that assurance and the glitch proved there are no 100% assurances.

Here is what Facebook had to say about the incident:

"The bug allowed anyone to view a limited number of another user's most recently uploaded photos irrespective of the privacy settings for these photos...Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system, and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed."


Facebook offers a user community reporting system where you can report inappropriate content.  By making this feature available, they accidentally allowed this feature to bypass privacy settings.


Everyone was temporarily impacted.  Even the founder, Mark Zuckerburg, had photos of his girlfriend and puppy exposed.


Follow the Grandmom rule:  If you don't want Grandmom to see it, don't post photos online

If you need to share photos, consider using a photo sharing site and then deleting the photos after you are done.  Remember, digital is forever so they are still around even if you cannot see them.


To keep up with the latest Facebook privacy settings go to:

To stay ahead of the scams out there, track Facecrooks on Facebook at:


SCHEMER:  Pronounced Scheme-er, this is a new Google product.  It's based on the concept of organizing activities into "schemes".  They have various schemes already set up that you can choose or you can submit your own.  Then you can share information with others.  It's sort of a Location Check in Service (like GoWalla or Foursquare) except it is activity based.

It's not available in Charlotte yet!  You can request to be on a wait list at http://www.schemer.com/welcome