Facebook, the popular social media platform owned by Meta, recently encountered a glitch that resulted in unintended friend requests being sent to users when they visited certain profiles.
This technical oversight generated a mix of amusement and confusion among users, temporarily disrupting the practice of “Facebook stalking.” The bug not only impacted user privacy but also raised concerns about the company’s ongoing workforce reduction plans.
In this article, we will delve into the details of the glitch and its implications for both users and the future of Facebook.
Meta swiftly acknowledged the Facebook glitch and issued an apology, citing it as a consequence of a recent app update. The company stated that the bug had been fixed, ensuring that the unintended friend requests would no longer occur.
Users who were affected received an apology for any inconvenience caused. The glitch gained attention when a Twitter user shared a screen recording showcasing the automatic friend requests being sent when profiles were visited.
“We fixed a bug related to a recent app update that caused some Facebook friend requests to be sent mistakenly,” a spokesperson for Meta told The Daily Beast on Friday. “We’ve stopped this from happening and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
The unintended friend requests caused a range of reactions from users, with some finding the situation amusing while others felt confused by the sudden influx of requests. One notable aspect was the temporary disruption of “Facebook stalking,” a common practice where users discreetly explore other profiles without notifying the profile owners.
This Facebook glitch inadvertently made such activities impossible, much to the surprise of those accustomed to this form of online investigation.
While some users found the glitch amusing, others expressed worry about the breach of privacy. In certain cases, the glitch even led to friend requests being sent to individuals users were trying to block. The glitch served as a reminder of the potential risks associated with online platforms and the need for stringent privacy settings.
Coinciding with news of the Facebook glitch, Meta had recently announced plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of its “Year of Efficiency” initiative. This downsizing strategy aims to reduce the company’s workforce by at least 21,000 employees by the end of 2023.
The glitch’s occurrence during this period of organizational restructuring raises questions about the efficacy of Meta’s operations and the impact of downsizing on the quality assurance processes that detect and prevent such bugs.
The recent glitch is not the first instance of Facebook encountering issues with unintended friend requests. Reports from five years ago highlighted similar incidents where users complained of receiving random friend requests regularly. At that time, the cause was attributed to either scammer bots or a Facebook bug. Additionally, a subsequent bug allowed blocked users to resend friend requests to those who had blocked them.
Users who want to avoid triggering automatic friend requests when visiting profiles can adjust their privacy settings on Facebook. By selecting the option “friends of friends” instead of “everyone” under the “Who can send you friend requests?” section, users can mitigate the impact of the glitch.