A week or so ago, I noticed that my News Feed in the BlackBerry 10 Facebook app was inundated with posts showing me everything my friends “Like” or comment on, including activities of people who were NOT on my Friends list. For example: Bob is not my friend, but Sally is my friend. I see a post that Bob changed his profile pic, and Sally liked it. The same goes for comments. I see when Sally comments on a post of Bob’s.
I thought maybe FB had changed some Privacy settings on us again, so I combed through my settings on the desktop site to make sure everything was locked down tight. It was. Since I did this on my PC, I noticed that the issue did not occur on the desktop site. A quick check in my BB Classic browser showed that the mobile web site was also unaffected.
I have since confirmed that many people are experiencing this same issue. I reported it in BlackBerry Beta Zone and saw another similar post from someone else. I have confirmed it with several people in multiple BlackBerry Groups, multiple friends on FB, and my entire family. My FB friends confirmed this issue is happening on iOS and Android devices.
Now, aside from making the mobile apps all but unusable due to the flood of unwanted material, there is also very much a privacy issue here. If I can see what people-not-my-friends are doing, and what my friends are liking and commenting on, likely they can see MY activities, too. I have my FB privacy settings locked down as completely as possible. Most things are set to Friends or Only Me. If the app is showing my activities to people I have not authorized it to, then Facebook is blatantly violating my privacy (moreso than it already does). This is a big privacy problem, and it needs to be fixed. Pronto.
Given that it is being reported across multiple platforms, my suspicion is that a fundamental change in the Facebook API happened recently and opened up this hole. (Disclaimer: I am not a developer, but I know how this stuff works.)
If you are experiencing this issue in your Facebook app, let us know in the comments. Use the Report A Problem function (Select News Feed for the product) and describe your symptoms. Spread it on Facebook. Ask your friends. Tweet it from the mountaintops. Link to this article. Whatever. Get the word out there.