Facebook Glitch Is Randomly Reposting Users Photos Without Their Permission

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By Emily Zanotti | 2:52 pm, December 9, 2016

Facebook users are complaining that the site is resurfacing old photos and re-posting them to their timelines, apparently because of a glitch in the news feed analytics system.

The “ghost posting” seems to be a system-wide problem, with users complaining on Twitter that they’re seeing memories from one, two and three years ago pop up in their feeds without their permission or knowledge.

It’s not immediately clear what led to the glitch, though the U.S. and U.K. seem to be most affected, and the “ghost-posted” photos seem, primarily, pictures that were cross-posted from Facebook’s sister application, Instagram.

For most users, Facebook is resurfacing only one or two posts—but at least one unlucky user posted on Twitter that Facebook had reposted an old photo of his more than 50 times.

The bug could be the result of a hack, but Facebook is also testing several new options that could mean changes to photo uploading and Instagram cross-posting: a Snapchat-like feature that allows Facebook users to record short videos and share them over its Messenger service; a “photo filters” feature that gives users the option to add location- and holiday-specific frames to their pictures; and an import feature that would let users transfer over their “Instagram stories,” similar to short-term video posts.

The social networking platform is also toying with a 2016 “year in review” feature that automatically pulls from users 2016 posts, providing them with an individualized video retrospective of their year, and that could also be responsible for the random timeline postings.

Just last month, Facebook ran into trouble after another glitch tuned Facebook user profiles into memorials. Facebook apologized for the anomaly, which they say appeared after they tested a “memorial option” into certain users accounts.

Heat Street has reached out to Facebook for comment on this latest bug, but has not yet received a response.