If you’ve maintained an active Facebook presence over the past few years, chances are you’ve shared some posts and photos you’d rather forget. Whether it’s images of old flames or statuses written in a drunken stupor, there’s a whole host of Facebook mistakes every grown adult regrets. Now, imagine if your old posts came back to haunt you.
That’s exactly what happened to a bunch of Facebook users on iOS. On December 9, a number of people took to Twitter describing an apparent glitch that saw their old posts and photos re-emerge on their timelines as if they’d just been shared.
Users of the social network affected by the error were understandably miffed, and a little freaked out. After all, who knows what Facebook could dredge up from your past that you’d rather not reminisce about.
“Facebook is running amok and posting old photos to my timeline as if they were just taken,” shared Michael Grant in a Facebook post. “Some sort of artificial intelligence come to life?”
Other users pointed out the error went beyond the re-sharing of old posts. Facebook user Kevin Foad tweeted that 50 of his old photos had re-surfaced, and a few images had even been deleted, all accompanied by the random removal of some of his friends.
Another user stressed out Facebook user took to the site’s community help forum in search of an explanation. “This morning at 06:00, 4 photos which I’d posted to my timeline back in September reappeared fresh on my timeline, complete with location and friend tags. I did not do this,” wrote Drew Calhoun. “I’ve changed my password to be sure, but can someone please help me understand how this happened without my consent or knowledge?”
— Shannon Beck (@shanibah) December 9, 2016
@facebook I updated the iOS app last night and it has since reposted dozens of old posts like they were new ones all by itself.
— Mike (@nauernotmauer) December 9, 2016
Is Facebook playing some sort of misjudged, end-of-year prank on its users? Can somebody please remind the social network that 2016 has been bad enough as it is without everyone living in fear as to what may suddenly reappear on their Facebook timeline.
Facebook has already suffered its fair share of mishaps this year. Last month, a bunch of users were made to feel like Bruce Willis’ character in The Sixth Sense when they logged in to find out they’d passed away. The error even affected Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In March, Facebook caused panic when it sent out safety check alerts to users in the U.K. and U.S. following a bombing on the other side of the world, in Pakistan.
One theory being offered by the social network’s members is that the error may have something to do with the most recent update to the Facebook iOS app. Others claimed it may be related to the company’s Year-in-Review feature, released on Thursday. Meanwhile, some suggested it could be the result of a security breach.
We reached out to Facebook for a comment, but did not immediately receive a response. The company told PC Mag it was aware of the issue, and is working on a fix.