Facebook has been grappling with privacy controversies very publicly since the Cambridge Analytica data scandal broke. Photo: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images

Facebook experienced a bug that temporarily unblocked some users from interacting with users who had previously blocked them.

Why it matters: Once again, the company is apologizing for a user privacy violation, this time in a feature that is key to address harassment and abuse. "We know that the ability to block someone is important — and we’d like to apologize and explain what happened," said Erin Egan, the company's chief privacy officer, in a Monday blog post.

The details:

  • Egan said that beginning "today we are notifying over 800,000 users about a bug in Facebook and Messenger that unblocked some people they had blocked."
  • Blocking a user also unfriends them, and Egan said that the bug that unblocked some users did not restore those Facebook friendships. It did, however, allow the formerly-blocked user to view content posted by the person who had blocked them if it was shared beyond their immediate Facebook friends.
  • "The bug was active between May 29 and June 5 — and while someone who was unblocked could not see content shared with friends, they could have seen things posted to a wider audience," she said in the blog post.

Separately, Facebook announced on Monday a further tightening of the ways developers could access user information on Monday as it continues to try to address privacy concerns.

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Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.