Facepalm: Facebook has had plenty of scandals over the last 14 months, and while a newly discovered issue is more of an anomaly than anything else, it’s still not a good look for the social network. A Belgian security researcher has found that users can easily bring up photos of all their female friends, but the same feature doesn’t work with male ones.
White-hat hacker Inti De Ceukelaire discovered that typing “photos of my female friends” brings up a random selection of images posted by your female friends. While one might imagine replacing the word “female” with “male” offers similar results originating from male friends, that’s not the case.
Requesting photos of male friends surfaces various image from across the entire platform, most of which appear to come from users who aren’t friends and groups you’re not part of.
Meer zelfs: bij het opvragen van foto's van je mannelijke vrienden, gaat Facebook er van uit dat je foto's van vrouwen wou gaan bekijken. *Facepalm* pic.twitter.com/lIOBtAnvla— Inti De Ceukelaire (@intidc) February 11, 2019
Speaking to The Next Web, De Ceukelaire, who’s long been exposing the security shortcomings of internet services, said he stumbled upon the bug by accident. “I found that I could no longer filter by men, but it was still possible to filter by females,” he told TNW. Additionally, De Ceukelaire said searching for male friends resulted in Facebook asking if he meant to type “female friends.”
I discovered the same results when performing the searches, though Facebook didn't ask if I meant to search for female friends when doing the male search.
As TNW points out, this is likely just a glitch in the company’s Graph Search, but it does bring to mind Facebook’s origins. The social network's sort-of predecessor was FaceMash; a site created by Mark Zuckerberg that allowed Harvard University students to rate the attractiveness of their female colleagues by comparing pairs and deciding which was "hotter."