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Two-factor authentication spam was caused by a bug, will be fixed, says Facebook

The social media giant also plans to disable a feature that automatically posts SMS replies as status updates.

Two-factor authentication spam was caused by a bug, will be fixed, says Facebook
Photo: Reuters

New Delhi: A number of people have been receiving random notifications from Facebook after giving the social network their phone number for two-factor authentication (2FA), the company admitted there was a bug and has promised to roll out a fix soon.

People who responded to these notifications saw them appearing as status updates on their Facebook account for all to see.

Facebook, Chief Security Officer, Alex Stamos explained that the website didn't intentionally spam people who signed up for two-factor using their phone numbers. After all, Facebook doesn't want to deter people from signing up for 2FA. "[T]he last thing we want is for people to avoid helpful security features because they fear they will receive unrelated notifications," he said.

People asked Facebook why their responses to these notifications appeared as status updates on the social media platform. 

"For years, before the ubiquity of smartphones, we supported posting to Facebook via text message, but this feature is less useful these days. As a result, we are working to deprecate this functionality soon," Stamos added.

Facebook has promised to roll out a fix soon that will stop non-security-related notifications.

"We are working to ensure that people who sign up for two-factor authentication won`t receive non-security-related notifications from us unless they specifically choose to receive them. We expect to have the fixes in place in the coming days," the Facebook chief security officer said. 

"To reiterate, this was not an intentional decision; this was a bug," he added.

According to tech website Engadget, until Facebook rolls out a fix, those affected by the bug can go to Settings and then to Notifications to switch off text notifications.