A recent bad code update on Facebook allowed anyone to see which accounts posted Facebook Pages, including those of celebrities and politicians. Among the pages exposed by the bug was teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, whose posts are often authored by her father Svante Thunberg or Adarsh Prathap, an Indian climate change activist.
Wired reports that a recent bad code update on Facebook accidentally revealed the administrators of multiple Facebook Pages including those of celebrities and politicians. Facebook Pages allow celebrities, public figures, and businesses to have a presence on the platform without being tied to a single account and can be managed by multiple Facebook users. The Page owners can opt to remain anonymous if they choose to do so.
The Facebook bug exposed that both Greta’s father and an Indian climate activist named Adarsh Prathap have posted to Greta’s Facebook account in place of the teenager posting herself.
As James Delingpole explained for Breitbart News:
Yes: this evidence that Greta the Climate Puppet is in fact merely the tool of grown-ups with a political agenda probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone. Greta Thunberg is, after all, the David Hogg of environmentalism.
But the point needs emphasising, nonetheless. Greta has become the de facto leader of the international green movement – taken so seriously by the global elite that she has even been invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland later this month to lecture world leaders about climate change.
What’s pretty clear, though, is that without her controllers and a prepared script Greta Thunberg can barely function. She is, remember, a 16-year old school drop out, with only a very rudimentary understanding – based on the propaganda she has been fed by adults – of the issues surrounding climate change.
Greta’s father, Svante Thunberg, has claimed to not direct Geta’s meteoric rise as a teenage climate activist, but his activity on her Facebook page sends a different message.
The bug that went live last Thursday and remained active until Friday morning allowed anyone to see who was running any Page on Facebook. Facebook quickly pushed a fix for the issue but not before people discovered the users behind a number of popular Facebook pages. Facebook commented on the issue in a statement saying: “We quickly fixed an issue where someone could see who edited or published a post on behalf of a Page when looking at its edit history. We are grateful to the security researcher who alerted us to this issue.”
Some of the Page admins exposed include the official Facebook Pages of the street artist Banksy, Russian president Vladimir Putin, former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, the hacker group Anonymous, and rapper Snoop Dogg. Facebook has highlighted that no information beyond the Page Admins name and public profile were available but the issue has now been resolved.
Lukasz Olejnik, an independent privacy adviser and research associate at Oxford University’s Center for Technology and Global Affairs, commented on the situation stating: “For sensitive Pages, I would not rule out that some people may be feeling that they are in danger due to what happened today. Using fake accounts to run Pages would have been a good idea. Some could see it as a paranoid way of hiding, but it’s not.”
Olejnik added: “People who run sensitive Pages from their own Facebook should now consider that their identity may be known. While mistakes happen, this one is unexpected.”