Jack Yan
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The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



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02.06.2017

Facebook lets me have full access on someone’s public page—but I’m not an admin

I have long maintained that Facebook’s databases are dying (hence their need to force people to download malware) and tonight’s discovery is a case of ‘What more proof do you need?’
   Tonight, I can edit a verified (blue-ticked) Facebook page with a fan base in the high five figures that is not mine. I can view all the messages, remove admins, receive notifications, and comment and like as that page. The one thing I cannot do is notify the real owner of that page via Facebook messaging.
   This is not unlike in 2013, when someone found themselves a fan of my public page—but they never liked it. Fortunately for me, they believed us when we said we knew nothing of it.
   And fortunately for this person, I am (a) not dodgy and (b) I know her in real life, though I have not spoken to her in over three years. She hasn’t made me an admin. I’ve looked on the list of pages I really administer and hers isn’t there. I’ve gone into her page’s settings and the page roles, and I’m not listed as an admin. Yet I can do everything an admin can. There’s a box right there for me to add other people as admins to her page. I could kick her off.
   I tried contacting this person’s private profile via Facebook messaging as myself. Impossible. I can’t attach screen shots to show her what I discovered, and clicking ‘Send’ does nothing. I will, of course, email her.
   How did I find out? Someone shared an article from the Lucire Facebook page. I clicked through to see if the sharer had written anything. I wanted to ‘like’ the share as Lucire rather than myself, and discovered that I could only be me and this other person. In fact, I could do nothing in the name of the pages I actually run. The sharer does not have either me or this person as Facebook friends.


The first clue. How come I can comment as this person?


I can only comment as myself as this one other page that I have no current connection to.



Sure enough, I have full access to the site settings and messages.


I’m not an admin, though I seem to have all the admin privileges.



Full access to mess around with her posts, and further proof I can comment as her.

   This blog post is a warning to anyone with a Facebook page. Just know that at any time, access to your page can be granted to someone else.
   If pages are no longer secure, then I have to ask: what is the point of Facebook?
   This isn’t good news for us at all because one of the businesses I am involved in relies on Facebook.
   But it’s certainly a risky platform to be on, and I am willing to bet this bug will become more widespread.

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Filed under: business, internet, technology, USA—Jack Yan @ 12.45

2 Responses to ‘Facebook lets me have full access on someone’s public page—but I’m not an admin’

  1. jaklumen says:

    Oh dear. It’s very easy for me to cop out and say once again, this is one of many reasons why I’ve left Facebook. But I live in a small rural area- a somewhere in the middle of nowhere- and I know that several entities here depend very heavily on Facebook. It’s not just small businesses. The police department alone- every link they tweet points to their Facebook page, if not the local news agencies. It’s not much different for other government services, non-profits, and so on, that I can see. If this problem gets worse, Jack, I reckon it will create a lot of havoc for small towns. It could potentially be a problem for everyone- even those who have websites still seem to depend on social networks, and Facebook seems king among them.

  2. Jack Yan says:

    This, the number of fakes plaguing the system, and the forced malware downloads are all fatal to Facebook—I would be asking some serious questions if I was a tech journalist. However, it seems there are no tech journalists who are willing to ask anything. It may be like the Volkswagen Dieselgate scandal: people knew long before it blew up, and there will be some other random trigger that will see Facebook in hot water.

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