It was probably not the upgrade directly.
What I think is most likely to have happened is you have a field provided by an add-on. The add-on is not compatible with 7.4, so the field is no longer working.
The filter your gadget is using references that field. Hence you now have an invalid filter, which cascades back into anything that uses it.
"The user doesn't know this any more" is irrelevant - the owner of the dashboard can correct the gadget by selecting a working filter, or the owner of the filter can edit it to remove the broken field.
Also, your admins can establish who both of those people are, and if they've left, change the ownership and fix the filter themselves. They should also be lokoing into where else a broken field might be having an impact.
The “filter results” gadget (an Atlassian proprietary gadget as you can see in the first screenie) worked fine. If I edit the faulty gadget’s settings I notice that my saved filters are not listed anymore and have been replaced by filter from some other user or project, and not the current project. Now I think (as a dashboard owner) when I delete the gadget and use some other gadget it probably will work again, but I have raised this issue to make Atlassian aware of it. That the filter is invalid is pretty obvious. But since nothing has changed since the upgrade, I refuse to believe that this is a user error.
People have shared filters with you. That's normal behaviour.
This all appears to be down to filter ownership and sharing, rather than the upgrade.
My other guess is that you upgraded from an older version of JIRA (i.e. 6 or earlier) rather than 7, as 7 changes the way users are handled, and that's had an impact on who is sharing what with whom.
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