Facebook found itself apologizing profusely last Nov. 11 after a creepy bug prompted the social media platform to begin telling many users that they have already died. The morbid glitch came with a very thoughtful message that condoled with the bereaved and also included some more words extolling the virtues of the "deceased."
In a statement sent to several media outfits, Facebook called the incident a terrible error and claimed it has taken the messages down with alacrity. It reported that the error has been completely fixed as of 4 p.m. ET, within the very same day the problem occurred.
While the message cited the name of the supposed dead Facebook user, the message seems quite general.
"We hope people who love Katie will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate her life," Facebook told Katie Rogers of the New York Times.
Mark Zuckerberg Is Dead Too
Similar wordings were found in other profile postings only with different names. The account of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, was also reportedly infected by the same bug, although that one could have been easily set up by Facebook developers to minimize the bug's fallout.
Zuck dead pic.twitter.com/J8y5LbfQBz
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) November 11, 2016
There are those who suggest that it might be some form of a hoax perpetuated by a third-party hacker. This is really not surprising since Facebook has been hacked several times in the past. However, the message includes two services that Facebook seems to be promoting. This involves the Memorialized Account feature and is also linked to the existing legacy contact service found in the social media website's setting.
"You can tell us in advance whether you'd like to have your account memorialized or permanently deleted from Facebook," an entry in the social media platform's Help Center explained. "Memorialized accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person has passed away."
Once a person is reported dead, Facebook automatically memorializes his or her account and is treated as a company policy. While this service promises to immortalize your Facebook page, the legacy settings, on the other hand, will tell Facebook to permanently delete an account if the user dies.
While the recent snafu, earned the ire of some affected users, others saw an opportunity to poke fun at the social media network or of themselves.
God is dead. - Nietzche, 1883 Nietzche is dead. - God, 1900 Everyone is dead. - Facebook, 2016 — Ryan Calo (@rcalo) November 11, 2016
Facebook says everyone is dead except for me, not fair
— Evan Romano (@EvanRomano) November 11, 2016