A creepy Facebook bug unwittingly caused people’s profile pages to display that they died last Friday. Apparently this included founder Mark Zuckerberg. But in truth everyone is just fine and no one died. Beginning Friday afternoon many people checking their Facebook page were surprised to see a “memorialized message” on top of their profiles that they just passed away. But by 4:00 p.m. ET on that same day, the messages were gone. Facebook later apologized for the “terrible error” in a public statement. For a brief period on that day, a message meant for memorialized profiles was mistakenly posted to many accounts all over the country. Eventually this “terrible error” has already been fixed, according to Facebook officials. Facebook apologized and said they were “sorry that this happened and we worked as quickly as possible to fix it.” Although the bug seemed to affect users in the United States, in was not confirmed if users in other countries were also affected by the bug and were also give “memorialized message” profiles.
Before the bug was fixed, visitors to the Facebook’s CEO profile were greeted with a somber notification: “We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life,” the message read. The message included a link to Facebook’s request form for memorializing the account of someone who has died. People using Facebook’s mobile app also reported seeing the message. It seems the morbid glitch didn’t even spare the owner. We are all wondering if this would get the bug – or perhaps the technician – fired or terminated. At first many experts thought it might be some form of hoax committed by some mischievous hackers, perhaps from China.
In the past Chinese hackers have been known to hack on random accounts and place morbid or pornographic content as if they were sent to others by the user. However, the user cannot see what was sent to others, and this has caused some users to wonder why some people have suddenly “unfriended” themselves. According to Facebook’s policy, once a person is reported dead, Facebook will automatically memorialize the account of the deceased. This has caused some controversy in the past since while Facebook policy immortalizes the deceased’s page, the account will be automatically deleted since the user has passed away already. This is to protect the account so it won’t be used by unscrupulous persons. However, some family members choose to continue using the deceased’s account as a way of immortalizing the person and so forgo informing Facebook of the death of the user.