Facebook profile glitch mistakenly “kills” millions, even Mark Zuckerberg

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An apparent glitch on Facebook added a memorial note at the top of users’ pages on Friday, including that of CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The notices seem to have first appeared at around 3:45 PM Eastern time.


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The wording was the same in all cases. For instance: “Remembering Mark Zuckerberg. We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life. Learn more about memorialized accounts and the legacy contact setting on Facebook.”


The notices were up only briefly before the glitch was corrected. When the message appeared, hundreds of dismayed users complained on Twitter about their premature digital deaths.

Facebook said the mistaken posts were a terrible error, it was very sorry it had happened and that it had worked as quickly as possible to fix it.

Facebook does allow users to “memorialize” the accounts of deceased family members or friends by submitting a formal request. Typically they must identify the account of the person who has died, the date they passed away and show proof of death, such as a link to an obituary or death certificate. “This is very helpful to the team that reviews memorialization requests,” says Facebook.

If a request is accepted, the word “remembering” is shown next to the person’s name and the profile no longer appears in public spaces such as suggestions for People You May Know, or for birthday reminders.

Users can appoint a legacy contact while they are alive to manage their account when they die. If a user fails to do this, the profile is preserved but can’t be edited.

In a posting in 2011, Facebook’s Chengos Fei wrote about the option.

“We hope that by allowing the people who use our service a chance to mourn together and remember someone who passed away, people can find comfort in sharing happy and heartwarming stories about their departed friend or family member.”



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