Did You Die On Friday?
Just as you’re counting down the last month and a half of 2016, ready to ring in a new year, Facebook is trying to kill you off.
A brief glitch hit Facebook this past Friday, marking thousands of the social media giant’s users as deceased. People logged in to find that they had been “memorialized”; their accounts were transitioned to memorial accounts, encouraging friends to fondly remember their lives and only allowing those users access to the accounts of others who had been marked as dead. “We hope people who love [user] will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate her life,” the banners read, along with links to “learn more about memorialized accounts” and establish a “legacy contact.” Even Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s creator, was a victim to the glitch and suffered a premature death.
Turns out that Facebook planned to introduce the new format and messaging to existing memorialized pages on Friday, but accidentally displayed it on two million other accounts as well. Once sorted out, Facebook apologized for the glitch and explained that it was related to the social network’s protocol for ‘memorializing’ a person’s page when they do actually pass away. “For a brief period today, a message meant for memorialized pages was mistakenly posted to other accounts. This was a terrible error that we have now fixed. We are very sorry that this happened and we worked as quickly as possible to fix it,” said a spokeswoman for Facebook.
Meanwhile, while Facebook worked to clean up its mess, the Internet did a collective LOL. Twitter blew up with users tweeting about Facebook trying to off them, and with friends tweeting one another about their “unexpected deaths”. Most users laughed and took the error in stride. After the overwhelming stress of election week, the glitch gave social media users something to chuckle about, something well needed. In a way, Facebook ended up giving many a small gift.
Gotta love it.