If you logged onto Facebook today, you might have seen dead people. Not like in a Haley Joel Osment way, but because multiple accounts were displaying messages that said users had died, even even though they hadn’t.
A remembrance banner at the top of different profiles appeared on Friday afternoon, and not even CEO Mark Zuckerberg was spared from the onslaught. The phony Zuckerberg memorial read: "We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life." Oh, how Dear Leader had fallen!
But in reality, the world’s largest internet boss is not deceased. This is indeed the latest strange hoax to envelope the social network, so if your mother calls you in a fit of grief-stricken panic, make sure to pick up the damn phone.
In fact, Facebook sent Gizmodo a statement about mistaking its living users for deceased ones. And the company is sorry for the strain and inconvenience it has caused by prematurely killing off its customers:
"For a brief period today, a message meant for memorialized profiles 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," the statement said.
This has surely been a rough week for Facebook. Yesterday, Zuckerberg (who isn’t dead) defended the company’s alleged responsibility in disseminating fake news stories that might have influenced the United States presidential election. While the company does acknowledge it has a bogus news predicament, Zuckerberg feigns responsibility, saying that the 44% of Americans who get their news from sometimes spurious sources on Facebook are adults who form their political beliefs IRL.
What a time to be alive.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.