Facebook Tells Everyone They're Dead

Capping off what has already been a surreal week, Facebook on Friday indicated that users -- all of them -- were dead.

For at least several hours, the social giant added a remembrance banner to users’ profiles with a Facebook-blue flower. The message read: “We hope people who love [name] will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate [his/her] life.”

As it turns out, the issue was caused by a bug, according to Facebook.

“For a brief period today, a message meant for memorialized profiles was mistakenly posted to other accounts,” according to a company spokesperson. “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.”

While unlikely to cost the loyalty of many users, the error is another blow to Facebook, following a week of pummeling for its perceived role in electing Donald Trump as the next president of the country. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed the charges as absurd on Thursday.

“The idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea,” Zuckerberg told attendees of the Techonomy conference, in California. Voters “make decisions based on their lived experience.”

Earlier in the week, Facebook executives were less defensive about the role the company’s platform may have played in swaying voters’ views by facilitating the spread of fake and misleading news stories.

For one, Adam Mosseri, VP of product management at Facebook, said its handling of news (both real and not) remains a work in progress. “We understand there is so much more we need to do,” he said in a statement given to TechCrunch.

This past summer, Facebook decided to automate the creation of its Trending topics section. The change followed accusations of conservative media bias, which was followed by an internal investigation into Facebook's content editing policies.

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