A day after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared it's a "crazy idea" that fake Facebook news may have influenced the election – never mind the persuasive power of its ads – the web giant took to issuing fake death notices.
The piffling cyber-sideshow of holiday photos and made-up headlines plastered remembrance banners atop an undisclosed number of profile pages, including Zuckerberg's. "We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life," the banner said.
On Twitter, Facebook users offered proof-of-life, lest concerned relatives begin grieving or divvying up orphaned possessions. A few people upset with the results of the election celebrated word of their demise as the best news this week. Others, like legal scholar Orin Kerr, simply issued a correction.
C'mon, Facebook, I'm not dead yet. pic.twitter.com/O22J01TnFL— Orin Kerr (@OrinKerr) November 11, 2016
Facebook provides a form to request the memorialization of accounts of the deceased. It requires documentation of a death, presumably to prevent people from triggering errant notices.
Prior to 2007, the company deleted profiles after a 30-day memorialization period. Following the Virginia Tech massacre in April that year, the company changed its policy to allow memorialized profiles to remain up indefinitely.
The Register asked Facebook for an explanation of Facebook Not Live.
"For a brief period today, a message meant for memorialized profiles was mistakenly posted to other accounts," a company spokesperson said in an email. "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."
Any hint of extinction has been erased from Facebook: Zuckerberg and others offed by the social media giant have been restored to their previous state.
Coincidentally, Facebook is fixing its "racial affinity" ads, following complaints about the potential discriminatory uses of the company's marketing technology.