A glitch on the social media networking site Facebook gave some users and their friends an unsettling shock after their profile pages showed they had died.
A message which appeared on some Facebook profiles referred to the process of “memorialising” the page of someone who has passed away.
The posts said that Facebook hoped users’ loved ones would find some comfort in seeing posts that others shared about them.
Even the Facebook page of the network’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg contained the notice.
The mistake now seems to have been rectified. However, anyone logging onto their own account or a loved one’s page may well have been deeply unsettled.
The wording across all of the pages affected was the same. On Mr Zuckerberg’s, it said: “We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life. Learn more about memoralised accounts and the legacy contact setting on Facebook.”
The notices only went up very briefly before the error was noticed and corrected.
Facebook has now apologised for the “terrible error”. The site said it was very sorry about what had happened and it had worked as quickly as possible to correct the glitch.
The social network has a system where the page of a lost loved one can be memorialised. This allows friends and family to remember them and pay tribute.
When the memorial programme was introduced, Facebook said: “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.”
This latest glitch follows a statement made by Mr Zuckerberg after Facebook was accused of having an impact on the outcome of the recent US election.
Forty-four American adults said they got their news through Facebook. However, the news being shared during the US election campaign was not always accurate. A story from a non-existent newspaper was shared 10,000 times, for example, and there were even false stories about the Clinton family committing murder.
However, in a statement, a spokeswoman for the site, said: “While Facebook played a part in this election, it was just one of many ways people received their information – and was one of the many ways people connected with their leaders, engaged in the political process and shared their views.”

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Ann McDonald
Ann McDonald is a journalist who has worked for some of the reputed print and electronic media house in the country. She is a regular contributor to us and her articles are informative and uphold the view pint of contending parties. She specializes in issues about social justice, race and faith and has reported about the sectarian violence which has erupted regularly around the world. Humanitarian issues and cases of human rights violation are close to her heart and she has a tenacity to follow up all her news stories to their logical end. She has been awarded with various awards for her reporting.