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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He is a freelance journalist who has actively worked on various environmental issues. He had covered the Clean Water Act amendments and the Superfund legislation which ultimately became the basis for the Clean Air Act which was promulgated in 1990. After that, he also covered the Food Quality Protection Act which was promulgated in 1996. As a freelance environmental reporter he also delved into the oil issue in North Dakota which altered the energy portfolio of the nation. He is also passionate about the various climate changes occurring around us and has reported about the harmful effects of global warming on the environment.