In a rather amusing error, Facebook recently declared around two million of its users dead, including the company’s Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The issue came to light after users reported seeing a condolence message on some of their friends’ profiles, while some (funnily enough) saw it on their own. The message read, “We hope people who love [person’s name] will find comfort in the things others share to remember and celebrate his life.”

Notably, this is a standard message Facebook sends out when a user account is memorialized. This is the company's way to let people remember those who have passed away on the platform.

Sure enough, the alleged mistake took people by surprise. Here is how some users reacted after finding the memorial banner on the website.

It was a bug, of course

Keeping in mind the absolutely random nature of the error, the company later issued a statement, clarifying that the bug had been fixed and apologizing for the inconvenience (and some heart attacks, I am sure).

A company spokesperson said, “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.”

Bad timing

The gaffe comes a day after Facebook was accused of spreading fake news about the US presidential candidates and showcasing a biased News Feed that led to Donald Trump winning the election.

Addressing the issue and denying any such illicit influence, Zuckerberg said, “I do think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason someone could have voted the way they did is they saw some fake news.” He also pointed out that the bigger issue was content engagement, and how Trump’s posts got more engagement than Hillary Clinton’s on the platform.

While the company was fighting allegations regarding not doing enough to curb the proliferation of fake news on its platform, the technical error that spread the news of mistaken death of loved ones definitely didn't come at a good time.

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