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Facebook Glitch Slays Axanar Producer and Spokesman

Visitors to Axanar producer Alec Peters’ personal Facebook page on November 11, 2016, might have been shocked to learn he was dead.

RIP Axanar spokesman Mike Bawden was among those whom Facebook mistakenly pronounced dead.

Or at least Facebook seemed to think so.

And it wasn’t just Peters. The Facebook page of Axanar’s public relations director and official spokesman, Mike Bawden, similarly announced his passing.

Both were victims of an error that shifted some people’s accounts to display a ‘memorial’ message, such as “Remembering Alec Peters.”

Normally, Facebook allows memorialized accounts to be preserved after a request by a family member, friend or “legacy contact” has been approved. Facebook asks for an obituary to be uploaded confirming the death.

OOPS Facebook’s error even announced the passing of its own founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Even Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was a victim of the glitch.

The error appeared only on people’s Facebook profiles; it did not propagate through others’ newsfeed. Facebook later acknowledged the error and posted this statement:

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.1)

The affected profile pages were fixed later in the day.


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