Facebook Suddenly Seems to Think Lots of People Are Dead (Updated)

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It’s always a good idea to take what you read on Facebook with a grain of salt, but that’s doubly true today: If you click to some of your friends’ profiles, you might see a notification up top saying that they’re dead, like I saw here:

But your friend isn’t dead! Well, probably not. This seems to be a wide-ranging bug and it’s unclear where it’s coming from. One possibility that’s being floated is that it has something to do with all the grief and condolence language being posted in the wake of the election. But there seems to be a weird inconsistency in who is seeing what: Some people who are posting bemusedly about how they have been declared dead do not show up that way once you click on their profile.

Whatever’s happening, it seems to go all the way to the top:

RIP, Zuck, at least until you get the bug sorted out. We’ve put in an email to Facebook’s PR folks and will update this post if they respond.

Update: Gizmodo now reports that Facebook fixed the bug, but that at first this fix appeared to, um, accidentally list people who had actually died as alive. But at the present moment, the tech blog reports, “It appears the living are back to being alive, and the dead are once again resting.”