Facebook Blunder: Social Network Kills Off a User Who’s Still Very Much Alive

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bill-swift - July 5, 2012

When a user passes away on Facebook, the social network updates his or her existing page and turns it into a memorial profile. It seems like a pretty efficient system, except for when it's abused--as people found out in the case of a user named Brett Millett.

It was a typical day when Millett logged onto Facebook, but instead of the homepage, he was greeted with a notification that his page had already been memorialized.

In a post entitled "Someone memorialized my Facebook profile but I'm still alive!", Millett posted about his situation in StackExchange.

Apparently, it's pretty easy to memorialize someone's Facebook profile. I am greeted with the following message after entering my valid and correct username and password:

"Account Inaccessible This account is in a special memorial state. If you have any questions or concerns, please visit the Help Center for further information."

Millett muses that this could be a prank by some of his mischievous buddies, or a hacker who probably had too much time on his hands.

Apparently, you need my date of birth (which friends or friends with hacked accounts have access to) and a fake obituary (because no one atFacebook really reads them apparently).

-- Brett Millett

Facebook has since responded to the issue and said that Millett's account has already been restored. A spokesperson explained that although checks and measures are in place to make sure stuff like this doesn't happen, human error allowed cases like Millett's to slip through the cracks.

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