I was bemused this weekend to read on Reddit that Facebook was blocking users from posting the innocuous phrase “Everyone will know”.
Apparently word spread quickly, causing others to try posting “Everyone will know”, which probably only helped Facebook’s systems designed to detect spam and unusual activity to get their knickers even further in a twist.
As I describe in my latest video, Facebook appears to have now fixed the problem but it underlines just how easily things can go wrong when trying to keep an online community safe from spam and malicious behaviour.
Also in the video I mention one of the funniest (well, to me anyway) stories ever to happen in the world of anti-spam.
In 2003, Trend Micro issued a faulty update to its email gateway products which meant that it quarantined any messages containing the letter “p”.
Here is how Virus Bulletin reported the incident at the time.
Just imagine the problems that caused as Trend’s technical support team attempted to apologise for the false positive and push out a patch.
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4 comments on “Don’t you dare say ‘Everyone will know’ on Facebook!”
in a short while everyone will know this dispicable behaviour of Zuckerberg. When will there be put an end to this?
I'm afraid he doesn't care any more than he does about other disgusting things he does (and allows on Facebook – which might as well be the same thing as he supports it/them and/or he sympathises with). But what would anyone else know? He's special (+ naive and stupid) enough to believe that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear; you couldn't get these things through to him even if you tried penetrating his iron curtain (protecting his brain, if you understand the analogy) with a battering ram. I'd rather not even consider his blood-brain barrier.
On the other hand… blocking out mail with the letter P would block a certain category of spam, would it not ? So you could look at it positively – they would have stopped some spam albeit not in a way they intended (and definitely more than they intended).
I don't remember this but I don't use Trend Micro for anything, yet I don't find it hard to believe – these types of bugs are amongst the funniest yet also some of the easiest to crop up (the wording is obviously intentional).
Is it known if they also filtered executables (e.g. data segment of the file) containing the letter P ? (I've not watched the video – yet). I suppose it wouldn't even get to that point because it'd likely have been already be filtered (or quarantined anyway).
The “Everyone will know" snafu would be funny if Facebook weren’t a predator. But as it is, it’s just another example of the unapologetic incompetence one can expect from an operation with no conscience.
Ah, well…I suppose it’s proof that they’re committed to their "Move fast and break things" motto. Mission accomplished.