Tag Archives: code-bug

Facebook Bug Delivers Mail to the Wrong People

A few days ago, Facebook apparently had a coding problem which cause messages to be delivered to the wrong people. The bug supposedly only affected a small piece of the Facebook population, including early-adopters who attended Harvard. Some people started receiving notifications in their inbox that were clearly not intended for them. At least one person reported receiving hundreds of messages – all of which belonged to someone else. A Facebook representative stated:

“During our regular code push yesterday evening, a bug caused some misrouting to a small number of users for a short period of time. Our engineers diagnosed the problem moments after it began and worked diligently to get everything back in its rightful place. While they fixed the issue, affected users were not be able to access the site.”

This generic explanation isn’t cutting the mustard for many people. Having your private messages delivered to the wrong person can be construed as a violation of privacy. Several people are wondering where the heck the quality assurance measures were before this code was even pushed out the door. Facebook only retains about 1000 people on its staff. There are more than 400 million members on the popular social networking site. With the sheer number of updates and changes being rolled out on a regular basis, how can we be certain everything is being thoroughly tested prior to launch?

I am not trying to point fingers. Yes, problems with code happen every day. Updates fail. But when you have something of this magnitude happen, one has to wonder at what point the ball was dropped. Someone needs to figure this out, and put a plan into place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Imagine if you had sent something very personal to a relative on your friends’ list… instead, it ends up in the box of a random stranger with bad intentions. All hell could literally break loose.

This just goes to show that no matter how much you trust a website or service, you still have to be proactive in safeguarding your information, your data and your life.