Facebook revealed, earlier today, that it had detected a data breach affecting at least 50 million accounts (and as many as 90 million). Within minutes, as you might imagine, multiple sites including TNW were rushing stories out to inform everyone. Just as quickly, concerned readers began posting the news, including to the site in question. Now Facebook is actively stopping people from posting those stories.
Facebook is preventing users from posting The Guardian’s report on the Facebook data breach.
Multiple users have reported that, when they attempt to post links to the stories, their actions are blocked. This has occurred with multiple different links, apparently, though the main victim appears to be The Guardian.
The links appear to be working normally at the moment — I was able to post the Guardian story on my own Feed — but multiple people experienced the block.
Ostensibly, Facebook flagged the posts because a great number of people were posting the same stories, and that tripped some kind of censor that tells Facebook the post is spam. By itself, that explanation doesn’t make a lot of sense. I could see someone posting the same link multiple times being kind of spammy, but multiple people posting the same story is more likely viral, which isn’t the same thing.
update: AP and Guardian links are now going through. a buddy who does anti-spam stuff (not at FB) says their guess is that this story spread so virally that it bumped over a spam detection threshold.
That said, I wouldn’t blame the more conspiracy-minded among us if they were to speculate Facebook has a more selfish reason for quashing the sharing of these stories. It’s not as though Facebook could really use more bad publicity, given the dreadful year it’s thus far had.
Still, even taking the spam explanation at face value, there’s something sadly apropos in the idea that so many people are rushing to report Facebook‘s fuck-up that Facebook is fucking up.
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Source: The Next Web
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