Facebook engineer owns up after blocking Imgur

By on July 18, 2012
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Posts a picture of his dog dressed for 4th of July as a form of apology.

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Facebook blocked image hosting website Imgur for a short while yesterday. Users were not able to post links to Imgur on their profile or timeline pages, and were shown an error message claiming that the domain was blocked for being “spammy or unsafe”.

This obviously did not go down well with Reddit, a social link sharing website that relies rather heavily on Imgur to host funny pictures of a variety of animals, but mostly cats and dogs.

After the Reddit thread hit front page, a Facebook engineer, going by the username of ‘fisherrider’ (real name Matt Jones), claimed responsibility, and apologized by posting a picture of his dog dressed for the 4th of July celebration.

“Hey folks – so this is actually my fault. Literally, I’m the guy who accidentally blocked imgur for a brief period of time today. I’m really sorry. Some background: I’m an engineer who works on the system we use for catching malicious URLs. In the process of dealing with a bad URL that our automated defenses didn’t catch, I ran into a rare bug that caused us to incorrectly block some legitimate URLs for a brief time. Right after I figured that out and removed the bad data, I reworked the UI so no one will get bit by the same issue in the future. As a form of apology that I’m sure is insufficient, here is a picture of my dog dressed up for the 4th of July: http://imgur.co/pR4mR . [edit: don't put a period right after the . in the imgur link, as apparently the reddit mobile site linkifies the .]”

Well played, fisherrider.

Following this, Facebook issued an official statement on the matter to CNET, saying:

“This morning, we mistakenly blocked an image hosting site as part of our spam prevention efforts and quickly worked to rectify the mistake as soon as we were notified. Facebook is a place where almost a billion people share click more than a trillion links a day. Our dedicated User Operations Team reviews millions of pieces of this content a day to help keep Facebook safe for all. Our policies are enforced by a team of reviewers in several offices across the globe.

This team looks at hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and block a website we shouldn’t have. We have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.”


About

Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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