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This article was published on July 17, 2012

Facebook Engineer accidentally blocks photosharing site imgur, apologises in true Reddit fashion

Facebook Engineer accidentally blocks photosharing site imgur, apologises in true Reddit fashion

Facebook inadvertently cooked up a storm this evening (US time) after the social network accidentally blocked the posting of images hosted on popular photo sharing site imgur.

The issue may have snuck by the majority of Facebook’s 900 million plus users, since most are unlikely to upload photos via imgur, but on Reddit — where the service is hugely popular and well used — it was noted and a stub began: ‘Facebook has blocked‘.

In what can only be described as a truly Reddit-style response, the engineer responsible replied to threat with an explanation, apology and a dog-in-clothes picture…which was just the tonic for users of the social aggregation site – many of whom praised the response for its honesty and transparency.

Here’s the full confession from ‘Fisherrider’, aka Matt Jones at Facebook, which has received 3,119 up-votes so far:

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: .

Jones also took to Twitter:

While it goes without saying that the block is clumsy, but his response to the issue and the (long) thread of comments on the topic have won over a lot of disgruntled Redditers, but the fact that it was possible in the first place will inevitably raise question marks about the Facebook ‘control room’.

Imgur was deliberately designed for sharing images on social networks and other Web services, so a block would make no sense whatsoever. The brief period of issues did raise a response from a few on Twitter, but that damage has been minimised by Jones’s sterling work.

Finally…here’s that dog:

Feature image via Flickr