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Facebook Bug Tells Users They Are Dead

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, participates in a discMark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, participates in a disc
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, participates in a discussion during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007. Photograph by Daniel Acker—Bloomberg/Getty Images

It’s a fitting end to a strange week. When many Facebook users logged on to their accounts on Friday afternoon, they discovered the social network had declared them to be deceased.

The lethal online epidemic is causing Facebook (FB) to display a small memorial message above users’ regular homepage profile. In the case of my editor, Rachel King, Fortune tech writers who visited her page discovered a “Remembering Rachel King” message, and a wish to remember to remember and celebrate her life.

I can assure you that Rachel is very much alive (and reminding me about the Oxford comma). But if you’re wondering what it looks like, here’s a screenshot:

Dead facebook

I’m still alive (for now) but it appears the bug is spreading quickly to others in the media, and has reportedly even affected the pages of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

While Friday’s wave of Facebook fatalities was clearly a bug or a hoax of some sort, the social network does offer a function that allows people to turn the profile pages of loved ones into a “Memorial.”

Update: Facebook has since apologized for a “terrible” mistake.

“For a brief period today, a message meant for memorialized profiles was briefly posted to other accounts. This was a terrible error that we now have fixed. We are very sorry that this happened and we worked as quickly as possible to fix it,” said a company spokesperson by email.

Even as the company sorted out the macabre mistake, wags on Twitter were quick to offer their own spin on events:

So enjoy the end of your week everyone – and possibly your last day on earth.