Facebook engineer accidentally blocks Imgur, apologizes on Reddit

Links to Imgur, one of the web's most popular image sharing sites, were blocked on Facebook for a short period on Monday. After social link sharing site Reddit noticed the error, a Facebook engineer claimed responsibility and apologized on Reddit, reports CNET.

Facebook users were not able to post links to Imgur to their profile pages and timelines, and were shown the error message above, claiming that the domain was blocked for being "spammy or unsafe." Imgur is widely used on popular social sharing site Reddit, where a screenshot of the Facebook error message hit the front page within a couple hours.

A Reddit user by the name of "fisherrider" posted an apology in the comment thread, claiming responsibility for the mistake. The bug caused a few other unmentioned legitimate URLs to be blocked along with Imgur. As part of his apology, the Facebook engineer - Matt Jones, according to the same Twitter handle @fisherrider - attached a picture of his dog dressed up in patriotic regalia... on Imgur, of course.

A spokesperson for Facebook emailed this statement to CNET:

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.

Credit: CNET
Images Credit: CNET

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6 Comments

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Janis Tatas said,
I've had Facebook block a link from bbc.co.uk once for being 'spammy or unsafe'

I had FB block my status update that doesn't contain any link, just few friends tagged in it for being spammy. I was like... REALLY??