Facebook Engineer Apologizes For Blocking Image-Sharing Site Imgur, Explains What Happened

By David Cohen 

Accidents happen, including during the course of operating and maintaining a social network with more than 900 million monthly average users. So when image-sharing site Imgur was accidentally blocked from Facebook for a short time, it was refreshing to receive an actual explanation of what happened and an apology, rather than the typical press release-style rhetoric that often accompanies such situations.

CNET reported that Matt Jones, a software engineer who works on Facebook’s site integrity team, did just that, turning to community site Reddit to share the details.

Jones posted on Reddit, as reported by CNET:

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 remove the bad data, I reworked the user interface so that no one will get bit by the same issue in the future.

As a form of apology that I’m sure is inefficient, here is a picture of my dog dressed up for the Fourth of July: http://imgur.com/pR4mR.

Readers: Do you think Facebook and other companies should take a more honest approach to explaining bugs and other issues?