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Has Facebook Suffered From a 46 Year Old Bug?

Facebook is certainly a phenomenon which has travelled to huge swathes of the globe and, in turn, gained huge adoption. From celebrities being able to instantly update followers regarding their latest escapades to Mr and Mrs Blogs posting various life events, including cat pictures, the tech giant has certainly been a force. But! Did you know Facebook has been around for 46 years?  Well, a new bug has been unearthed congratulating many users on reaching the milestone of “46 years of friendship on Facebook”.

As you would expect, this is slightly odd considering the social network has not even been around for 15 years, below is an image to illustrate the notification which many confused users have received.  So, what is going on?  Facebook has not disclosed the exact cause of the bug but has released the following statement.

We’ve identified this bug and the team’s fixing it now so everyone can ring in 2016 feeling young again.


There is speculation that the bug originates from Unix, let me explain, the aforementioned Unix “underlines many of the world’s servers and it keeps time by counting up from zero at one-second intervals from the date with which the clock began, this is also known as the epoch.  Therefore, this conveniently happens to be January 1st, 1970 at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, or 46 years ago today going by Eastern Standard Time.  Every second from that point on is known as epoch time and thus is why some gadgets may in theory switch to December 31st, 1969.

Has Facebook suffered from its very own Y2K or millennium bug?  If it has then it’s been very small considering it has been subsequently rectified at speed.  On a side note, even users who are significantly under 46 years of age have also seen this message, perhaps someone at Facebook has been on the New Year drink too soon.

Christopher Files

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