Facebook accidentally declared a number of its users dead on Friday – including its founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Reports said that around two million profiles were memorialised – a process that usually takes place after a user has died and requires proof of death.
A spokesman for Facebook told the AFP news agency: “For a brief period today, a message meant for memorialised profiles was mistakenly posted to other accounts.
“This was a terrible error that we have now fixed.”
The message on affected profiles expressed hope that people who loved the user would take comfort in posts people had shared in tribute.
It also contained links to forms that could be used to have people’s accounts modified into memorials after their death.