On Monday we reported on how Facebook appeared to have been hacked. For a short time the Facebook Advertising page had its title description changed from “Advertising” to “Lying”. An observant informant emailed the screen grab before the page was changed and other blogs also carried the news of the incident.
However, Facebook has since come back to me to clarify. It wasn’t a hack, or a disgruntled employee they say, it was an anomaly in their translation software. When I asked why the English word “advertising” was auto-translated into the word “lying”, the explanation was that because Facebook’s regionalisation software is driven by users – in other words, users are roped into translating Facebook’s interface for each country it operates in – one of the words those cheeky users had suggested had briefly popped into that slot by mistake. Call it a bug in the software.
So there you have it – iit’s not Facebook’s employees who think Facebook is lying about its advertising, or a hacker, it’s a user who actually suggested it. I’m glad we’ve sorted that out.