So there I was, innocently posting anti-SOPA links on my wall. I close
my facebook tab temporarily, open a new one a few minutes later, and I’m
logged out of my account.
“Well that’s odd” I think. So I log back in.
“Your computer has malware!” Facebook says to me. They tell me that my
computer has malware, okay, well I am very skeptical of that since I run
Arch Linux, my kernel and all of my software is up-to-date, and I don’t
remember running any strange shell scripts as root.
They then proceed to force me to certify that I’ve run Anti-Virus
software, and link to several Windows and OS-X programs.
“Well that’s offensive to me, both as a Linux user and a Programmer” I
think. Why would they not even bother to check my user-agent to see what
OS I am running? Why does Facebook even have an algorithm to try and
detect if someone has malware on their computer? How do you even say
“You have malware on your computer” with any confidence when the only
interface between you and the user is HTTP? Facebook doesn’t have access
to my computer’s hard disk. They have no right to tell me if I do or do
not have any malware.
So now I am completely locked out of making any changes to my account or
posting on my wall, or anyone else’s. All because Facebook was too lazy
to check for false positives. This will supposedly last for around two days.
I ended up sending a bug report that will most likely be ignored, and
not even looked at. I will most likely end up waiting the two days for
my account to be re-instated because I don’t know anyone who personally
works for facebook that can fix the issue.
The message here for Facebook is that they shouldn’t implement systems
that they can’t support when they fail.
Apparently (this is according to people who I’ve talked to) there is a
virus program going around in the Windows world called the “Carberp”
Trojan. The lesson here is also that even if you refuse to use Windows,
you can still be affected by the mediocrity of Windows. You are not 100%
safe even on Linux, BSD, or Haiku.
Good job Facebook! You just impeded someone who was trying to help you
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