What do you do if you're the CEO of a company faced with persistent privacy concerns? If you're Mark Zuckerberg, you make it so users of your service can't block you. Mark Zuckerberg recently, mysteriously, became unblockable on Facebook.
TechCrunch highlights a funny single-serve website, blockzuck.com. Its only purpose: to point out that if you try to block Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook, thus hiding your profile from him, you are greeted with a "general block failed error." You can block anyone else on Facebook—you just can't block the Zuck!
But, according to the guy behind Blockzuck,com, (who prefers to remain anonymous) you used to be able to block Zuckerberg. He started Blockzuck.com to convince people to do just that, and had to update his site once Zuckerberg became unblockable. He told us in an email:
My original idea was to start some campaign to get people to block Zuckerberg on Facebook, as sort of a half-assed privacy protest. I came up with the idea after the last major privacy uproar, and decided to save it for the next one that came along, which was Places.
Until very recently, it *was* possible to block him; after I put up the original version of the site, I discovered that he couldn't be blocked anymore. Which is much more interesting than my original lame idea, so I updated the site to reflect that.
So, why did Mark Zuckerberg become unblockable on Facebook? Who knows. Maybe he or an engineer found out about Blockzuck.com and wanted to retaliate. Or maybe he just gets a kick out of creeping people out. I'm a creep... I'm a weirdo..., etc.
Update: A Facebook spokesperson emailed us with an explanation. Turns out too many people have blocked Zuck!
"This error isn't specific to any one account. It's generated when a person has been blocked a certain large number of times. In very rare instances, a viral campaign will develop instructing lots of people to all wrongly block the same person. The purpose of this system is to protect the experience for people targeted by these campaigns. We're constantly working to improve our systems and are taking a closer look at this one."
Seems strange that Facebook would prioritize the people who were "targeted by these campaigns" rather than the people who would choose to participate in them.