Emily Baines
January 02, 2016 10:38 am

Forget Y2K, this week we saw Y46: Facebook congratulated many of us for having been friends with other Facebook users for 46 years. Facebook is only 11 years old. Lots of us weren’t even alive 46 years ago. The math certainly didn’t add up.

People took to Twitter (and, of course, Facebook) to taunt the error:

Facebook has since released a statement saying their engineers are working to fix the problem “so everyone can ring in 2016 feeling young again.” Thanks, Facebook. Some of us are in no rush to grow up.

Though Facebook has yet to offer an official explanation on how the bug happened, Microsoft engineer Mark Davis posted his own hypothesis to, of course, Facebook. And he blames UNIX.

Writes Davis:

“I was amused as anyone else when Facebook celebrated my 46 years of friendship with someone this morning. Naturally, the inner nerd in me can’t just take at face value–to those of you unaware, the Unix Epoch (aka the date that has an internal value of ‘0’ on a Unix system) is 1/1/1970, which based on time zone adjustments, can become a random hour on 12/31/1969. Which is 46 years ago today.

Now, you might be wondering, so what? Why is it in my Facebook feed? Well, if you click on your “memories” page, you’ll see a subset of you friends listed as having a 46 year old Facebook memory today. Scrolling through my list, it’s the people I’ve been friends with on Facebook for a very long time – chances are, the “friends with since” feature was implemented AFTER I became friends with those people. And as such, it’s stored in the database as ‘0’ rather than the actual date. The developer who wrote the “friends with since” memories algorithm should have added a case ‘WHERE friendsWithSinceDate != ‘0” or something along those lines. But they didn’t so those people appear in today’s query.”

No matter where the problem originated, you can bet Facebook is working around the clock to fix the glitch. And until then, enjoy the bit of time travel!

(Image via Twitter)

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