Posted by: salambander on Feb 10, 2011
Where's the Doctor when you need him? Since the third of February, my Facebook profile has been stuck in the past. By this I mean that regardless of my or my friends' activity, I, as well as my friends, cannot view anything on my profile (pictures, wall posts, etc) that is more recent than somewhere between three and five days ago. It wobbles a bit between the two. On top of this, any notifications from during that period, including EVERY SINGLE ONE that I have dealt with, several times, suddenly pop up as unread, as do days-old chat windows, which are now blank, but taking up window-space. This is incredibly frustrating, and I'm not the only one having this problem.
So, possible theories and their accompanying solutions:
1) My cache is full, and so the site is reloading from cache instead of the page itself, or something like that. Solution: clean out cache. Salambander's OTT response: clean out cache, cookies, site preferences, and every other little ticky box that Firefox offers. Result? I see my profile, nice and up to date... until I navigate to Elsewhere on Facebook, and then try to go back to Profile - suddenly there I am, staring into the past again. Fail.
2) There's something fishy going on between Firefox and Facebook. Solution: use a different browser. Salambander's OTT response: try it on Chrome, IE, my phone, six different computers on 3 other networks. No change. Fail.
3) My profile has been hacked. Solution: change password. Salambander's OTT solution: change password to something ridiculously long and difficult to type. No change. Now I have a stupidly long password, but hey, it's secure.
4) This is limited to my profile. Test: log in as someone else. Result: theirs is fine. Bastards.
5) Have I tried turning it off and on again (suggested by Charmed)? Test: deactivate account for 24 hours. Result: it seemed to be fixed. But it was just messing with me. Oh look. It's still broken.
So, the next logical step - see if Facebook have even noticed the Massively Frustrating Bug. So I go onto the help centre, hoping to see a "Got a bug? Email us and we'll fix it" button. Nope. It turns out that when something breaks on Facebook, you post it (un-moderated) on their (incredibly vague and disorganised, and also un-moderated) "help forum", where other equally clueless members join you in your lamentations or try to offer clueless advice, and the developers ignore you completely. Nice one, guys, way to keep the eejits out of your hair - not a nasty jibe at random people, but rather an observation based on the list of "most common questions", including "What do the green dot and half moon icons in Chat represent?" But this is not a post aimed at bashing the general public. That won't fix this bug.
This is a post asking what the hell has happened since Facebook installed that update, why it's affecting only a few hundred thousand people scattered across the globe, and why no one has fixed it yet?
Some skilled Googling led me to their bugs page, to which only people who have been approved can post (and apparently the process of sending an "Is you Hooman?" email takes more than three hours). I could, however, search the currently reported bugs, and check their stati/statum/statuseses/how fixed they is, but sadly "profile lag" "profile time delay" "notification delay/lag" and so on turned up nothing remotely resembling the bug that quite a few other people beside myself have posted about online. Thing is, people have been posting their questions to places like Yahoo! answers, and so on - not exactly the first place a Bug Fixer will look, is it?
I understand that if they were to open up bug reporting to anyone and their armpit, Facebook would be inundated with "I 4got my paswerd, pls help" messages, which is crap indeed. But somehow this feels a bit like banging my head against the rectum of an elephant with tummy rot.
Has anyone else had this problem/read something helpful about it/found a work-around? I'm throwing this post in to hopefully feed a conversation about it - I've been hunting for posts like this from better-informed people, to no avail. It's driving me mad! I've done my best but it still feels like I've achieved nothing, except to narrow it down a bit:
Failbook... I think we need to talk. It's not me. It's you.