Earlier today privacy scholar Jillian York noticed something and tweeted about it: She was unable to block either Mark Zuckerberg or Priscilla Chan on Facebook.
Update: Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are the only two people on Facebook that users cannot block. https://t.co/CwBGuQGkTW
— Jillian (@jilliancyork) August 31, 2017
I decided to try and–what do you know–I was also unable to do it. Facebook served up a message saying, “This profile can’t be blocked for now,” but that I could report it for abuse.
Hmmm, interesting. Does this mean it’s impossible to block the Facebook founder? I reached out to Facebook, and a spokesperson explained that when an account gets blocked many times in a short period, others trying to block the account may get an error message. In essence, a lot of people are blocking Mark and Priscilla—so many, in fact, that they are preventing others from blocking them, too.
This is apparently not a new phenomenon, as Facebook users have been reporting this issue for a while now. The spokesperson added that I could try blocking them again later. Maybe I will.