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article imageFacebook pranks TechCrunch with fake 'fax this photo' feature

By David Silverberg     Sep 11, 2009 in Internet
It seems Facebook has a sense of humour: it recently "punk'd" TechCrunch, a blog that profiles start-ups and online companies. Facebook created a "fax this photo" tool for a TechCrunch writer's Facebook profile, and the blog publicized the fake feature.
Ashton Kuchter isn't the only social media maven who gets to punk people. Facebook pulled a major practical joke on TechCrunch yesterday -- everyone in the TechCrunch network noticed a new feature below any photo.
A line read "Fax this photo", leading TechCrunch writers to believe Facebook now allows users to fax photos using a service called efax.com. For $1.50 per photo, Jason Kincaid wrote, Facebook users could send a photo to a friend's fax machine.
He posted the story on the blog before he heard back from Facebook. The story received 61 comments, and was retweeted 252 times, surging across the Web.
But Facebook's reply email later yesterday was a hint of the punking to come:
"Hey Jason, we’ve been testing this product since 1992, and we are thinking that we will be launching this 'innovative' feature at TechCrunch 50. What do you think???"
Ouch.
Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, later posted an article detailing how Facebook pranked TechCrunch with this fake tool. Facebook PR Jaime Schopflin apparently "couldn’t stop laughing for five minutes. Between laughs while catching her breath she mentioned something about this being a joke, that nobody but us could see it, and that they were placing bets around the office on how long before we noticed it and posted. And something else about teaching us to contact them before posting."
Arrington was able to try out the feature, only available to the TechCrunch network. But Facebook fans shouldn't expect to see this phony feature available anytime soon.
More about Facebook, TechCrunch, Michael arrington, Social media, Punk
 
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