Tumblr Says Data Corruption, Not A Hack, Responsible For Strange Posts Appearing On Users' Blogs

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Tumblr is claiming that it was an infrastructure failure, and not a “hack” which has caused seemingly random posts to appear on a number of users’ blogs. The issue, which was reported widely on both Twitter and through Tumblr blog posts from affected users, saw posts which users themselves had not created, showing up on their personal blogs. These ranged from more innocuous content, like photos from picture-sharing site We Heart It, to seriously “NSFW” content, including pornography.

According to a Tumblr spokesperson, the issue was not one involving an outside hack of some sort. Instead, the company explains the problem was of a more technical nature:

Earlier this morning, an infrastructure failure lasting roughly fifteen minutes led posts created in this window to become corrupt. No data was lost, but this has been causing inconsistent behavior for these affected blogs. Our engineering team is working quickly to correct the situation.

What made the situation worse, was that some users said that they couldn’t log into their dashboards or delete the errant posts after realizing their blogs had become compromised. This, in turn, led to reports that Tumblr may have even been hacked, a theory put forward by TechRadar for example, which was among the first to report the news.  According to that post, Tumblr had put out a tweet stating that the company was working to “quickly to remedy performance problems with some blogs.”

More recently, the company posted an tweet confirming that users’ blogs had been affected and the issue was being addressed:

Our engineering team is working quickly to repair an issue causing incorrect posts to appear on a small number of affected blogs.

— Tumblr (@tumblr) August 21, 2013

Our engineering team is working quickly to repair an issue causing incorrect posts to appear on a small number of affected blogs.

— Tumblr (@tumblr) August 21, 2013

Tumblr users also reported to TechCrunch that the site was down around 9 hours ago, and other users have posted complaints about the length of the outage, one noting, for example, that Tumblr’s public response came around 12 hours after the problems were being reported.

Image credit: Blissfulinsights on tumblr

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