Remember How A Guy "Accidentally" Deleted His Entire Company? Yeah, It Didn't Happen

"It was just a joke."

Cover image via Echo Getty Images/Cultura RF

A week ago, there was a story doing the rounds of social media about a man accidentally deleting his entire company with one line of bad code. Several mainstream British mainstream publications including The Independent picked up the incredible story.

A screenshot of the story published on The Independent. Take a look at those share numbers!

Image via The Independent

It shocked everyone on the Internet, and why wouldn't it? After all, it was a story of an all-too-familiar messy IT blunder we all go through

Marco Marsala, a man claiming to work for a United Kingdom web hosting company, accidentally "told" his computer to delete everything in his servers, seemingly removing all trace of his company and the websites that he looked after for his customers.

What made the man's story so compelling was the fact that he claimed that he had erased his company with a single line of bad code.

Because the tool he used relayed his code to every single company server, the man claimed that even the company’s backups were deleted.

Image via Giphy

"The problem command was "rm -rf": a basic piece of code that will delete everything it is told to. The “rm” tells the computer to remove; the r deletes everything within a given directory; and the f stands for “force”, telling the computer to ignore the usual warnings that come when deleting files."

In return, people on the forum he had posted his story in, chimed in with advice on how to retrieve lost data, but the general consensus was that all hope was lost for bringing the websites back to life.

"I feel sorry to say that your company is now essentially dead," wrote a user.

Well, after the man made headlines, it was revealed, by Marco Marsala himself, to be just another hoax. In an interview with an Italian newspaper, he acknowledged, "It was just a joke."

Speaking to the Italian publication Repubblica, Marsala explained that the story was something of a viral marketing scheme for his startup, which outsources server management services. "The command that I mentioned in the article is harmless but it seems that almost no one has noticed," he said.

He reportedly told the newspaper that he was merely "trying to drum up attention for his own unnamed startup in a sort of guerrilla marketing scheme."

Image via TNW

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