The man deleting his entire company due to bad code story is a marketing ploy

The majority of users agreed it was unlikely Mr Marsala would ever be able to recover his data

Over the past two days, a story has been making the rounds on the Internet: That of a man who accidentally erased his entire company with a single line of bad code. This man, Marco Marsala,  runs a small hosting company with over 1500 websites, and he supposedly erased everything mistakenly. In fact, even the server backups seemed to have been gone since they were mounted at the time the command was executed. 

It all sounded like a terrible day for the man, who had posted about this predicament on the Server Fault forum.

“I run a small hosting provider with more or less 1,535 customers and I use Ansible to automate some operations to be run on all servers,” Marsala wrote. “Last night I accidentally ran, on all servers, a Bash script with a rm -rf {foo}/{bar} with those variables undefined due to a bug in the code above this line.” is what he posted, and the responses he received either joked at his plight, or lectured him that he should have taken precautionary measures.

Before this story started making the rounds and got published on major publications, no one knew who Marco Marsala was. Now, just about everyone knows him as the man who erased his company due to a single line of bad code.

The story seems to have spread like wildfire, and it all appears to be a genius marketing ploy by Marco himself, who revealed to an Italian Publication that it had all been a ploy to publicize his company.

On one hand, his plan to market his company proved to be wildly successful. On the other hand, this story sounds so ridiculous to even be true, which is why it is a wonder that it was picked up by journalists. This goes to show that the media is on the lookout for a good story, and its accuracy is not very important. Just a bit of fact-checking could have helped prevent this hoax from spreading, but the media was more focused on getting the story out rather than actually checking whether it is true.

What do you think?



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