Facebook Messenger took to its official Twitter page on May 29 to promote the popular HBO series Westworld via a link to a chatbot, but sent fans to the wrong account page entirely. In the shortest possible terms, the URL in the link Facebook Messenger included with its tweet was intended to send fans to talk to a chatbot associated with HBO. Instead, the company ended up sending those fans to an account held by a Kentucky woman by the name of Lisa West. West's account, as it turns out, is not at all associated with either the show or HBO. That resulted in West receiving around 20 unsolicited messages from fans of the TV show before Facebook Messenger realized the mistake. The tweet was up for several hours before the issue was corrected.
The problem appears to have stemmed from West's choice of URL for her Facebook homepage. Facebook Messenger had linked to the account at "messenger.com/t/westworld," which also happens to be the user in question's account. For West's part, she was reportedly able to simply deny chat requests from those who had clicked the link. With only around 20 messages being sent, that's a relatively small problem to overcome for most users. However, the problem itself could have easily been much worse and it's not really clear how Facebook's Messenger employees or social media representatives managed to miss the error. A simple test click on the link, or a check of the URL itself before adding it in the first place, would have quickly revealed the error.
After the error occurred and was discovered, Facebook has removed its tweet and reposted the correct link. For those who may be interested, that can be found at "m.me/westworldHBO" as shown in the image below. Incidentally, that's the only part of the message Facebook appears to have gotten wrong. The new link redirects to the official Westworld Facebook Messenger bot, Tes. Users are basically able to use the link to chat with Tes in the Messenger app and sign up to become a Westworld "Elite Status" member, which unlocks unspecified "exclusive updates." The company has reportedly reached out to West with an apology, as well.