You might’ve heard of a story of a man, who deleted his entire startup with a single line of code, rm –rf. The story which was shared virally all over the internet turns out to be a joke. In other words, another day, another internet hoax.
Marco Marsala, the owner of the company explained that the story was something of a viral marketing scheme for his startup, which outsources server management services, according to Italian publication Repubblica. Marsala had posted to the Server Fault forum to ask for help after allegedly deleting his company by deploying the command “rm -rf” across all his 1,535 servers using Ansible.
That man who "deleted his entire company" with a line of code? It was a fucking hoax. https://t.co/ShxIAzxwn2
— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) April 16, 2016
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.
Most of the commenters on the forum said that there was no way to recover those files. And, even some suggested seeking legal help for deleting such amount of client data. Marsala later reveals the fact that it was a joke, but he insists on the fact that Ansible actually prevents such large scale mistakes, and that the situation he described “cannot happen” with that tool.
However, at the end, he and his company have been made popular with a simple trick. This proves that don’t believe everything that read on the internet.