PDF Redaction Still Not Working


Facebook’s internal valuation was revealed this week thanks to shoddy PDF redaction. Court documents from a settlement between Facebook and ConnectU showed that Facebook values itself at $3.7 billion, much less than the $15 billion that was speculated during the Microsoft investment. The AP uncovered this by cutting and pasting from the redacted court document. It’s the same thing we showed in our PDF redaction screencast last summer… and it will never cease to be funny.

[photo: Bryan Veloso]

20 thoughts on “PDF Redaction Still Not Working

  1. Can’t we all learn to avoid the official use of the word redaction? Or perhaps embrace the concept that redaction is subject to further reredaction?

    Or maybe, just maybe, industry will recognize that there is no redact key on their keyboard, only a delete key…
    Gah, I just redacted; better clean up…

  2. Facebook is worth shit all. So is Myspace and Twitter and all this static noise. Like those Payback cards it’s about harvesting your data, while in exchange giving you crappy platforms to communicate on, well in case of Payback cards you get a china made plastic beachball…

  3. So facebook turned down an offer by microsoft that was 4x their actual value? Does microsoft really have that bad of a stigma or were they attempting to driver investor interest by playing along?

    Regardless, leave copy/paste on a redaction feature is one hell of a large (hilarious) oversight.

  4. @dubmuffin: As someone who works with this stuff on a regular basis, it’s pretty clear to me that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    1) No, we can’t “avoid the official use of the word redaction”. This isn’t a choice on the part of Facebook, it’s a standard part of legal proceedings.
    2) Facebook is legally required to not change the contents and/or formatting the document, with the exception of blanking out privileged or confidential material. You can’t just delete text– that alters the original document.
    3) PDF redaction is a solved problem. Whatever tool they’re using just sucks. When done properly, it’s possible to scrub the original text from under a document. Or, barring that, you can produce in image only PDF, at which point there’s no question that the text has been removed.

  5. That’s odd — AFAIK the full version of Acrobat has had a *real* “redact” command since about 8.0 (and they’re now up to 9.0). My guess would be they just produced it with an old version of the tool (or using a non-Adobe distiller). Lazy/cheap users != bad product.

  6. redaction reduction reduces obstruction
    and who cannot use some obstruction reduction?

    I’m known to be known for my fair predilection
    and AE-three five series failure prediction

    but documentation frustration deflation
    detection requires some instrumentation

    and courtroom proceedings are when I say when
    and my silly head goes off to rhyming again

    so please excuse me again when I say
    I really could use more than one hack a day

  7. I really like visiting this site and reading the comments, but “MOST” of you make it more difficult each time. When did it become useful to start sentences without capitalization? It just means that I have to read, and then read again before the correct intent of the writer is interpreted.
    Come on….

  8. Ahhh…so it’s not the writers…it’s the software.
    how damn annoying. My apologies to you all. May I re-direct my annoyance to the webmaster.

    Stop re-formatting my text…..or I’ll claim, i don’t know, copyright infringement or something.

  9. @dave

    The whole no-caps thing is probably an attempt to make this feed a little more unique. As for shouting, it’s usually annoying when people do that in speech as well, but that doesn’t mean we should make it so they’re unable to. Besides, not allowing caps would be overkill for such a minor annoyance. While we’re at at it, we could start automatically deleting the first post on every story to reduce trolling.

  10. The cap filter is in the CSS, not in the software. If it really annoys you (it annoys the hell out of me), you can edit the style sheet and remove the

    text-transform: lowercase;

    line from it, then apply it as a custom sheet to this site.

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