Covered in Scorpions -
Mar. 13th, 2013
That's pretty messed up - a few days ago Facebook decided to accuse me of not being a real person, and challenged me to identify 5 friends from randomly selected pictures. That would be easier if half the pictures weren't indistinguishable baby pictures, and if Facebook hadn't aggressively encouraged me to 'friend' everyone I've ever met in the slightest capacity many of whom I have no idea what they look like today since I last saw them 20 years ago, but I managed to barely defeat the challenge, and regained access to the account.
24 hours later it decides to accuse me of not being real again, and this time it wants a phone number to confirm that I'm a person. So I give it a phone number. "We're going to send a text now, okay?" Well, no, that phone number can't receive a text, and I don't have one that does. "In that case just scan and send us some government-issued photo ID!"
What the hell? This isn't a high-security dealy like a bank account, it's Facebook, and there wasn't any valid reason for the accusation in the first place - the only reasons I can conceive of for this happening are either that I have a funny name that has matched some new no-fake-names algorithm, or someone has decided to report my account as a fake and Facebook just arbitrarily takes someone's word about such things a second time even after the accusee has jumped through hoops to show the accusation to be false less than a day earlier.
But it's worse than that, because Facebook has become such a ubiquitous thing that many sites have a "log in using Facebook" button - so Facebook deciding to randomly cut you off from your account isn't just cutting you off from their service, they're cutting you off from an unknown number of other services too.
And it's worse than that too, because the remedy "send us photo ID", which I'm willing and able to do because they do say "obscure any parts that aren't relevant", and I have a scanner and am okay with Photoshop (what the hell would my mother in law do with this situation?) ... this remedy isn't actually processed in a timely manner, so even if you're willing and able to jump through hoops you're still cut off from whatever accounts you use Facebook to log in to for an arbitrary amount of time.
Yet another reason why I wish "log in using Facebook" buttons were replaced with "log in using singlepassword.com", a hypothetical nonexistent service for which you would create an account as anonymous as you like and use it to log in to any other accounts.