Covered in Scorpions -

Mar. 13th, 2013

04:43 pm

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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.

Comments:

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From:ravenblack
Date:March 14th, 2013 07:07 am (UTC)
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Also making it super good, now when I get phishing emails saying "You have a new direct message from Facebook Support"; "Your profile is missing required information" A. I have to open them to see if they're real, and B. if I wasn't good with computers I would get my stuff stolen because now I'm expecting emails of that nature. Facebook security procedures, probably causing additional identity theft since whenever they started doing this. (Google tells me it's not just me.)

Also it's been 36 hours without a response - you'd think if they don't have the staff to deal with verifying accounts they'd stop or slow down the arbitrary locking of accounts!
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[User Picture]
From:thewronghands
Date:March 14th, 2013 07:27 am (UTC)
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This sucks, yeah. I don't even have a Facebook account and it sucks. There are a bunch of places where this bites me but I still think it's for the best. Search and Rescue and martial arts people all expect me to have one. I think OpenID was meant to be this kind of centralizing single sign on service, without requiring that one adhere to a Real Names policy, but it hasn't acquired the traction in implementation or prioritization of corporate identity control systems.
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From:drquuxum
Date:March 14th, 2013 10:48 am (UTC)
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Permission requested to share this post with two friends who are FB employees (e.g. developers).
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[User Picture]
From:ravenblack
Date:March 14th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
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Yes, please do!
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