My wife emailed me this morning to let me know that her Facebook page had inexplicably been disabled. Sure enough, she’s no longer listed as a friend, and I’m no longer married “to” Carolyn Ford — I’m just married.
My go to check for Facebook issues is a Twitter search — if it’s a widespread issue, Twitter usually returns a lot of hits — and sure enough, a search for “Facebook Disabled” returns thousands of hits and counting. Try it and see.
Interestingly, every single complaint seems to be coming from female members of Facebook. The only men I see complaining are complaining on behalf of a female they know or work with.
Most of the accounts have been disabled for being “inauthentic” and several people are reporting that they can only get it back by uploading a “government issued” photo ID. Sketchy.
To make matters worse, Facebook provides no way that I can find to actually contact someone, or submit a report about the issue. Why the fuck a social community makes it so flipping difficult to actually get in touch with someone to address an issue is beyond me.
That this happened the day after they roll out a revolutionary new messaging system leads me to believe someone screwed something up, but here’s hoping they resolve the issue soon.
Meanwhile, I guess I’ll have to resort to emailing my wife.
Boy Genius Report picked up my tip about this, and they’re speculating that it could be a hack. Given the request that disabled users scan and upload a “government issued photo ID” and send it in, I think that’s a pretty likely scenario.
Facebook is confirming that this was a bug — not a hack — and says they’ll be reactivating accounts as quickly as possible. BGR received a response from Facebook which says they discovered the bug almost immediately.
Which raises some questions:
- Why force people to freak the hell out on Twitter? Why not deploy a system which drops a dismissible banner notification across the top of every Facebook page until the problem is fixed? Facebook has a real problem with transparency and that seems like such an easy problem to solve.
- Really? Facebook’s solution to “proving” that a person is who she says she is, is to disable an account without warning and ask the affected person to scan and upload their driver’s license to Facebook’s servers? 1) That is some scary bullshit and 2) who in their right mind wouldn’t get suspicious about something like that? Fuck that. I’d sign up for a new account before I’d give Facebook my driver’s license.
- Why only women?
- I hate being a nobody and having to settle for letting bigger sites “break” stories. Pout. Oh well, the larger point was to make sure people saw that this wasn’t an isolated incident and it led to an official response. Win-ish.
Carolyn’s account is back up.