back to article Facebook bug sin-bins female users

Facebook users found themselves challenged to prove their identity on Tuesday as the social network's system for detecting fake accounts went awry. The bug meant a significant number of (seemingly all female) Facebook users were locked out of their accounts. Many lockouts were told that they were using an "inauthentic" name, …


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  1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Government Issued...

    ...ID. Preferably your Social Security Card.

    Oh, and by the way, we notice you have not filled in the Mother's Maiden Name field on your home page. Please correct.

  2. Tom_

    Not surprising

    Imagine how annoying it will be when that's your email account as well.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Not to mention

      both your business and personal mail account.

      1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

        What Is Your...

        ...opinion of a professional that hands you a business card with a free email account on it?

        Beyond the problem of getting wiped, its a bit damaging to your credability.

        "Real" email accounts are inexpensive, and for the price of a domain registration can even include your business name.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook blocks female users

    Traffic volume falls to 10%.

    Can I hear thunder approaching ?

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Facebook blocks female users

      It's funny what he signed up specifically to say there because women talk a lot, which also means they post a lot on Facebook. So when this bug singled out the female users, the Facebook traffic dropped drastically.

      That is what the commenter was saying with his joke. Very good!

      1. Oninoshiko

        now, now

        He could have been saying that the guys on facebook are only there to get the girls, and on hearing that all of the fairer gender where banned there was nolonger a reason for most of them to be there.

        (Although, you're probibly right. He's probibly being a sexest pig. I suppose even if we accept my alternate explaination, that's still sexest...)

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          And how do you know it was a "he"?

          That is all...

          1. M Gale

            And how do you know it was a "he"?

            Because There Are No Girls On The Internet. You should know this.

            I think the Facebook banning was spot on. Those "girls" are obviously fake. Why, I'm sure even Ms Bee is really a killer robot sent from the future to subjugate humanity to her (!) indomitable will. Rise Of The Machines? You don't know the half of it...

          2. peter tomlinson

            SWMBO knows all

            That is all.

      2. thecakeis(not)alie


        That it's the men who talk a lot and the women who read it. He did say "traffic" dropped to 10%. He did not say "content generation."

  4. DrXym Silver badge

    Poor Farmville players

    All those crops of strawberries needlessly ruined. Won't somebody think of the strawberries?

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Government ID?

    WTF are they on about? How is an image of government-issued ID going to prove anything, even assuming everyone has one? Have FB never heard of Photoshop? Time for me to open an FB a/c for Mrs Miriam Abacha, complete with 'genuine' UK passport, hang on, I suspect she's already got an a/c...

    Every day that passes, I'm more and more pleased that I have nowt to do with FB...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Government issued ID

      is a specific term used in UK anti-money laundering regulations, probably much wider too. It is used as the primary means of identifying yourself, although you have a point about the image being pretty useless

      It just means things like driving licences, passports, gun licences... Ironically though, government ID cards(for MP's etc) aren't included in the list.

  6. LinkOfHyrule

    upload a image from a government-issued ID card

    WTF? Since when has this 419ish tactic been a normal way of identifying yourself to social network sites? Is facebook sponsored by New* Labour or something?

    *lol it's not new any-more is it!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame they weren't locked out of twatter as well..

    'Understandably many long-term users were somewhat nonplussed by this turn of events, with several venting their frustrations on Twitter.'

    ... maybe they would have got a life, for one day anyway.

    1. Francis Fish

      Oh Noes! Obligatory anti-twitter comment by someone who chooses not to use it

      If it's good enough for Saint Stephen the National Asset, it should be good enough for you.

      If you don't like it, don't use it. But stop whining, eh?

      And the twatter thing. Tha's old now. Prehistoric.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        thank god for twitter

        Otherwise these poor folks would not have believed the world was listening to their microblogs on the crisis that is facebook failing.

        Yes twitter is pants and only allows people to feel more self important while spouting mostly irrelevant stuff no-one really cares about, 'Saint Stephen' included.

        And yes did try it again and again and still I could not understand why i should care about other people's verbal diarrhea.

        Mind you, i can cope with being in an empty room, without other people in it.

        1. Neil 51

          Y'know what...

          ...I don't use Twitter either, the difference being I don't care about it enough to pick on people who do. If they enjoy it, fine, everyone's different.

          Why get so annoyed over it? Oh, and the whole Twatter/Failbook/New Liebour replacing of words: To me that's a lot closer to being verbal diarrhoea and a lot more irritating than the things themselves.

  8. dogged

    to be fair

    Up until Tuesday I'd been receiving unsolicited messages marked "hi" or "Hello" from what appeared, from the profile pictures, to be a large series of female nudists.

    These have now stopped.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Me 3

      I expect this was a normal "!=" vs "==" typo (or similar), because it looks like fake accounts were getting created.

      As has been said elsewhere, roll on the arrival of the system with no spam filters.

    2. Chris Harden


      I didnt get any :(

    3. Daniel B.


      I thought those accounts were confined to MSN or whatever that network calls itself now. I'm sick & tired of checking if johannaswissglwabirfdd29 is spam or not.

  9. Inachu


    I would never EVER! give a govt issued photo as an ID to such a provider as facebook.

    They do not qualify for any sort of valid id other than what I choose to provide them such as an email address.

  10. laird cummings


    They binned my daughter's account.

    I'm thinking of sending them a thank you note.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    What Govt Issued Photo ID?

    I don't even have a photo on my driving licence, so what do I give them?

    AC because I haven't updated my driving licence to an ID card thing.

  12. greenmantle

    Pedant perhaps, but...

    "Affected users had done nothing to breach the dominant social networks terms and conditions."

    I fear there may be a small apostrophe missing somewhere.

    Mine's the one with the Lynne Truss book in the pocket.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Since Facebook engineers are all loosers

    This sounds like a scam they cooked up to get pictures of women.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      or more likely

      the home addresses of the hot women....

  14. Anonymous Coward

    The bug, which was live for a short period of time

    What, I thought, is this rubbish English?

    The I reflected that they are actually ahead of me: of course a bug lives!

  15. NogginTheNog

    Says it all

    "users were somewhat nonplussed by this turn of events, with several venting their frustrations on Twitter"

    Uhhhh!!! Facebook down, must Twitter about it....

  16. Petrea Mitchell

    Me too!

    Facebook disabled my account with no warning and no explanation of what rule I might have transgressed so horribly, so my best guess was maybe I'd been judged in violation of the anti-symbol rule by spelling my name correctly. It contains a diacritical mark, which meant uploading my ID (as if I was going to trust FB with a scan of it anyway) wasn't going to help any, since the issuing DMV can't handle non-ASCII characters.

    (You don't see the mark here because many commenting systems can't handle it and aren't intelligent enough to check the input before garbling it, so I don't try it on anything that requires registration before any kind of commenting, because if it gets garbled then I'm usually stuck with it.)

  17. Merrall

    First Phishing email Facebook Down

    Hiya All,

    Just received a phishing email requesting me to download a letter giving details.

    Looks very good - but doesn't address me by name as the real emails do;

    Facebook Service. Your password has been changed. ID208 From: Facebook office <> Hide Add to: To Do, Calendar To: Date:Thu, Nov 18, 2010 6:37

    Dear Customer.

    A spam is sent from your Facebook account.

    Your password has been changed for safety.

    Information regarding your account and a new password is attached to the letter.

    Read this information thoroughly and change the password to complicated one.

    Thank you for your attention,

    Facebook Service.


    PS: hidden my email address as as I don't want any more spam

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      hidden? I thought you were a trendsetter

      I can't wait for the .xxx TLD so that i can try to get a .xxx email address.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    As if

    As if you can tell a fake account by the name....

    Firstly, some people use nicknames or if they don't trust facebook, they might use derivations of their real name, or sometimes a completely bogus name.

    Secondly, fake accounts can have real sounding names, like John Smith or David Critchky, or Barry Jones. Hell all of my fake accounts (yes I have a few - for perfectly legitimate purposes - no really) have real sounding names.

  19. Petrea Mitchell

    Oh, *now* they tell me it's reactivated

    Two days after my account started working again, I get this:



    We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced. Your account was disabled in error. Your account has been reactivated and you will now be able to log in.

    Thanks for your understanding,

    The Facebook Team


    I was amused to see this in the headers:

    X-Mailer: ZuckMail [version 1.00]

    I'm reasonably convinced that's not just a joke insert, because there's also this internal tracking info:

    X-Facebook: from zuckmail ([MTI3LjAuMC4x])

    by with HTTP (ZuckMail);

    And here's how much they'd really like to hear back from me:

    From: Facebook <>

    Reply-To: Facebook <>


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