back to article Facebook user locked out of account even with ID

A Facebook user shut out of the service due to a glitch last Tuesday was locked out for a further two days even after she proved her identity. The case of Christine C, a US-based marketing executive who asked us to withhold details of the organisation she worked for, raises wider questions about Facebook's handling of the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Caspian Prince

    Doesn't help to have an unusual name...

    I was locked out of my Facebook account a year ago - apparently only "real people are allowed to have accounts on Facebook." I pointed out that I'd spent a fair amount of money advertising through them over the previous year and that though I may have a slightly unusual name it was reasonably obvious I was a real person. My account was reinstated a week later without much of an explanation as to why it was flagged in the first place.

    Caspian Prince

    Yes, really.

    1. Richard Gadsden 1

      Wasn't there a film out about a year ago?

      Wasn't there a film involving a character called "Prince Caspian" out last year?

      That would probably explain the misunderstanding.

    2. Jimbo 6
      Paris Hilton

      On the bright side...

      Your name does make you sound like a stallion.

      Paris Hilton, cos I had trouble believing that was a real name too

    3. Andy Blackburn
      Thumb Up

      Really, really?

      Seriously, really?

      Your parents had some sense of humour!

    4. Mr Tumnus

      I feel your pain

      I had a similar problem.

    5. James O'Shea

      my condolences

      Perhaps someone should have got your parents something to read other than the Complete Works of CS Lewis. Although it could be worse, they could have selected 'Perelandra'. I'm James Joseph Jonathan. Three guesses as to which book _my_ parents liked.

      In any case, I'd take that kind of bullshit as a hint that perhaps it was time to take my business elsewhere. Personally, I don't have a Facebook page. Or a MySpace page. Or, in fact, a page on any 'social networking' site. If I ever feel the need for putting up my own page on the Internet, I'll do exactly that: get a dedicated server and run my own site.

    6. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Doesn't help to have an unusual name...

      "Yes, really."

      Wow! I am amazed you haven't had a "cease and desist" letter on behalf of Walden Media and Disney yet. The MPAA's shysters must be asleep at the wheel.....

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Inauthentic Identity

    Does that mean that Lady Gaga is banned ?

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Hey Caspian

    Your Mum & Dad could have had a real sense of humour and called you "The artist formerly known as"


  4. nichomach

    So THAT'S why...

    ....I haven't been able to reach Dawn Treader Holidays...


  5. Juan Inamillion
    Thumb Down


    ... would anyone with more than one brain cell use Facebook 'for work reasons' or anything other than idle chit chat about the latest soap episodes. FFS.....

    1. chr0m4t1c

      For real work, maybe

      But that doesn't mean that things like media companies avoid the place too.

      I'd guess the peeps from Zynga use FB for work, too.

  6. Elmer Phud

    Sperical, plural

    "Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited, as is maintaining multiple profiles on the site."

    But they don't check, do they?

    There is a fair bit of chat on the various games groups where it is clear there are peope with multi-multi acounts.

    There are loads of users who have recent pictures that show they are well below the minimum age for Facebook.

    All you need is an email account to confirm registration and email accounts are found falling out of packets of breakfast cereal.

    If they really, really wanted to check they would lose one hell of lot of 'members'.

    All they had to do was own up that they'd fucked up and not do the usual corporate thing of shittng on anyone but themselves.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Using Facebook for Work purposes

    "Christine uses the account for work reasons, using it to manage two groups, and the permanent exile of her account would have meant handing over the reins for this to a colleague."

    Anyone that uses Facebook for their work/business deserves to have their account disabled.

    Especially if they post sensitive information. Hackers will have a field day.

  8. Shakje

    She manages teams in her business with Facebook?

    Is that not the height of stupidity? Kind of asking for problems there...

    1. Ian McNee

      Truly shocking...

      ...probably the kind of company that hosts their critical apps and data on Windows servers!

      Will someone please, PLEASE think of the children!

  9. ElNumbre

    My favorite line:-

    "Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final."

    Then they reactivate it.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    How lucky can you get

    "Christine duly submitted her picture, but was given the cold shoulder and informed that the account had been permanently suspended,"

    All those people that have tried to close their accounts and failed must be insanely jealous.

  11. JaitcH

    Yet another reason to jettison Facebook - and using it for work!

    She should move her groups to another service immediately.

    Obviously FB is ill equipped to deal with basic sort of problem.

    And that idiot who allegedly owns FB thinks he is going to conquer the world?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Jelous Much?

      That "Idiot" doesnt really give a shit about ruling the world so long as his (alleged) 6.9 BILLION dollar worth keeps on getting bigger

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Fake Facebook IDs

    I'm on Facebook with a fake name and fake face. I prefer not to get friend requests from people I work with for one thing, as I prefer to keep work and private life seperate. If I am ever obliged to use Facebook for work purposes that would definitely have to be a different Facebook account, in breach of FB T&Cs in order to avoid breaching my own privacy (which is a human right overriding FB T&Cs). The idea that FB could ever impose their T&C of one account per user is outrageous; a bit like someone owning how email works telling you you are only ever allowed one single email address.

    The fact that people who are not FB customers (advertisers who pay FB's bills are FB's customers, not the users whose attention to advertisers are the commodity FB sells) are starting to consider FB an essential service, in the sense it becomes difficult to walk away if FB screws up your account is worrying.

    What we need is a distributed social network that works like Web 1.0, in that it runs on any number of servers belonging to many parties so as a whole this doesn't belong to any single party. In this sense Web 2.0 is a regression to mainframe central control culture.

    Writing as AC, because I don't want to link this in any way with my fake FB ID.

  13. Blitheringeejit

    Inalienable human rights, and inevitable human behaviour

    This person seems to feel that suspending her Arsebook account is unreasonable, and the kind of thing which she has the right to refer to a 3rd party for publicity and help in resolving - almost as if she has some kind of legal right to have her account reactivated, and indeed to use Arsebook in the first place. But Arsebook accounts are granted at the whim of Arsebook, and they have no moral or legal obligation to treat people fairly - as they have often demonstrated. Anyone who manages to end up depending on it for their work is just not thinking properly.

    The problem with Arsebook is not what Arsebook actually does, but how people have decided to perceive and use it (the South Park episode "You Have 0 Friends" is recommended viewing on this subject). Just as it provides new ways to make friends and keep in touch, it also provides new things to fall out about, and new ways of insulting and abusing people.

    But only for those who insist on taking it seriously. It's a toy, people - play away by all means, but don't assume it will still be there tomorrow, and if you don't like what's happening on it, just stop going there. And above all, don't try to use it as a way of making a living, unless your name is Zuckerberg.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Gov-issued ID's

    1)Scan your passport

    2)Submit it to an internet service known for its security

    3)Find out in the news, that you've just participated in Mossad operation somewhere in Dubai



    AC, obviously.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      and that's just the problem.

      Ironically, no one can steal your identity if you don't have any formal documents to identify yourself with.

      So the solution to identity theft *wheels out Jacqui Smith* is obviously to give everyone formal documents to identify themselves with /facepalm.

      It's like trying to combat muggers (didn't Jacqui say she was scared of them too?) by asking everyone to carry around a wad of £50 notes. And for every wad of cash the government issues, it will keep an equal amount in a poorly/un-guarded safe/cardboard box behind the police station and we all have to pretend that the money is safe. Madness.

      And the worst part is, all that money will get claimed back directly through taxation anyway so the government doesn't really give a shit whether it's stolen or not. They just want to see if they can make us do things that we can plainly see are illogical.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    I said it before

    and I'll say it again... the fact it only affected "some women" makes it sound like some geeks at FB hatched a plan to get the home address of these women. Copies of government id should make it easy to stalk them later.

    Facebook should be doing an internal audit to ensure the safety and security of these women has not been compromised.

  16. BomBom


    "Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason." > ... bunch of liars > ..."Your account has been reactivated and you will now be able to log in."

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Its requests for the upload of confidential ID documents also seems like overkill"

    Well, there's a neat little problem. What else is there? Right, so the "standard" approach is just to require you handing over your entire identity. And you only have one, or at least, most governments issue (most people) exactly one number, name to be supplied by your parents, and then the bureaucrats conveniently pretend that to be the entirety of you. We have no other formal ways of "identifying ourselves". It's probably time we worked on changing that, gave ourselves more options, that sort of thing.

    I mean, it _would_ make eminent sense for government ID to only be usable for governmental purposes to the point of forbidding non-governmental parties to even ask for it. In fact, not doing that amounts to feature creep. But then various parties will cry bloody murder because they'll feel left out in the cold, and rightly so. And there's nothing wrong with accomodating them, but to untangle the mess we'll need more options, more ways of looking at the problems, and finding good ways to solve each, then combine those many solutions in a system that does all that in a way convenient for everybody while safeguarding privacy as much as possible.

    Yes, this is a long way from existing now, yet we are increasingly in need of such a system.

    1. copsewood
      Big Brother

      some IDs should be single

      And some should be multiple. Taxpayers don't like people claiming benefits or tax allowances through claims involving multiple IDs. Bank charges would be even higher than they are if banks established identity for new accounts less securely, but there are good reasons for having more than one bank account. The ID I have with my bank isn't the same as the ID I have with the passport office. I may choose to use one to establish the other but I may choose to use my driving license instead, yet another ID.

      The reason for cultivating an ID which can be inherently one of many is that you may want to invest in its reputation. I have many email addresses. Some I create and throw away for a single sender, e.g. if supermarketX give me a special offer on condition I give them an email address I will create and they will get supermarketx@my.domain given to them so I know if it gets sold on who did this, and so I can terminate the contact possibility whenever it suits me.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Had a similar problem

    I had a similar problem with a fake account I set up. FB insisted that thay'd had complaints it had been abusing other users and then that my email address was invalid.

    (Despite the fact that it had been successfully used to send me email before and also when telling me it was invalid, they never actually tried to connect to my mail server, just some internal process went "ah,, DENIED")

    It was only "friends" with my real account and hadn't abused anyone. I can't disagree that it was breaking the rules, but never abused any other user.

    After a few emails back and forth (with similar comments "your account is deleted and can never be re-enabled, it's impossible") it was re-enabled.

    You do have to play the game though. You need to carefully read and follow instructions. Those instructions are only viewable if you have access to the relevant "help pages" (which means you will have to have an account, so if you are a genuine single account user, you're screwed)

    Bizarrely, despite killing the account, it was still listed as a friend to my real account and I could still see all my profile details etc... Just not login. They couldn't even delete it properly.

    Also, it's a female account and has survived the latest round of fake account deletion!

  19. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    a US-based marketing executive

    Sorry, but I'm with Bill Hicks on this one.

  20. WinHatter

    Don't take that as a hobble

    take it as an opportunity to do something useful ...

    /mine's the one with the locked out TheVulture account.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Jamie Kitson

    Two Things

    The note from Sophos is right, a friend of mine is still the subject of a car sale scam due to him putting a photo of his passport on flickr about five years ago. (

    I was in China recently and tried to access Facebook (using a proxy). After arriving in Hong Kong I tried to access Facebook and was asked to name five friends, specified by photos. I thought this was quite a good security check, but I suppose this is a different issue.

  23. splaw

    All of you bashing FB advertising

    I don't know if anyone has noticed but companies forming their own facebook pages is turning into quite a business. Using social media to advertise is popular and is a valid means of doing so. Check out how many companies out there are using this, in some cases only using FB instead of developing their own web page. No computer training needed. So expensive devs involved.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Do I breach FB's T&Cs?

    I am British with a British name. I have a FB account, but I don't use my British name on it, because I choose not to. Instead, I make use of a foreign language's version of my name. It doesn't use the alphabet, either, so I use a romanization of a foreign language's version of my name. As it happens, I now live in that country, and people here know me by the name whose romanization forms my FB account. Does this mean I breach FB's T&Cs? The problem with making draconian rules, such as FB's, is that they can easily be found to be wanting and even stupid. A good case could be given for me to have two FB accounts: one for the people in the country I live in, and one for my friends and relatives back in the UK: the names would have to be different, because I am known by different names in either place. Unless one is using names for the purposes of fraud, in the UK you can choose to be called whatever you like, and FB's T&Cs need to pay attention to this. I would never send any official documentation to them to attempt to "prove" who I am, even if I could piut my hands on some.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Of course I have multiple accounts

    My friends are not all friends with each other.

    Of course I have multiple accounts. Who wouldn't? Unless you're part of a church group that doesn't permit you to make friends with anyone else we all have divided social lives.

    And the idea of having your real name for everybody to see is plain retarded. I'm getting sick of facebook being the natural monopoly.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like