This article was published on October 15, 2019

Facebook is reportedly locking users out for reporting fake accounts

Facebook is reportedly locking users out for reporting fake accounts

In a completely bizarre incident, Facebook is locking people who report scammers, fake accounts, and impersonators out of the accounts for days. Due to this, #FacebookLockout is trending on twitter with many users angry at the social network’s strange behavior.

Here’s what’s happening, if you report an impersonating account, Facebook will lock your account and ask for an ID for verification. However, even if you scan your ID, it won’t let you in. Check out the video below for example:

As Cory Comer, who got locked out for more than a week, highlights in his Twitter thread, this affects Facebook pages and Instagram ads too. That means admins who manage such pages can’t access business accounts, and might even lose money. 

These incidents are not quite new. Some folks were reporting this issue back in July.

This is not just an issue for accessing accounts. There’s a security threat at play as well. Last month, security researcher, Sayeed Joy, created a fake account of Android Police’s founder, Artem Russakovskii, and managed to lock out the real account by reporting it. He managed to get into his account by contacting Facebook, however, he was locked out last night again.

While plenty of users are reporting they got back in the account, some others are still locked out.

TNW sent an email to Facebook to understand more about the issue last night. At the time of writing the story, there’s no word from the company.

There are core questions of ways users can access their accounts and reach out to Facebook support. A lot of people couldn’t reach the support forms, because, well…they were locked out. Plus, there’s no clarification as to why despite providing valid IDs, people were still unable to access their accounts.

There’s an issue of identity theft as well. Like any sane person, you would think of reporting an impersonator using tools provided by Facebook. But they are useless if they kick you out of the account for several days.