Facebook Follies

Callowman writes:

In the past few hours, Facebook has had the poor taste to boot several people associated with this blog out, requesting that we upload an image of a government ID to get back in. I am the latest victim.

Suddenly, Google+ is looking a whole lot better. Hell, I assume they already have all the information on my government ID, and a whole lot more to boot. They’re the perfected electronic version of the soulful Stasi snoop in The Lives of Others.

How much information do we need to supply to a free social networking site, anyway? Admittedly, I value the service they provide a great deal. Yet I’m not so sure I’m going to comply with this request. Anybody else have any sensible thoughts on the subject?

About Callowman

An extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happen
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35 Responses to Facebook Follies

  1. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    They blocked me as well. I’m not feeling like complying at this point. More here:



  2. Callowman says:

    I’ll stew over it for a while, at least. I’m not so sure taking a principled stand on the issue makes any difference. If enough people hold out and kvetch about it through other channels, though, maybe they’ll relent.

    All this for their stupid “real name” requirement! And I feel doubly put out that anybody would imagine I’d choose an alias as lame as my real name, which is in fact the name I use on Facebook. If I were going to go fake, I’d choose something more along the lines of “Porfirio Rubirosa”. That guy was cool.


    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

      Well, they want proof that you aren’t anonymous so they can get a higher price for your personal information. The personal information of “Callowman” isn’t worth a whole lot, I imagine. I’m sure the bot that determines this looks for certain warning signs — jokey place of residence, no birthdate, no place of work, weird-sounding name, etc. Anything you’ve done to keep yourself semi-anonymous.

      The message is that Facebook doesn’t want you messing with their product — which is you.

      In the future probably all users will be forced to present an ID. Maybe a Facebook account will be seen as a valid form of ID — maybe even the MOST valid one. And then maybe they can start charging you for the service….

      I want to know what happens to my account now that I’m blocked. It’s still there for people to see? If I can’t use it, I want it shut down and inaccessible. Fat chance of that, I’m sure.


      • Atypical Neurotic says:

        Everyone’s name with most recent profile photo is still in my friends list, but in black type (i.e. no live hyperlink to the profile). If I type one of your names in the search window, it is as if you had never existed…


      • Callowman says:

        Your analysis is spot on, I think. I purposely provide very little information about myself on FB – no college, no high school, no work, etc.

        Prior to my erasure, I looked for you. You were disappeared. All your posts were gone and your name was not returned by a search. You still appeared in my friend list, but your name was no longer a hyperlink.


    • Whenever I rent a car the rental company sees my driver’s license, and whenever I buy alcohol at Target they swipe my license to verify it. I’m probably going to take a picture of it and redact everything except my face and birthdate.


  3. Atypical Neurotic says:

    Do they mean scan the photo page of your passport and attach to an e-mail? What is this? Will this apply to foreign nationals?


  4. Glynn Marshes says:

    Are you guys certain it is legit and not a virus of some kind? I’m asking because I posted a link to this on my FB wall and that’s what people are speculating.

    I’m really upset by this.


  5. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Have there been reports from folks not associated with UR? If several people associated with this blog all got booted simultaneously, and it doens’t seem that a rash of others did, that would be . . . interesting.


  6. Sax von Stroheim says:

    I also got booted.


  7. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    Funniest website comment I’ve seen on this issue:

    “Facebook is racist because it’s harder for minorities to get an ID.”


  8. I haven’t been bugged yet, though.


  9. Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

    This page claims they will accept things like magazine subscription stubs, but the message FB gave me specified color government ID.



  10. Glynn Marshes says:

    My first worry was that it was the rapture.


  11. I’ve been stuck in a deposition for the past few hours with a laptop without WiFi and then my phone wouldn’t log into Facebook. Is this what it’s like to be a contemporary political prisoner? Free the UR 14!


  12. Callowman says:

    It was all just a glitch, says the Orange County Register.


    • Fabrizio del Wrongo says:

      Hmmm. A genuine glitch or was the “detect fake identities” filter temporarily set so as to be too sensitive? Also, was it a glitch when this happened to some people back in late October? How weird.


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