Why Facebook Carded Some Users
On Tuesday, Facebook discovered a bug: An automated system designed to detect spammers and people with fake accounts spun out of control, and started challenging a wider set of regular users. It disabled some people’s accounts, and asked them send in a copy of their real-world ID.
Facebook said the issue only affected a “fraction of a percentage” of the social network’s users, and they fixed it within hours. The company also deleted all the ID information that some people sent in.
But the incident raised an interesting question: Why was Facebook asking for real-world IDs in the first place?
Unlike some other social networks, Facebook takes pride (and pitches advertisers) on the idea that its users present their real-world selves. But the ID request isn’t part of a broader effort to verify users’ identities–something that sites in countries such as China sometimes do.