Facebook plans to weed out ‘suspicious activity’ – but first it needs photos of your face

Facebook plans to weed out ‘suspicious activity’ – but first it needs photos of your face
Facebook has a new plan for protecting its one billion users against “suspicious activity” and fake profiles on its platform – and it hinges on pictures of your face.

Revelation of the social media giant’s “Upload A Photo Of Yourself” security feature sparked furious debate on Twitter Tuesday, with its request for users to provide images of themselves drawing comparisons to the Captcha test, a function that determines whether or not a user is human.  

“Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face. We’ll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers,” the Facebook request read.

The concerned Twitter user said a friend had been locked out of their Facebook page before a pop-up notice asked that they verify their account by “scanning an image of their face.” One commenter described the action as “insane”, while a second said it was invasive. Another person, meanwhile, suggested that the feature offers a legitimate way to stop fake profiles.

A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to RT.com that the request is genuine and that the feature is intended as a way to weed out suspicious activity on user accounts. The spokesperson said a number of actions may prompt the request and all images are subsequently deleted by Facebook after the process is complete.

“Our abuse-fighting team builds and constantly updates a combination of automated and manual systems that help us catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site, including creating an account, sending friend requests, setting up ad payments, and creating or editing ads,” the spokesperson added.

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“When our systems detect suspicious activity, we may ask for the account owner to prove she or he is a real person. One way we do this is to ask the account owner to upload a picture of himself or herself, which we’ll check and then permanently delete from our servers.”

It is unclear when the feature first became part of Facebook’s verification process, or how widely it will be rolled out among its users.