Facebook is asking some users to upload a “clear” picture of themselves as part of tougher security to prove they are not a bot.
Some people have already been prompted to “upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face”.
Failing to comply with the rule has seen users locked out of their account.
The company has confirmed that asking for a picture is part of its ongoing efforts to “catch suspicious activity” and prove the account holder is “a real person”.
Facebook has moved to assure people that once the picture has been used for verification it is not kept on record. Rather it is deleted from its servers.
Twitter user @flexlibris shared a picture of one such Facebook selfie request on Twitter. It had been forwarded by a friend.
Accompanying the screenshot, they wrote: “Facebook is now locking users out of account features, then demanding that those users ‘verify’ their account to get back in by scanning an image of their face. AN IMAGE OF THEIR FACE.”
Although the feature has come to light recently, people have been discussing it online for several months.
Uhhh Facebook just locked me out of my profile & made me take a selfie to confirm my identity?
— DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED (@GreatDestroyer_) July 12, 2017
#Facebook has locked me out of my account until I send them a selfie. Weird.
— Will Hucks (@WillHucksPhotos) June 22, 2017
@facebook I've been locked out my account for two days without a reason given apart from it being a security precaution. I've uploaded another picture of my face to verify its me so please give me access to my account!!!
— Troy Pullen (@teddypullen) November 20, 2017
In a statement issued to the Press Association, a Facebook spokesman said: “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 ads payments, and creating or editing ads.
“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.”