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Facebook is so desperate for engagement, it's spamming users via their 2FA numbers

Jack Morse

Facebook is feeling lonely these days. 

The social media behemoth has seen a decline in traffic in recent weeks along with millions of users leaving its platform, and it appears to be taking rather drastic measures to win them back. Specifically, spamming the hell out of them in a most unfortunate place. 

SEE ALSO: The time has come to remove Facebook from your life

So says one account holder, Gabriel Lewis, who tweeted that Facebook texted "spam" to the phone number he submitted for the purposes of 2-factor authentication. And no, he insists he did not have mobile notifications turned on. 

What's more, when he replied "stop" and "DO NOT TEXT ME," he says those message showed up on his Facebook wall.

Lewis explained his version of the story to Mashable via Twitter direct message. 

"[Recently] I decided to sign up for 2FA on all of my accounts including FaceBook, shortly afterwards they started sending me notifications from the same phone number. I never signed up for it and I don't even have the FB app on my phone."

Lewis further explained that he can go "for months" without signing into Facebook, which suggests the possibility that Mark Zuckerberg's creation was feeling a little neglected and trying to get him back. 

According to Lewis, he signed up for 2FA on Dec. 17 and the alleged spamming began on Jan. 5. 

A screengrab showing when Lewis first signed up for 2FA on Facebook, and the beginning of the alleged spam.

Image: Gabriel Lewis

We reached out to Facebook to find out just what, exactly, is going on here. Is this some kind of bug? Perhaps a limited test? It's not really clear, as the comment offered from a company spokesperson didn't shed much light on the matter. 

"We give people control over their notifications, including those that relate to security features like two-factor authentication," noted the spokesperson. "We’re looking into this situation to see if there’s more we can do to help people manage their communications."

Importantly, Lewis isn't the only person who claims this happened to him. One Facebook user says he accidentally told "friends and family to go [to] hell" when he "replied to the spam." 

This doesn't look good for for Facebook. Zeynep Tufekci, a self-described technosociologist, professor at UNC, and frequent Facebook critic, voiced some particularly strong concerns.  

As far as Lewis is concerned, Facebook attempts to woo him back have more or less backfired. "I feel like they are constantly pushing me to come back to the service but this is not the way to do it."

After all, no one likes a desperate ex. 

This story has been updated to include a statement from a Facebook spokesperson. 

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