- On Monday evening, Facebook users began claiming they were locked out of their accounts without reason
- Countless tweets shared the same complaint that Facebook had locked users out of their accounts
- Just hours before, Facebook Newsroom said in a tweet the company was updating their data access tools but it is unclear if the update is related
Facebook’s ability to keep the platform stable throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic has been disappointing at best. The first major issue that came after Facebook was removing articles from credible sources related to COVID-19. Just weeks later, Facebook users are being locked out of their accounts without any reason.
I was locked out of my account after sharing an article I wrote on Florida Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne being arrested for disobeying community guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Nothing about the article was incorrect and included statements from Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. Needless to say, the article was far from what could meet the Facebook definition of “fake news.”
This is why I was surprised when I was prompted to prove I was not a bot by picking out images of a crosswalk. Next, I was prompted to enter the phone number linked to my account to receive a code through text to prove it was my account. After completing that, I was prompted to send in a selfie. After doing that, I was greeted by a pleasant message informing me that my account is temporarily gone.
Following the hopefully temporary loss of my account, I did what most people do and went to Twitter for answers. I quickly noticed I was not the only one having this problem. Over the last hour, Facebook users have begun flooding Twitter to ask why they are locked out of their accounts.
I have a business account, wheee I’ve been making and donating hundreds of free masks. I’m locked out now. pic.twitter.com/shmJ4rPbMz— 🏳️🌈Jen🇺🇸 (@jen75_01) March 30, 2020
@Facebook someone hacked my account and set up a 2 factor authentication that I cannot get into. I need help getting back in. Please assist— Austin Sills (@A_Sills56) March 30, 2020
@facebookapp who can i email regarding my Facebook account— Las Vegas Raiders (@The5thborough) March 30, 2020
@Facebook Help! I can't get into my Facebook account— Staceye (@StaceyeFollowMe) March 30, 2020
It’s very bad!!! I have all my pictures of everything there 😡 I am not opening a new account if I don’t get this one. I just want my pictures. I’m sad— vinnie vs everybody (@VinniLivesinNYC) March 30, 2020
Since Facebook has restricted my account for no apparent reason, I will be posting headlines right here on Twitter…so be on the look out everyone….many blessings!— Dina Amelia Kalmeta (@DinaAKalmeta) March 30, 2020
Lmfao Facebook blocked me on my other account i just share shit 🙄— o4/15/94 (@YungSmoove_) March 30, 2020
I want to let my Facebook friends know that I am locked out of my account due to a "Security Check." I'm required to enter a verification code they send to my phone number. Unfortunately, the verification code never arrives. In the meantime, I'm told that my FB page has vanished.— Brother K (@Brother_K_BSM) March 30, 2020
@fbnewsroom @fb_engineering @Facebook @fbplatform @FacebookGaming please can you help me to log into my account? You logged me out & block!! I’m helping medical students & hospitals to get masks and it’s vital for me to get back on #Facebook ASAP #coronavirus #Covid_19 pic.twitter.com/uykApw1iSp— Laviza (@peacockavenue) March 30, 2020
The angry tweets go on and on, and rightfully so. As of now, Facebook has yet to address the unwarranted shutting down of countless accounts. However, there is possibly a clue on the Facebook Newsroom Twitter account. On Monday afternoon the account tweeted, “Updating Our Data Access Tools.”
According to an article from Facebook included in the tweet, the update is to “extend the functionality of our self-service data access tools to help people access data in meaningful ways.” It is possible that through a glitch, instead of giving people easier access to their data, the social media company is mistakingly locking users out of their account. With social distancing being practiced across the globe, Facebook’s latest screwup could not have come at a worse time.