Facebook has started asking users to upload a selfie in order verify they are a real person and not a bot.
The automated verification process checks to see if the photo uploaded is unique and is currently being tested on some Facebook users.
“Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face,” reads a message displayed to users.
Facebook then says that after it has checked the photo it will “permanently delete it from our servers”.
According to reports on social media, some users are suggesting that people are being locked out of their accounts while Facebook verifies the uploaded selfie.
a friend sent me this: 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. pic.twitter.com/T4TIsJFxX8
— can Amy Goodman pls stop inviting Assange on thx (@flexlibris) November 28, 2017
“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,” said a Tweet from one user.
Facebook later confirmed to tech site Wired that the photo verification system is real and is designed to check if an account is legitimate.
A Facebook spokesperson told Wired the feature has been added to the site to “catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site, including creating an account, sending friend requests [and]setting up ads payments.”
“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.
“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.”
The photo verification process is said to be a replacement for the CAPTCHA system which requires users to enter information into a website to prove they are human and not a bot.
Since Facebook began testing the feature, scores of users have taken to Reddit to complain about having to submit a selfie to verify their account.
“I started by uploading pictures that had already been taken, then took a couple of myself. Every time it says the picture is invalid.”
Another comment read: “I just discovered the same problem. I don’t even post anything to Facebook, including pictures, so I don’t know how my picture would help. I only use it because you have to have a Facebook account to create accounts on certain websites or comment on certain sites.
“Since it wouldn’t serve any practical purpose, and I don’t trust Facebook with my picture at all, I’m not going to post one, but still, I would like my account back.”