Facebook has begun asking some users to verify their identity and prove they’re not bots by uploading a picture of themselves.
According to a new report from Wired, the new captcha is automatically activated when Facebook detects suspicious activity. The identity verification process is meant to “help [Facebook] 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,” Facebook said.
The picture needs to clearly show a user’s face in order to successfully pass the social network’s security check. According to Facebook, it will delete the image from its servers immediately afterwards, though it’s possible that you may be locked out of your account until it’s verified.
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
“The company declined to share details to prevent the system from being manipulated,” reads the report. “Suspicious activity might include someone who consistently posts from New York and then starts posting from Russia.”
The new identity verification system is the social network’s latest attempt to curb the spread of artificially intelligent “bots” – software applications that run automated tasks over the internet.
It is not clear when Facebook started using the identity verification system, or how broadly it has been rolled out, but some users reported seeing the message as far back as April 2017.
The spokesperson said the photo test was just one of several methods – both automated and manual – used to detect suspicious activity on the social network.