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3 On Your Side: Facebook Lock-out Issue

chris-may-web Chris May
Chris May is anchor of CBS 3’s Eyewitness News at 5, 6 an...
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By Chris May

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 3 On Your Side wants you to know about a Facebook problem that is affecting its members across the country.

Users are saying they’re mysteriously getting locked out of their own accounts, and they can’t get answers as to why they were locked out.

Karina Moreno admits that she’s addicted to checking Facebook.

“Every single day, on my phone. If it’s not on my phone, on my computer,” says Moreno.

Recently, Karina says Facebook locked her out of her account without any explanation. The page was still up, but she could not log in.

“It asked me to submit a government-issued photo ID, so I automatically assumed it was a scam,” explains Moreno.

When she contacted Facebook, she was told it was not a scam — Facebook really needed a copy of her identification.

“Why should I have to submit it to a free social networking site?” she says she asked. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”

We found a number of people complaining online about the same issue with Facebook.

“There’s a lot of people faking profiles and using them maliciously,” explains Chris Morran, the deputy editor of Consumerist.

Morran says he understands why Facebook may want to verify people, especially following the Manti Te’o scandal.

Facebook spokesperson Sarah Feinberg tells us the company doesn’t comment on specific users or specific enforcement actions, but she says the social media site sometimes suspects certain accounts are violating Facebook’s terms and conditions for things like the user being younger than 13 years old, bullying, posting inappropriate content and copyright violations.

As for requiring photo ID, Facebook says they delete the data following verification.

“As long as they’re within the law, they have the right to do what they want,” says Morran. “And you, as a consumer, have the right to not use Facebook.”

Karina insists she did nothing wrong. When Facebook was contacted, the company restored her login and apologized, saying that her account was suspended by mistake.

“I’m against Facebook now, completely,” she says.

Facebook can’t explain why there’s been a rash of issues, but they did update their terms and conditions in December.

The social media company tells us its software automatically picks up when terms are violated, but they won’t tell users exactly what term they violated because Facebook doesn’t want people to game the system.

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