Earlier today, BGR broke the news that a possible Facebook glitch or hack was disabling user accounts. We have now received a response from a Facebook spokesperson, who has confirmed that a bug is to blame for the mass-deactivations. Facebook’s official statement is as follows:
Earlier today, we discovered a bug in a system designed to detect and disable likely fake accounts. The bug, which was live for a short period of time, caused a very small percentage of Facebook accounts to be mistakenly disabled. Upon discovering the bug, we immediately worked to resolve it. It’s now been fixed, and we’re in the process of reactivating and notifying the people who were affected.
While the number of disabled accounts is undoubtedly a small percentage of Facbook’s total subscriber base, the number of users impacted by the bug is easily in the thousands. Facebook assured us that it is in the process of restoring affected accounts, however, and that everything should be back to normal soon.
UPDATE: We also asked Facebook about the odd request for a scanned ID which, to us, sounded extremely fishy. As it turns out, these requests were legitimate. Facebook clarified that in some account deactivation cases when no other options are available, users may be asked to provide valid IDs. One of the results of today’s bug was apparently the initiation of this process for affected users.