Posted by: Gregoryno6 | October 12, 2010

Thanks for what, exactly, Facebook?

There’s a word for the way they operate over there…

About six weeks ago I tried to log on to my Facebook account*. I was greeted with a request for a mobile phone number. By which means FB could confirm my identity with a code I would enter online.

One: I don’t have a mobile phone. Two: I’d be very reluctant to give it to any bunch of strangers, let alone a bunch of strangers whose website has become notorious for its security issues.

A few minutes of online research revealed that this mobile phone request has been going on for at least a year. There’s a lot of people angry about it. And a lot of them are people who DO have mobile phones and never received the damn code! WTF FB?

Investigation also revealed a somewhat widespread lack of faith in Facebook’s support team. I now share that.

What’s your problem?

You’re asking for a mobile phone number so you can verify my identity. I don’t have a mobile phone.

We can find no problem with this account. Please try to log in again.

Thanks, help desk. Soooooo  helpful.

I forgot about Facebook. Which wasn’t quite as satisfying as it could have been if Facebook hadn’t obviously decided to forget about me first. But having read the horror stories about people who couldn’t access their massive collections of photos, I figured the cold shoulder was not so hard to bear.

And then, suddenly, last week – an email. Someone left you a message! You can read it at this link…

Yeah, right, I thought. But mirabile dictu I was in!

And right after that I had an email from FB help desk apologising for the lockout. They explained that the whole problem had been caused by… ha! Had you going for a moment there, didn’t I? There was an email; it said, Welcome Back! Nice to see you again! Don’t be a stranger!

That word I mentioned? It’s hubris. The lofty arrogance of the gods.

So be it. For divine arrogance, there can only be divine retribution.

(Click on the image to see its full and terrible glory!)

*And what’s he doing with a Facebook account anyway, you ask? Well, there’s a certain pinup princess… she has a lot of pics up there…

Seduced to the dark side by a beautiful woman. It’s an old, old story.



  1. I Imagine that the request for Mobile numbers is so that they can sell them to some marketing company who will then send hundreds of text messages. Never, not ever will they get mine.

    I’ll have to find you on FB?

    • Information is a tradeable asset. There’s that message on the login page FREE AND IT WILL ALWAYS BE FREE but the bills have to be paid somehow.
      I won’t be too difficult to find.

    • Lorraine, they actually use them to verify ownership of accounts in the case of identity fraud. Also, you can update your account by SMS once verified and you can even have pages send you updates.

      As always, there is a payoff for these companies in terms of having more information about you, but with the SMS numbers it’s probably more about suer engagement than dollars directly.

      By keep Facebook “on your mind” by interrupting you with SMS messages you’re more likely to be on the site, bring in more people to use it and provide them with the eyeballs and information about your habits that drives their advertising engine.

      • A new form of ‘pester power’, Paul.
        Thanks for dropping by. Come again.

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