Are you one of those people who wouldn’t take a selfie to save your life? If so, you may soon have trouble logging into your Facebook account, as the social media goliath is reportedly mulling over a selfie-centric security layer that could be deployed to separate bots from real people.
A screenshot of Facebook’s most bizarre new feature surfaced on Twitter and shows a pop-up of a message that reads: “Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face. We’ll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers.”
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
Most websites use some form of captcha – that screen where you have to decipher those squiggly letters or click a box to prove you’re not a robot – to prevent spambots from taking over. But Facebook’s newest feature could prove extremely controversial to people who want to use the platform without identifying their physical appearance.
In a statement to Wired, Facebook explained that the selfie captcha system is meant to “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.”
While Facebook declined to say how long this particular verification scheme has been in place, reports from disgruntled users started cropping up as far back as April. Some people even claimed that they had been logged out of their account pending a review of their submitted photo.
Earlier this month, Facebook raised eyebrows by announcing a system that would encourage users to submit their nude photos to combat revenge porn. The company claimed to have developed that would automatically scan the photos, create digital fingerprints, and then instantly delete them if they were ever posted again.