The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

Facebook bug targets and shuts down profiles of female users

Facebook A growing group of Facebook users is taking to Twitter to complain that their profiles have been hacked. And the vast majority of them happen to be female.

“Not only has facebook been hacked, but it was hacked by an apparently sexist hacker,” one user wrote. “Only in the 21st century folks.”

Some are claiming that their passwords have been changed, others are saying that their entire profiles have been disabled. To get back in, a few users said that they were asked to send a scanned image of government identification, such as a driver's license.

In a statement from Facebook, the company acknowledged discovering 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.”

The horrified tweets started this morning.

“I miss my Facebook…I’m locked out, I hope I can get back on today!!!” one woman wrote.

Earlier today, Jessica Boyer, 29, a public relations executive from Beverly Hills, realized that the password she had used for three years was no longer working. Shortly afterward, her account seemed to be disabled. She was prompted to send in an image of her identification, which she declined to do.

As of Tuesday afternoon, she still can't access her profile.

“I’ve never posted anything controversial or fraudulent, so I knew I had a legitimate account,” she said. “I need Facebook for work. It’s all very frustrating, especially for people who depend on it.” Request


Twitter hooked by phishermen, hackers. Facebook users beware

Facebook site hit by outage

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

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