Imagine having your Facebook account, messenger, and ads account ripped from your hands due to a Facebook glitch. Horrifying, right? That’s what happened to me.
I’m hoping this can spread enough that the bug may get fixed, so here’s the story.
I go by Hazer Live. Last week I was updating my recovery email and making sure all my backup information was in order on Facebook. This was spurred by Facebook’s own suggestions that this information be updated and/or confirmed. At the end, Facebook prompted me with a security checkpoint to verify my identity. No biggy right? WRONG! In a few clicks, I was cut off from a huge part of my online network. I had no way to save my profile, no way to access my contacts, and no way to contact Facebook about a fix.
I’m sure this would be a better headline if I had lost a massive account, but that’s the problem. I didn’t have millions of followers, I’m just an ordinary Facebook user. I do make a living off the network I had built up there which is why this hurts.
Here’s the frustratingly simple way I lost my maxed out account and all my messages for the last 10 years on Facebook:
It was a run of the mill security check, just select your phone number, they will send a SMS, and boom good to go. I didn’t get the text, so I resent the message. Still no text. At this point, I looked up the issue and found out that I could text Facebook from my phone and activate my text notifications. I thought maybe that would fix it. I sent a message to Facebook from my phone and it gave me a verification link. Wooho! Fixed it… Nope… I went to the link and got text notifications turned on. Thinking this would solve the issue I refreshed my security check, and that’s when disaster struck! The page reloaded but there was no longer a number to select.
My heart sank, In the image, you can see my options. LOG OUT or CONTINUE. If I clicked continue the red error message popped up saying please select a phone number. As you can see there is no number to be selected.
I started to panic a bit. I realized I was still logged into messenger on my phone, so I still had access to my account settings. I even found a way to get into my actual mobile feed though messenger settings. I thought maybe if I deleted my phone number then added it back that would fix it. I got the email that the number was deleted. I got the email that the number was added back. I tried again to log into my account. I was sent to the same broken security checkpoint. I turned on two factor authentication, everything I did kicked me back to the security page. Fast forward a week, and this has happened to me now so many times I’ve lost track. Facebook has never replied and probably never will.
I sent password reset requests thinking maybe that would help, I used my trusted contacts, I tried everything, and I encountered a new error saying “you have requested too many codes try again later”. I gave it a couple days of trying nothing to get that issue reset.
At this point, I was searching everywhere for a fix. I couldn’t find information about my particular bug anywhere. I have lost entire days trying to track down help and solve this issue. The biggest conclusion I have is that my account isn’t actually blocked, banned, or disabled. I’m also not locked out of my account since I can log in. Which sounds like a good thing but I don’t know that it is.
If it was disabled by Facebook, I could start an appeal form (there’s an error message when I try). If I was locked out and couldn’t log in, the recovery methods would have saved me already or I would at least be able to fill out a different form to start the support process. I’ve tried every recovery method. Every single one. I’ve even filled out a couple forms that were grasping at straws at best.
It’s been over a week, and I have tried everything. Nothing has changed good or bad. I’ve started to accept that I lost everything. The first messages with my now fiancee, contacts that took years to pull into one place, and a loyal following of friends and family that were there to help me if I needed a hand moving or working on a project. I’m hoping maybe if this story gets out, this glitch may get fixed. I know it’s a long shot, but I have to try.
About the Author
Hazer Novich (aka Hazer Live) is a commercial and action photographer based in Butte, MT , USA. among his clients are Coca-Cola, ESPN, General Electric, KIA Motors and more. You can see more of his work on his website, and Instagram. I am also linking his Facebook page with the hopes that Facebook come to their sense and help him out.