Facebook asks users to upload face photos to prove they're not bots

Soon, you may be forced to upload a clear photograph of your face onto Facebook to prove you aren’t a Russian bot.

The tech giant is using a new kind of captcha (a system designed to distinguish human from machine) to prove that its users aren’t bots. According to a screenshot of the identity test that was posted online, verified by Facebook and reported in Wired, the prompt says: “Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face. We’ll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers.”

The new photo test, which apparently was launched earlier this year but has only shown up in screenshots on Twitter recently, is meant to help the social media company “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,” a Facebook representative told Wired.


The Facebook spokesperson said the photo test is one of several methods, both automated and manual, used to detect suspicious activity, reports Wired.

Facial recognition technology is being used more than before—including to unlock Apple’s new iPhone X, which utilizes a technology called Face ID.

The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social network's efforts to derail suspicious accounts and activity comes amid growing concerns about the impact of Russian-linked activity on Facebook and Google-owned platforms during the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election and during Brexit in the United Kingdom.

This new effort is the second in recent weeks that utilizes photos.

Facebook recently asked users to upload nude photographs to Facebook Messenger as part of its effort to prevent revenge porn, according to The Verge. Facebook told the publication that the images are hashed and later deleted from its servers.