A Facebook user who happens to be a “very vocal” critic of the social network has been unsuccessfully attempting to retrieve his personal data via the Facebook archive download tool for weeks. Coincidence?
Sophos’ Naked Security blog shared the story of John Alarcon, who has criticized Facebook on forums including his status updates, questions and discussions on Facebook, comments on friends’ posts, and comments on Facebook-related articles posted by Sophos.
Alarcon told Naked Security that Facebook created an email address for users who want to extract their personal data, email@example.com.
An autoreply from that email address directed him to an archive download tool, which failed.
He then tried another personal data requests form on Facebook, and was asked to send a copy of his driver’s license, only to receive an email instructing him to use the archive download tool that he had already unsuccessfully tried.
Alarcon added that he tried to submit a bug report, but he believes Facebook is preventing him from doing so because he has not received the automated responses users of the social network usually get after submitting bugs.
Lisa Vaas, the Sophos author of the blog post, said she wrote Facebook February 28 about the issues experienced by Alarcon and has yet to receive a response.
Alarcon told Naked Security he has deleted most of his anti-Facebook posts, adding:
I strongly suspect that Facebook has crippled my account due to my outspoken criticism. It is no secret that I intend to leave Facebook as soon as I have a copy of my data (I status’d this intent publicly), and it’s sure feeling like a strange coincidence that they won’t even accept a basic bug report from my account now after I’ve tried numerous times to use a basic feature that’s seeming still working for others.
Readers: Do you think Alarcon’s issues are a coincidence, or is Facebook getting back at him for his outspoken criticism of the social network?
Screen shots courtesy of Naked Security.