Facebook activated my dormant account and it won’t let me deactivate it

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

I am angry. I will walk you through the steps of what has happened. Here is the historical background:

1.) In late 2008, I signed up for Facebook.

2.) In early 2012 I deactivated my account.

3.) On March 14th, 2017, Facebook suddenly reactivated my account. I received this email:

I have done nothing to reactivate my account. I do not want an account on Facebook. I have been happy to live without Facebook for the last 5 years. The email says “If you were not the one who reactivated this account, please visit our Help Center.” I click that link and it asks me to login. I try the old password that I used on unimportant accounts a few years ago:

I try another old password, which I used to use for unimportant accounts, and they recognize this second password.

I am concerned that they knew that I used this password on several different sites. How did they know that? I suppose they keep an automated list of passwords that have been hacked on other sites, when those hacked passwords are made public? If so, that much is reasonable. I hope that is what is going on. (I certainly hope they didn’t buy some other site of which I was a member, and then perhaps they found that the other site was keeping the passwords as plain text).

I’m willing to change my password so I can log in and delete my Facebook account. However, they do not offer a wealth of options for verifying my account:

What kind of photo ID do they want?

In other words, I can not cancel my account, except by giving them a government issued ID. I do not want to give this information to Facebook — this is an invasion of my privacy.

I try to get around their restrictions by feeding them a random image:

No luck. They are going to verify this:

To summarize:

1.) After 5 years, Facebook suddenly reactivated my account.

2.) I do not want a Facebook account. I simply want to log in and delete the account.

3.) Facebook won’t let me log in unless I give them a government issued ID.

4.) I do not want to give Facebook a government issued ID. This is an invasion of my privacy.

Also: Facebook has started to send me an email every time one of my friends uploads an image or comments on a status. I assume these were the email settings that I had in place during the era of 2008 to 2012. I feel frustrated that I can not change my email settings without first giving Facebook a government ID.