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'Facebook dead' prank makes it easy to lock others out of accounts

Associated Press Published: January 7, 2013
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“Facebook is dead today. No one is on.”

“Wait, it says I’m dead! What??”

The scenario above probably seems a little unlikely, but that’s what happened to one man last week.



ABC News reports Rusty Foster, 36, of Maine, discovered he was locked out of his Facebook account Thursday because it had been turned into a memorial page after someone reported him dead.

The social network’s new memorialization request form has made it easy for users to remove others from Facebook by linking to an obituary and typing in basic information.

Facebook sent a statement to ABC News, explaining the memorialization is designed to protect the privacy of the deceased and his or her family. There is also an appeals process if accounts are “mistakenly reported or inadvertently memorialized.”

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