by Scott Gustin
(WGHP) — A new prank is spreading across Facebook, and it’s creating headaches and confusion for Rusty Foster and possibly other Facebook users.
A new form has made it too easy to convince Facebook that anyone is dead, at which point the site locks down the user’s profile and creates a memorial page.
Buzzfeed highlighted how easy the prank can be accomplished and tested it on one of their own employees after they were tipped off by Foster. Sure enough, after submitting the “memorialization request,” his page was changed to a tribute page.
The only proof Facebook requests is an online obituary of the same name. Once an account is “memorialized,” there’s little the person can do other than filling out a form that says “I’m alive” and waiting for Facebook to respond.
On Thursday, Foster tweeted “Facebook thinks I’m dead. I’m tempted to just let it,” then “Did you know that you can report any of your Facebook friends dead & Facebook will lock them out of their account with no evidence needed?”
After filling out the form with Facebook,he received this message:
“It looks like your account was suspended by mistake. I’m so sorry for the inconvenience. You should now be able to log in. If you have any issues getting back into your account, please let me know.”