I happily had a Facebook account for about 8 years before deleting it – not disabling it, but deleting it entirely. Nothing was wrong, as such, but after Facebook was launched onto the stock market I found it wasn’t quite the same – I just didn’t like the way it worked any more. Deleting my account SHOULD, according to Facebook, have removed all links to my now defunct account, including my email address.
But then, several months later I started getting new notification emails from a Facebook account that definitely wasn’t mine, and wasn’t in my name. When I politely and formally contacted Facebook to let them know someone seemed to be using my personal email address without my knowledge, they dismissed my claim, insisting there was no Facebook account linked to my specific email. Hmmm…
I investigated, and found that Gmail have relatively recently intoduced a new method of email addresses where emails with the letters and numbers of your account will come to you regardless of the inclusion of a dot or not. This particular email address had no dot between first and second names, but the name is the same, although mine has a dot between. So perhaps that’s why Facebook were so insistent that my email was not linked to any account?
So I thought – well, OK, so if this Facebook account I know nothing about has got MY email address attached to it, even though Facebook tells me it doesn’t, maybe I’ll try to log in with my email and see what happens… ‘forgot password’ link clicked… and hey presto, they sent me a new password link to my email (yep, that’s right, to the email that ISN’T linked to any Facebook account.)
Is it wrong to log in to an account that isn’t yours when it’s YOUR email that has been used wrongly in the set up of the account? In sheer frustration, not knowing what else to do, I logged in and simply requested for the account to be deleted – I figured if it was a real person, it served them right for using MY email address (the same one I’ve used for years) on THEIR account when the email address clearly wasn’t even in their name.
And if it turned out to be Facebook fucking around trying to get me to set up a new account, it should teach them not to mess with my email address, or me. Thankfully after that I heard no more about it – no more Facebook notifications or friends requests to my email address – hurrah!
But recently I’ve started to get an occasional Instagram notification sent to my email address. I let the first one ride, just sitting in my inbox until I could see how the land lies, but soon it started to get a cluster of friends joining it… Hmmm… on closer investigation Instagram seems to be owned by Facebook – oh what a surprise!
So I didn’t bother trying to contact Facebook again, after the last fiasco of an experience I had with them. Instead I decided to log in using MY email addresss again to what is effectively someone else’s Instagram account – it’s definitely not mine, I’ve never had one and this is a sure-fire way of making it ultra-clear to me why I never will.
So I followed the same process as I did before. I logged in to Instagram with MY email… forgot password link… and hey presto, I’m in again. I don’t use Instagram so didn’t know my way around, but in ‘Edit profile’ I found an old email address for the apparent actual user of the account and changed the email address back to the original. Then I temporarily disabled the account too, because I couldn’t find out how to delete it.
Back in my original email from Instagram, there was also a link to ‘remove your email from this account’, so I clicked on that, just to see what happened. ‘Your email has been removed, you are free to set up a new account’ it told me… really? You think I’m going to have anything to do with your dodgy social media company after TWICE finding my personal email address used in accounts not belonging to me?
So spill the beans, Facebook – what’s the deal here? Why are you allowing MY long-standing personal email address to be used randomly in other people’s social media accounts? If you’re such a shit-hot IT company, why don’t you inderstand that Google have an email system that isn’t reliant on the inclusion or exclusion of dots within the email name, and so all of it comes to me regardless?
Fix it, Facebook, frustration has certainly turned to fury in this ex-user… Grrr… 😦