Facebook is running tests of a new CAPTCHA system that requires users to upload a clear photo of their face to prove the account is not fake and belongs to a new person.
The new tests were spotted earlier this week by a US user, and an image of the CAPTCHA's interface leaked online soon after.
a friend sent me this: Facebook is now locking users out of account features, then demanding that those users "verify" their account to get back in by scanning an image of their face. AN IMAGE OF THEIR FACE. pic.twitter.com/T4TIsJFxX8— can Amy Goodman pls stop inviting Assange on thx (@flexlibris) November 28, 2017
The text for this new CAPTCHA test reads: "Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face. We'll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers."
Facebook confirmed the new CAPTCHA system and said its role is to "catch suspicious activity at various points of interaction on the site."
The new CAPTCHA system is automated, uses facial recognition, and looks for unique photos. This means bots can't take a random person's picture off the Internet or from other Facebook accounts to authenticate.
The company says the new CAPTCHA system is likely to pop up when users register new accounts, send friend requests, or set up or edit Facebook ads.
Facebook said the system is still under testing and will not share any details about it in order to prevent manipulation.
This is not Facebook's only controversial feature that's running right now. Earlier this month it came to light that Facebook was asking potential victims of revenge porn to upload nude photos in advance. The company said it would create a hash of the nude photo and using this hash, would ban other persons from uploading a copy of the image.
While initially it said the system was automatic, the company later admitted that a Facebook employee would be manually reviewing all nude photo uploads, to the shock of everyone and their dog.