Careful now: Using Facebook login means Facebook can lock your users out at any time.

SVT reports about yet another case of someone who got their facebook account deleted without warning. This time it's Roman Pixell. His "crime"? Like any other parent he snaps pictures of the offspring when they are in the cutest state... ie: sleeping. He posted the above image of his then 5 year old daughter fast asleep on a trendy 'nail mat', and she's not wearing a shirt in the photograph, heaven forbid!

Leaving aside the morality issues about letting kids sleep shirtless, photographing offspring when they're half-naked and/or sharing said photos with friends and family inside the walled garden (and to some the seemingly safe-haven) called facebook, Roman reveals that the deletion of his account had far reaching consequences, that we who design sites with easy-logins need to be acutely aware of. The deletion of his facebook account meant he could no longer log in to the 30-odd internet services out there he used his facebook login on.

"All of a sudden shut down my account and then I was also banned from all other services on the web where I use Facebook to login."
"You feel terribly powerless", said Roman." It was not until my Facebook login disappeared that I realized that my login to the 30 or so other services on the Internet were locked as well. And there's no way to get in touch with Facebook other than that ignored web-form."

For the "too long, didn't read" crowd, in short: If you use Facebook login as an alternative on your site, Facebook's arbitrary whims of what is against their TOS is now your problem as well.

There is no way for you to contact the user directly, or the user to contact you as no emails are registered with the facebook login. I'd steer clear of using that if I were you.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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fairuse's picture

Maybe it is my paranoid brain, maybe being on the internets before 33k/bits connections were considered normal (56k was high speed & you can still buy them Zoom card - Amazon ) but whenever I see login with Facebook my fingers refuse to move for a couple of seconds. While my brain balks at the notion of trusting Facebook with login responsibilities it will consider using Twitter to login into a site as long as one requirement is met; go do the standard name and password register drill. My survival instinct will not allow a 3rd party total control of logging in. Kind of like having the same password for all web logins, it just does not happen.

Of course there is a side effect of all the unique login information and it is called remembering which name, email and password matches which site. That is what makes login with Facebook so tempting. No logbooks with page after page of site login information, just 1-click easy. Well, easy has a price does it not? Not to be left out is having your browser remember for you. Browsers forget, keep that hard copy.

I'll keep my manual login system forever because the only thing certain on the internets is Murphy's Law (HotForWords explains origin).

Mark Neuman's picture

I never thought of this.