It’s a traumatic experience to realize your Facebook account has been hacked. However, that’s often just the start of trouble for hacked users, who find themselves locked in an endless fight with Facebook to regain control of their profile.
That has been the case for British singer Philippa Hanna, who recently discovered that her Facebook profile had been hijacked and that she’d been locked out by the perpetrator. Hanna was also dismayed to learn that the hacker had changed her username and contact details, posted on her page to mock her more than 6,000 followers and even attempted to gain control of her Instagram profile.
Hanna said she contacted Facebook immediately, but found it difficult to receive a satisfying response. She said she ended up in a loop of automatic emails from Facebook, prompting her to take steps she’d already tried. One step suggested she just delete her page, which she’d worked hard to build up.
“My friends were trying to report the page, but Facebook kept coming back, saying ‘there’s nothing offensive about this account,’” Hanna said. “There wasn’t the option to say the page had been hijacked. There was a ‘fake account’ option, but mine was not fake. It was stolen.”
She was eventually able to contact a Facebook representative directly, who helped her restore her profile. But Hanna says the process needs to be made easier for users, even suggesting the creation of an emergency hot line.
“I certainly don’t hate Facebook. It’s an amazing platform,” she said.
“But it really needs to give serious thought into how to protect people.”