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Facebook's Account Verification Leaves Some Quest 2 Buyers With 'Paperweight'

Facebook's Account Verification Leaves Some Quest 2 Buyers With 'Paperweight'

Quest 2 is the first Oculus headset to require a Facebook account at launch. False positives from its account verification system may be leaving some buyers with no choice but to return it.

We’re seeing reports from Quest 2 buyers who aren’t on Facebook finding difficulty creating an account. Facebook’s account verification system- reportedly administered by a machine learning agent– may ask for photographic evidence of identity. That evidence seems to be reviewed by a human, since it can apparently take weeks to process.

Others trying to re-activate old accounts to use their brand new Quest 2 also report instant suspensions. Trying to create a new account also fails.

If the review fails or your account is suspended, there appears to be no recourse for appeal. Multiple buyers called the system a “paperweight” in their emails to us about their interactions with customer service and what they feel like they can do with the latest VR headset on the market. In an emailed statement, a Facebook spokesperson said Quest 2 customers should contact Oculus Customer support to work through issues.

“People who are having trouble logging in to their device aren’t losing access to their purchased content, based on what we’re seeing in customer service reports. Someone may temporarily experience an issue accessing content if they have trouble logging in to Quest 2 with their Facebook account, but they will be able to access their content once those login issues are resolved,” the email explains.

Facebook claimed to only have “a very small number” of Oculus users running into login issues. Among the screenshots from Twitter and Reddit users reporting issues are Oculus Support agents supposedly saying they’re unable to help with Facebook account issues.

“I really wished we had a way to help you with this” one screenshot reads.

Why Is This Happening?

Facebook has a fairly unique policy for a consumer tech company: real identity. Mark Zuckerberg wants each of his users to have only 1 account, which represents themselves as a real person.

The company has also been under intense pressure in the political sphere, across the world, to curb the creation of fake accounts used to manipulate elections.

Automated account verification systems typically balance false positives (banning a real person) and false negatives (letting a bot through). Given the upcoming US presidential election, is it possible Facebook is prioritizing reducing false negatives?

At the start of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, Facebook’s account verification tool warned users of reduced numbers of humans verifiers. It’s unclear if it has yet found a work from home alternative, or if that would even be possible given the sensitive nature of handling account details and photo ID.

If you’re having issues with Quest 2, please let us know in the comments and check back soon for more updates.

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