Facebook ends the ageing process

February 21, 2013

Facebook ends the ageing processA Facebook user hasn’t aged a day for the past few years. That’s because 104-year-old Marguerite Joseph has to pretend to be 99 to use the site.

It’s hardly a secret that many young children use a fake date of birth to get round the Facebook rule that you must be at least 13 to register — a policy designed to cover Facebook against US rules on data handling on sites used by children.

However, there’s also a restriction at the other end. When Joseph tried to register a couple of years back aged 102, attempts to select her correct birth year of 1908 were rejected, with the site instead suggesting she meant 1928. Not only was she forced to use a false date, but it appears Facebook has listed her age at 99 ever since.

The policy appears to still be in force. When I tried signing up a new account, the drop down menu allowed me to attempt to enter birth years back to 1905, but then rejected anything before 1910 with the suggestion “Please enter a year like 1982.”

A spokesman for the company told the Mail Online that ” We’ve recently discovered an issue whereby some Facebook users may be unable to enter a birthday before 1910. ’We are working on a fix for this and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

Of course, even once that is fixed, anyone born before 1905 is still out of luck, but then there’s no sign yet of any 109-year-olds following Joseph’s lead.

The date issue doesn’t appear to be stopping Joseph enjoying the site. Although she is blind and hard of hearing, she still posts updates and keeps in touch with relatives with the help of her granddaughter who reads messages out to her and types up her replies.

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