I’m posting this here because I have lost my Facebook account and need to communicate the following widely. It appears likely I will never get it back.
Long story short: If you see ad on Facebook for a ChatGPT app, do not install. It is malware. Still not understanding how it appeared on Facebook. Nor am I understanding how it lasted several days on Facebook. I’m hoping Facebook will do the right thing and restore all the accounts killed by this thing.
Long story long: So I saw the ad for a ChatGPT Windows app and installed it. The app didn’t work the first time I launched it. It returned a “checking your browser” message — exactly like the one I’ve seen on the ChatGPT website. I closed the app and figured I’d play around with it later.
Yesterday, while on Facebook, my app displayed a window telling me I was shut down for violating community standards. And it called me Lily Collins (some actor). Waaaaaa? I checked my e-mail and found a message from Facebook, again calling me Lily Collins, and saying my account was suspended. In fact, it was eliminated. There’s no sign of me there now, except, curiously, my Dr. Cline page is still visible as of yesterday evening, anyway.
I scoured the internet looking for answers. On Reddit I found a long string of messages from people with the same issue. Installed the app, Facebook suspended, name changed to Lily Collins.
Some reported credit card numbers stolen and other mayhem. I believe I was able to get rid of this thing without further harm. That getting rid included a full factory reset of my computer.
The upshot: Unless Facebook does something for all the Lily Collins out there, it seems clear my Facebook account is lost forever. Attempts to report the hack do no good at all. And you can’t actually talk to a human at Facebook.
My new attitude: Fuck Facebook. I’m pissed I lost so much. But I can do without it. [UPDATE: An emotional response. I may go ahead and start a new one. But I’m not going to be in a hurry about it.] [UPDATE: Nope. My first response was the correct one :-)]
Instagram still works. WhatsApp still works. Both Meta products. That makes me nervous.
If my loss of Facebook has severed our only connection, please leave a comment here or on Instagram, YouTube, or anywhere else you find me. We’ll reconnect somehow.