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Facebook Forces 104-Year-Old to Lie About Age
One of the perks of living past 100 is being able to brag about your age. But one Michigan Facebook user was forever young, thanks to a site glitch that didn’t allow her to reveal her real age.
According to Facebook, Marguerite Joseph is 99, and has been since she signed up for the service in 2010. In reality, the Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich., resident is 104 years old; she will turn 105 in April.
Legally blind, Joseph surfs the network daily, communicating with her family in Canada, gathering new friends, and posting photos. But every time she tries to correct the age discrepancy, Facebook insists she is mistaken.
“Every time I tried to change the settings to the right year, Facebook always came back with an unknown error message and would send us right back to a year she wasn’t born in,” her granddaughter Gail Marlow told Channel 4 in Detroit. When she tries to select the year 1908 — when Joseph was born — it always changes back to 1928.
“I would love to see her real age on Facebook,” Marlow said. “I mean in April she’s going to be 105. It’s special.”
Frustrated by the issue, the granddaughter took her complaint to the Facebook chief, sending multiple messages to founder Mark Zuckerberg, but never got a response. (Probably because they landed in his “Other” folder.)
“I was actually born on April 19, 1908 which makes me 102 years old,” Joseph wrote in her Facebook bio when she joined the site three years ago. “But Facebook wouldn’t let me enter a date that goes back that far.”
In response to the controversy, Facebook released the following statement: “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.”
Until that fix rolls out, Facebook has at least corrected Joseph’s birthday, allowing her profile to proudly display her age.
Maria “Mary” Colunia Segura-Metzgar of New Mexico encountered a similar problem last year on the occasion of her 105th birthday.
By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag