Facebook has banned 104-year-old American citizen Marguerite Joseph from listing her real age as part of the social network’s policy, her granddaughter said. A Facebook representative has apologized for the hiccup.
Marguerite Joseph was four when the Titanic sank, witnessed the Great Depression, and lived through several wars.
She has five children, 12 grandchildren, and “several greatgrandchildren”, as she indicates in the personal information section of her profile page. Judging by her status updates, she is also a huge hockey fan.
Her granddaughter Gail Marlow pointed out that Marguerite’s actual year of birth is 1908, but when she tries typing it, the number instantly changes to 1928. A clause regarding age policies on Facebook implies that people over 99 can’t be registered on the social network.
“I’m annoyed by facebook because I can’t add my actualy [sic] birth year. When I originally opened my account I could only enter myself as being 99 years old, eventhough [sic] I was 102…now I’m 104 almost 105 and still can’t enter in my correct DOB. And I think I’m the oldest facebook member…I’ve written fb but they don’t seem to fix it! Any suggestions???“ Marguerite Joseph wrote in a Facebook status update in January.
Marguerite Joseph is legally blind and can’t hear, but her granddaughter reads and responds to all messages the elderly woman gets.
“All of our family members always asked how grandma was doing on my Facebook page,” Gail Marlow said. “So I decided I would set up a page of her own so she could stay connected to her family in Canada.”
“Every time I tried to change the settings to the right year, Facebook came back with an unknown error message and would send us right back to a year she wasn’t born in,” Marlow said. “I would love to see her real age on Facebook. I mean, in April she’s going to be 105. It’s special.”
Marlow indicated to the local TV station WDIV-TV that she “would love to see”her grandmother’s age displayed, and regretted her own inability to fix “a glitch in the system.”
Marlow even contacted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, but he never responded to her query.
Facebook is apologizing for the problem. Spokesman Andrew Noyes told AP the company is trying to deal with the issue.