Why does the hidden service of facebook (http://facebookcorewwwi.onion) ask for a mobile phone verification? Isn't the goal of TOR to be able to visit pages which are censored in some countries (e.g. from China) anonymously? This does not make sense to me.

  • This actually doesn't have anything to do with Tor. That's just how Facebook decided to program their website and onion service. Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 17:51
  • I know it does not. But I did not know where to post this. Meta would have been the SE platform I would have posted it, but I had too few reputation for doing so.
    – Benni
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 17:57

2 Answers 2


Facebook allows neither anonymous nor pseudonymous accounts. That means you can't sign into Facebook as a guest, nor can you use a name that isn't your real name. It then follows that when you visit Facebook, either on the clearnet or via Tor, you have to sign in with your own credentials.

If you're signing in with your own credentials, then Facebook has to check it's actually you, and not someone breaking into your account. (I'm sure you'll agree that this check is a Good Thing.)

If you're using the Facebook hidden service (i.e. .onion site) via the Tor Browser, then Facebook is unable to validate you in the way it normally would (e.g. using cookies, your location implied by your IP address, etc.), and so requires another method, in this case via your phone.


Tor is just a transport layer. It helps you to avoid illegal censorship attempts. It's defenately not an anonymizer - and even more, phone activation is good for privacy protection

  • Many users use Tor to anonymize themselves. For example: Let's say a Chinese person posts negative stuff about the Chinese government on Facebook, how would he make sure the government won't punish him? He can't use a pseudonym in Facebook. If he would, he would fail the test (many users need to send Facebook their id when not having a phone number). What sense does this make?
    – Benni
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 14:43
  • @Benni it's not for anonymity for sure - but to ensure you that even in a censorship case you can use Facebook. And - as far as I know - some pseudonym cases are OK on Facebook
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 14:53
  • @Alecey Vesnin well, some of them are. But most of them are not allowed. How would I post things about my country I'm not allowed to withouth being able to use a fake name? And if I would provide a phone number instead of my id in China for example, Facebook would text me - And the government would know that I'm using Facebook even though it's forbidden.
    – Benni
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 14:59
  • @Benni who said that you must provide your number? or a number in your country? who says? ;)
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 15:14
  • Facebook ;)
    – Benni
    Commented Apr 25, 2016 at 15:30

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