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Oops! 101-year-old woman isn't actually Facebook's oldest user

Courtesy of Lee Stern

102-year-old Lee Stern is one of Facebook's oldest users.

It's understandable that Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg thought that 101-year-old Florence Detlor is the social network's oldest registered user. After all, Lee Stern, another Facebook user, had mistakenly set her date of birth to that of her late brother, Aug. 18, 1913.


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg posted a photo of Florence Detlor's visit to Facebook's headquarters on Monday. At that time it was suggested that Detlor is the social network's oldest user.

In reality, Stern was born on Aug. 24, 1910 — making her 102 years old.

After TODAY.com posted about Detlor's visit to Facebook's headquarter's in Menlo Park, Calif., Stern's grandson Mike Latour wrote in to point out that there must be some sort of mistake. "My grandmother, also a Facebook user, is 102," his initial email explained. He provided TODAY.com with a copy of Stern's passport to confirm her date of birth. She additionally accepted a reporter's friend request so that her past Facebook activity could be verified. (She appears to have been using the social network for at least three years.)

Since Facebook's own Sandberg had labeled Detlor as the "oldest registered Facebook user" in a post on Monday, it was fair to assume that the folks at the social network were certain about this detail. But when we notified Facebook about Stern's age, a spokesperson for the social network clarified, telling us that "Florence Detlor is one of the oldest users on Facebook." One of the oldest users.

(And again, the original birthdate on Stern's Facebook account — which has since been corrected —showed her to be younger than her 102 years.)

Both Detlor and Stern use Facebook to keep in touch with their friends and family. Detlor has made the switch to the dreaded Timeline while Stern is still sticking to the old profile design as long as possible. The 101-year-old seems to be more prone to posting updates of her own while her slightly older counterpart appears to favor commenting on photos posted by dear ones.

When asked how she feels about being the very oldest Facebook user — assuming that no one else is quietly hiding his or her age — Stern laughs.

"Well, I wish I was the youngest," she says.

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