20 Days And I’m Still Banned from Facebook for Absolutely No Reason
If you’re new to this saga, you can read more about how I was deleted/banned/suspended from Facebook (for absolutely no reason) here.
You should also know that I run Quatrefoil Content, and my business and clients are suffering because I am unable to run the Facebook pages of which I am an administrator, for which I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars in Facebook boosted ads. I’ve also done over $1000 in Eventbrite Facebook ticket sales just in the last four months. If I was a scammer, wouldn’t one of those people have asked for a refund?
You should also know that I have been a loyal Facebook customer for 15 years, have never been banned before, have only been in “facebook jail” once in that 15 years for a similar type of AI misunderstanding a couple of months ago, but for absolutely nothing that was in violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service. Ie, they arbitrarily suspended me for no reason, when I have been a good customer. I have 3000+ friends and have been a high-contributing member who has often gone viral.
It’s been almost 3 weeks, tomorrow, and a lot has happened in my life, but not too much on the Facebook front. Here’s a brief update:
I’ve still not heard word one from Facebook, despite repeated attempts to contact multiple departments
I’ve not heard back from any of the 15 people I messaged on LinkedIn. Huge waste of $65.
I put $250 into escrow on a site called Upwork that I freelance work on often, to hire someone to try to help me solve this problem. He’s gotten other people back into their accounts, and it will be well worth it if the situation is remedied. If my account is restored, he’ll be paid, if it’s not, he won’t be.
Through the smart research of my friend Megan, I was able to find email addresses for some VPs and CO’s at Facebook, so I’ve starting e-mailing them one at a time with long, detailed, personal pleas to help me.
Using my writing network and credentials for the magazines and journals I’ve published, I wrote the press@Fb account to try to ask for an interview about the mass suspension/deletion of accounts. I received zero reply.
I still have not received any response from Facebook to any of the appeal forms I started sending on April 4th. I’ve also been checking my Yahoo mail, as that’s the account listed on my Facebook account, and spam folders, daily, just to make sure I didn’t miss any e-mail.
I’ve applied to a few jobs on Facebook, and did not hear anything back other than the automated confirmation, and I even called a number that Facebook supplied for job candidates who need disability assistance, and not only did no one answer or return my call, but the out of office recording was outdated, and said they’d “return to the office after the Christmas Holidays on January 4th.”
It’s ironic, because the time spent, “wasted” doing all of this stuff daily is almost equal to the time I used to spend daily surfing Facebook, only much less enjoyable.
My Twitter post is getting a little traction, it seems that 200-400 other people were disabled within the same week as me, and it seems that while some were for name changes (married names, etc), most seem to have had no cause for the suspension. If you follow me on Twitter at @rosepetals220, you’ll find their retweets of my most recent tweet involving this situation. Some have written back that they heard back at 18, 19, 20 days — that there was absolutely nothing Facebook could do and that the decision was final and irreversible. That scares me even more than NOT hearing anything back, because at least now I have hope.
I have gotten a lot done in my 3 week forced hiatus from Facebook, including some extra blogging, writing on passion projects, re-organizing my entire house, and a huge home renovation that currently has my master bathroom gutted and sitting in a dumpster on my front lawn. I’ll have separate postings on that, Easter, and all of the other fun things happening in my life travel + Escape Room related, so please follow my blog at http://www.rebeccafox.blog for more information on all of the fun stuff happening in my life.
It’s really sad that I keep getting messages from friends wondering why I blocked them or why I removed them as friends b/c they can’t find me. It’s absolutely atrocious also that when people try to message me, instead of saying something like “This account is under review”, Facebook says that I’m a spammer, which is defamation of character, honestly. Here’s a screenshot of what it says in my OWN BOYFRIEND’s chat window. (who by the way, I’m marked as IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH) on Facebook:
When he clicks on More Options, it explains that he may be getting the message because I was suspended or deleted, or because I deleted my account or blocked him ( Ummm those should DEFINITELY be different messages). He also tries to click through to another page for help, but gets a “Something’s Wrong”, in true Facebook fashion.
The most important part:
The bottom line: It is absolutely scary that Facebook uses robots to determine who is valid and invalid, makes a decision, and gives that person zero access to attempt to access or retrieve their account information, minus a huge file of non hyperlinked unusable data. I’m not a fan of “facebook jailed” accounts, but at least in that situation it allows you to contact people who are your friends or previous connections, and that makes way more sense. You have some options, there are things that you can do.
I understand the need to not have every Tom, Dick, and Harry have the ability to contact you as a company, but it also seems like there aren’t enough employees. I’ve often heard about how big Facebook’s campus is and how many people work there, but if I didn’t know that I would swear it was one guy sitting in his mom’s basement, because it doesn’t seem like it’s even possible to find anyone real. I have NO idea how the press is supposed to contact them, because they don’t respond to that e-mail, I don’t know how people are supposed to apply for jobs, I don’t know how or why they haven’t changed their recordings in the few offices I have been able to dial since Christmas.
Facebook has an obligation to it’s shareholders and an obligation to consumers like me, who have spent thousands in revenue and ad dollars, to be able to access their accounts quickly, and to be able to communicate with a real person.
And for the love of God, if Facebook is going to make things automated, make them SMARTER.
- I should never, ever, ever, be marked as “abusive or spammy” in a chat window with someone whom I have DECLARED to Facebook is my boyfriend.
- People have the right to block me already. Facebook shouldn’t make that decision for them.
- The system needs to do better math. If I have 3500 friends over 15 years, and have been blocked or reported by less than 1% of the people I’ve ever come into contact with, I’m obviously not a spammer.
- Accounts that have been suspended should be reviewed in top down order, based first on the amount of money that they’ve spent on Facebook / with Facebook, and then based on years with the platform, just like any other business loyalty system ever.
- If I was asked to submit an ID (multiple times) to prove I am a real person, and I have done that, that should be an automatic thing. If you can automatically block me, you an automatically review me. You can’t tell me Facebook doesn’t have the AI to scan drivers licenses and match them to the THOUSANDS OF PICTURES THEY HAVE FACE RECOGNIZED OF ME OVER THE YEARS.
- The system, just as it allows someone to be reported for doing something wrong, should also let someone report when there is a problem. If 3000 of my friends were able to click “something’s wrong” when they tried to chat with me, and were able to let Facebook know that my account was removed unjustly, this might be a different situation.
- The system should be fair. I can’t tell you how many hundreds of unwanted “Hey Girl, do you want to buy my Younique?” from people I barely knew. If I’m to be suspended for giving my dog walker emergency contact info while I was in Mexico, then yeah, that girl who’s asked me five times to buy mascara, even though I’ve never met her, should be banned too. And don’t even get me started on the Ray Bans.
It is absolutely beyond me that a company who claims to be all about community and social networking is one of the most anti-social companies I’ve ever encountered. That a company who preaches inclusiveness and checking on your friends when they’re having suicidal thoughts and getting them some help would just ban someone from their support system without any way to reach out. They could have put me in a dangerous position by taking away one of my primary ways to contact friends and family when I was in Mexico, and what if I were depressed and needing help? I’d feel even MORE isolated than ever without my account, and at least the ability to talk to a good friend (perhaps someone that had previously “starred” me) or a Facebook operator.
That a company that is supposed to be on the cutting edge of Artificial Intelligence can’t even figure out how to get a computer to scan a drivers license or run a formula that decides whether someone is a real person after 20 days.
That a company that makes it possible to spend $$$ on advertising with ONE CLICK of a button, takes 50+ clicks to get a human being to eyeball a simple form.
In a way I’m more angry, especially when I think about it for blogging, but mostly I’m over it. I’ve come to peace with the situation, with the fact that I may not have Facebook for awhile, and I’ve been trying to focus on things I did before Facebook– enjoying time with friends and family, doing projects, learning new things. There is life after Facebook and I’ll be fine, but I’m not going to lie, I’ll probably be devastated for a bit if I get that final “You’re off for good” e-mail.
BUT– someone needs to call this company out, and I never thought I would be the one to do it. I have loved Facebook and I have loved every minute I’ve spent on the platform (way way way too many minutes) over the last 15 years, but they are dead wrong for this, and it’s really scary that they can just wipe people off the face of the earth. I’ve always been a person who doesn’t care whether my phone, Alexa, robot vaccuum, robot doorbell, Firestick, etc are listening to my conversations, storing my info, etc, but now I’m giving all of that second thought. Because I gave Facebook my trust, my loyalty, and all of my info, and they used it to royally screw me over. BE CAREFUL! Take this warning! Look into other social media platforms and diversify your network, your connections, and your media.
AND PLEASE, above all, share this message.
I’m not going to get through any other way. If I get enough shares and comments maybe I’ll help myself and the hundreds of others that were banned for no reason. Please please help give us a voice.
Rebecca Fox is a worldwide published writer, blogger, and social media content specialist in New Orleans, LA. She owns Quatrefoil Content Creation. She can be found on instagram @rosepetals220, twitter @rosepetals220, Linked In @QuatrefoilContent, and on the web at her blog http://www.rebeccafox.blog. She hopes to someday soon reclaim her @rosepetals220 Facebook account.