Earlier this week, Facebook suddenly disabled my account.
I was replying to a comment on a friend’s post Thursday night when I suddenly got this message:
So… They disabled it because of “something”. Thank you, very cool.
I hit the “request a review” button and was prompted to upload my ID, which I did:
Once they disabled my account, I was also unable to use messenger. I can’t even see my conversations. Friends told me that the messages I’ve sent them are all blank now.
To be clear, this only pertains to my personal account. The public aSE Facebook page and the others remain live. And I’m able to continue posting to them as I have people to help post on my behalf. Which is a bit ridiculous.
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What’s wild to me is that I did absolutely nothing that would warrant my account being disabled. I don’t spam links, I don’t make posts that are excessively controversial or inflammatory, and I don’t really post that often on my personal page in the first place. I was extremely confused, as well as extremely frustrated, since messenger was my means of communication with many of my friends. Now I have to hope they either see this post or follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter.
I’ve had content removed by Facebook in the past, like when I made fun of Nazis and the time I questioned why people are willingly giving their personal information to Russia. Those posts were too offensive for Facebook to leave up, but evidently a video of someone dying is just fine, as this video of someone dying (content warning, because: obviously) has been up for about 4 years.
Today when I logged in to see if there were any updates on my appeal, I was met with this screen:
I built my blog up using Facebook. I’ve created many different, very active discussion groups as well. Facebook says that it wants to help people build their businesses, which is exactly what I did. And now it seems like I’m being punished for it.
Many of you know that the aSE page was unpublished by Facebook on July 8th of this year. This was the second time Facebook unpublished it (the first being in 2017, under equally confusing circumstances). Facebook unceremoniously republished aSE on August 8th. I never received any kind of explanation as to why this happened, or what I did wrong. Facebook had not removed any posts from aSE in years. Similarly, Facebook had not removed any posts on my personal page in an extremely long time. It seems to be an arbitrarily enforced punishment without an actual crime occurring in the first place. Maybe in a month, Facebook will reinstate my personal account too?
My only thought about why they’d do this is because I operate quite a few large pages and groups, and that as a result, my behavior on Facebook looks sort of similar to a Kremlin-created bot. This is, of course, in spite of creating the account in November 2004. That’s nearly 16 years of conversations, posts, memories, pictures, videos – just gone. I think Facebook is casting a very wide net in an attempt to catch as many bad actors as they can, and to their automated system, I look like I could be a bad actor, and it’s easier for them to delete me and not have to worry about whatever potential risk they think I might present.
I don’t think this has anything to do with me being atheist or liberal. It seems too stupid of them to discriminate in that way. Though, I will say it’s interesting that a far-right site like Daily Caller is a Facebook-approved “fact checker”, despite themselves being factually incorrect at times.
I also lost my ability to easily communicate with many of my friends, at a time when the world feels like it’s crumbling apart. And to top it all off, I’m also going through a separation/divorce right now. I’ve never, ever felt this stressed about anything for this long. I constantly worry that Facebook will haphazardly decide to take down aSE yet again without any explanation. Or that Facebook will restrict my ability to post on pages (which they’ve been doing all summer, claiming it’s done to “prevent spam”, despite not using my account to post on pages for weeks at a time). This is exhausting. I am tired of it. I’m tired of the struggle to figure out what I’m doing wrong, and tired of worrying that something will go wrong. I’m tired of worrying about when, not “if”, Facebook decides to fuck me over, yet again. I am tired.
I’m not shutting down the pages/groups yet. I still have hope that Facebook will turn this around by either reinstating my account or by offering even the most basic level of transparency. I’m hopeful, but not expecting it.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. Your continued support means a lot to me. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and if you really like me, you can support me on Patreon (in addition to learning all the other ways to follow me) and get some neat perks. I also have a Discord server that you should check out, too.
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