Do we depend too much on social media?
I have had the same FB account since 2008, I have over 1000 ‘friends’, I have created over 12 groups: One has over 11,000 members — Coronavirus updates on rules & travel to and from Portugal. I also have a few personal pages, for art etc.
My profile is a part of me.
Could you live without your account?
It sounds like a ridiculous question, but hear me out. Basically these days you need a business page on Facebook, to source your customers and fans to provide reviews, share opinions, and offer feedback. If you post a website, people will be more inclined to look at a page.
It is easy.
So the big question is — could your business survive without your account?
In 2019 FB had over 60 million active business Pages, I am pretty sure that more would have been added after 2020 and, according to statista.com, the platform has roughly 2.89 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2021, making it the biggest social network worldwide.
On the 14th of December this year I got this message.
I have seen people get a 3, 7 or even a 30 day ban — but this? What does this even mean? Naturally, I think it was a mistake so I requested a review. I had to use my ID for the review and afterwards I got this message.
Never able to disagree again?
This seems pretty harsh.
Especially when I am not being told the reason why. There is no way of contacting FB either. No email and no support — because they have blocked me.
Facebook’s vice president of integrity Guy Rosen announced in a blog post Facebook blocks “millions of fake accounts” every day.
Could you afford to have your business page offline for 45 days without warning?
What if thousands of those accounts are blocked by error every day, by an automated system? Of course you can appeal — but according to FB that appeal can take just over a day — to 45 days — the reason being the recent pandemic.
I thought people were working from home? What do they need to do to review an account?
If I would have received a warning, maybe I could see the error of my ways and correct them — but I had no warning.
What about my messenger?
Initially when I saw my account was blocked, I thought, ‘At least I will be able to send messages on messenger, right?’
Messenger is also blocked, so I can no longer connect with the friends I had on FB via messenger.
If this platform is able to pull the rug from us like this without warning or reason then why should we use it? Could you afford to have your business page offline for 45 days without warning?
I have had posts flagged that I approved in groups. In those circumstances however, the group is flagged and gets a warning. I once had a photo of a car in a flood flagged and told it was offensive, I appealed and they said it was a mistake. But up to the 14th of December I had not received any flags of any kind that I am aware of.
So why have I been ‘disabled’? What keywords got me into trouble?
I understand that the platform has to be moderated. I had to do the same in my groups, otherwise it just became a free for all. It can actually get quite insane if you don’t keep a tight rein. Sure, you get called all sorts for it, but it has to be like that to maintain order. The difference is I would tell people why.
There are certain keywords to be avoided. I would see people bragging how they had to avoid them and write them differently so they wouldn’t be flagged — Bragging they have just got out of Facebook Jail after 3, 7 or 30 days. Many times they would be told why though. Offensive post. Racist comments etc. (one of my friends was told recently that her ‘Christmas Tree’ was offensive…)
What about my groups and pages?
Some people just create a new account and move on, but is creating a new account sustainable? Not if you are trying to actually do something. Certainly not if you have a business account you took years to set up either. How do you get that back?
Well, if the powers that be decide that your profile goes against their standards? All your groups and pages will also eventually get deleted and you will never get them back again.
It is the people who troll the platform that have led it to be censored so much, and they are the ones that complain it is censored — the irony. They just create another account to carry on trolling. Yet people like me are the ones getting the fallout.
We are losing years of work.
Maybe it was a mistake, but a mistake or not: one thing is certain — this can happen to anybody, even you.