Doing the Time. A short, sharp shock to the system.

Being the confessions of a Facebook criminal, offences unspecified.

Facebook has decided, in its infinite wisdom, that much of what I post is guilty of Violating Community Standards in some unspecified way.

Starting with a notice just before New Year that a post in a group containing a link had been reported as spam. Despite the fact that I and others have posted the same sort of link in these groups many times, there followed a torrent of similar notifications and warnings about terminating my account.

Naturally, I’ve appealed every time. The outcome has been a restriction on where I can post and engage. I’m currently limited to posting on my timeline and my author page. Anything I try to do in the wider community is either blocked or unavailable.

As I’m unable to talk to a real person, I can’t actually tell what it is about the mixture of content that I post which has upset them so much. After all, I’ve been posting since 2009 with no issues and I haven’t suddenly changed much about my behaviour on the platform.

Some of the links that have been reported are to Amazon, the others are to this website, which before you ask has SSL certification for site security.

I’ve spoken to several group administrators, who all insist that they have not reported my posts themselves, they suggest that a bot may be responsible.

All I can think of is that it may be related to the time when my account was hacked and cloned. All because I accepted a friend request from an account that had been hacked.

I won’t make that mistake again.

That was when Facebook refused to remove the profile of the fake account because it DIDN’T violate community standards. It took about a fortnight of pestering, from me and several friends before they finally removed it.

When I finally got control of my profile back, I found that whatever my alter ego had got up to had resulted in my losing lots of followers and being blocked from a lot of the groups that I used to frequent. I assume the person pretending to be me had upset a few people. It was taking me a while to get that sorted out, then this happened.

I’m now in limbo, wondering just how long these restrictions will last and whether it’s worth trying to continue on a social media platform that is anything but social.

The strange thing is that, although Facebook won’t let me post, they will still let me advertise, using the same links that they’re complaining about.

I’d love to get your comments, please leave them below. While you’re here, why not take a look around? There are some freebies and lots more content, about me, my writing and everything else that I do. You can join my newsletter for a free novella and more news by clicking this link.


12 Responses

  1. Lené Pieters

    I remember some of the drama. It is truly heartbreaking that the parent company does not care about their customers at all. I had a similar situation with my 6 yr old photo-sharing app account being deleted because their stupid bot decided that a necklace was a banned military object. Even their human agent, at the time, said there was nothing they could do about it.
    Best I can suggest is to spread out to other social media platforms, be everywhere! We have to outsmart them somehow. You can find/follow me on Tribel, which is thankfully still ad-free and allows you to curate your content by category.

    • Richard Dee

      Their AI doesn’t inspire confidence, it needs a severe overhaul and some common sense added. Thanks for the suggestion, I will take a look at Tribel.

  2. Steven Smith

    Social media is a complete minefield. I struggle with finding the perfect content for each. It’s why I am now working on a monthly newsletter. Though if subscriber count remains low, I may not maintain it for too long. It’s so tough to gain traction anywhere!

    • Richard Dee

      Sadly, it’s becoming more and more difficult to get noticed for the right reasons.

  3. Jack Eason

    Facebook employ’s both foreigners whose primary language is not English as well as thirty-somethings who think they know everything to police what ordinary people say and post! What it needs is to employ grown ups!!!

    • Richard Dee

      First, it needs to remove all the bots (or at least reprogramme them with common sense).

  4. Christine

    I’ve left Facebook as it is getting silly with its restrictions and bans. Plus it can get quite negative sometimes. I just use Instagram and Mastodon now, though of course they are no good for having groups, but if you follow hashtags and the right people it’s just as informative and collective. I hope you get it sorted and that your blood pressure doesn’t go sky high.

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks for commenting. I’m on the cusp right now, it’s just a question of where I go next. I meditate every day, which helps to keep me calm. 🙂

  5. Kay Castaneda

    I’m sorry to hear that Richard. I’ve also been in fb jail several times, restricted from replying in groups and a 30 day sentence where I could only look at posts. A friend of mine from church had his account canceled because of a bot. It took over his fb page and posted weird comments. He still hasn’t gotten his account back after a month. Since we message often, the bot took over my Messenger but only for the chats with my friend. He’s a retired Air Force pilot and veteran and says nothing offensive. If I want to send a message to him I have to send it to his wife.
    I communicate with many writers on Twitter. Elon Musk has done a great job firing all the censors of free speech. Now I can see tweets from people I followed for years. I follow writers and conservative journalists, science channels and religion. The Twitter censors banned everyone who didn’t agree with them. That’s not what free speech is. If my accounts get banned, I’ll invent an alias or a pen name!

    • Richard Dee

      Thanks for responding. With a new book to promote, it’s frustrating, although in a way it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in being muted. Free speech means having to listen to things you don’t agree with and defending the right of people to say those things. Sometimes I wonder if people realise that “1984” was a novel, not an instruction book.

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