Facebook Disabled My Account and Made a Final Decision

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Nov 6, 2019
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#1
I have written extensively about the experience on my personal website
I'm not attempting to promote my site, it's just that I've already written it all out there. I will do a quick rundown of what happened here.

Facebook claimed that I violated section 3.1 of the user agreement.

I'll get the big thing out of the way first and then explain why I don't really think it's this thing. I work in a marketing agency. I have managed client accounts from time to time over the course of the past 8 years. Nothing has ever come of this. Section 3.1 does not clearly speak to this practice anyway in my opinion. There is a part about me having only one account for myself, but I do in fact only have one account for myself.

Now on to what I think really happened. I wrote the word "Christian" in a reply comment to a comment that one of my friends had posted to my timeline. It was not political or religious in nature really. I was discussing a video that was about a man who had left Christianity for atheism. That's all. Statement of facts about the man. Within an hour of posting the comment, I returned to find my Facebook account disabled.

I went through the process of submitting an appeal, eventually sending Facebook a picture of my driver's license as verification ID. The driver's license was complete except that I blurred the actual license number. My name, middle name, address, and other personal information was not obscured.

Facebook responded that they would not reactivate my account, they would not share any further information, and the decision was final.

I have taken advice on your other Facebook help threads to email a list of Facebook contacts one at a time separately one day at a time. I have now emailed all contacts and received no response.

Is there anything else I can do? Am I out of luck forever? Facebook can't seem to identify me, and if they are able, they are denying it is me. I'm beyond frustrated.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
If you blur out the license number how can anyone verify that it is valid and not something made on photo editing software? I could make my license say Her Royal Highness Queen of Spain......

There are state databases that can be checked — same when one rents a car —
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,723
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www.promalvacations.com
#3
I have written extensively about the experience on my personal website
I'm not attempting to promote my site, it's just that I've already written it all out there. I will do a quick rundown of what happened here.

Facebook claimed that I violated section 3.1 of the user agreement.

I'll get the big thing out of the way first and then explain why I don't really think it's this thing. I work in a marketing agency. I have managed client accounts from time to time over the course of the past 8 years. Nothing has ever come of this. Section 3.1 does not clearly speak to this practice anyway in my opinion. There is a part about me having only one account for myself, but I do in fact only have one account for myself.

Now on to what I think really happened. I wrote the word "Christian" in a reply comment to a comment that one of my friends had posted to my timeline. It was not political or religious in nature really. I was discussing a video that was about a man who had left Christianity for atheism. That's all. Statement of facts about the man. Within an hour of posting the comment, I returned to find my Facebook account disabled.

I went through the process of submitting an appeal, eventually sending Facebook a picture of my driver's license as verification ID. The driver's license was complete except that I blurred the actual license number. My name, middle name, address, and other personal information was not obscured.

Facebook responded that they would not reactivate my account, they would not share any further information, and the decision was final.

I have taken advice on your other Facebook help threads to email a list of Facebook contacts one at a time separately one day at a time. I have now emailed all contacts and received no response.

Is there anything else I can do? Am I out of luck forever? Facebook can't seem to identify me, and if they are able, they are denying it is me. I'm beyond frustrated.
Someone most likely reported a post. Or they have an issue with your admitting you minister other accounts. (They can look up your IP address and see if you are posting on other pages- if the pages are in names that aren’t related to yours- they can figure out that these other pages may not be for people in your household). I’m aware that many people pay people to administer their pages but might now have had anyone report them for posting something or told FB they administered other pages). I have to agree with my colleague- without your drivers license number they can’t verify your license is real.

If you have used our company contacts and written all the way up the chain of executives, there is likely nothing else to do. Facebook is another entity that doesn’t respond to us about why they suspend accounts for security reasons but we have seen rare cases where the accounts were reopened after consumers used our contacts. But the majority that have had their accounts suspended have not had them reinstated.

I read your blog post and saw someone had asked why you didn’t just open another account. Do not even think of doing that- it’s against FB rules to open another account if yours was suspended.
 
Nov 6, 2019
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#4
Perhaps that is true, but I'm trying to minimize any further leakage of my personal data beyond the Equifax breech. In researching, I had seen older threads where Facebook even directed people to black out information that was not their name, date of birth, etc.

Additionally, Pennsylvania state driver's licenses are protected by holographic watermarking in the glossy finish. This is quite visible in the photo. It would be fairly difficult to fake the entire thing.

Do you know for certain they need that one specific piece of information?
 
Nov 6, 2019
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#5
Someone most likely reported a post. Or they have an issue with your admitting you minister other accounts. (They can look up your IP address and see if you are posting on other pages- if the pages are in names that aren’t related to yours- they can figure out that these other pages may not be for people in your household). I’m aware that many people pay people to administer their pages but might now have had anyone report them for posting something or told FB they administered other pages). I have to agree with my colleague- without your drivers license number they can’t verify your license is real.

If you have used our company contacts and written all the way up the chain of executives, there is likely nothing else to do. Facebook is another entity that doesn’t respond to us about why they suspend accounts for security reasons but we have seen rare cases where the accounts were reopened after consumers used our contacts. But the majority that have had their accounts suspended have not had them reinstated.

I read your blog post and saw someone had asked why you didn’t just open another account. Do not even think of doing that- it’s against FB rules to open another account if yours was suspended.
It's quite sad if a single report can throw away that many years of history on facebook. It's way to easy to sabotage an enemy if that's true. I really didn't do stuff worthy of report. I'd open my whole account up for public review if I could.

The thing about the admin level stuff I did on other accounts is that I didn't post on their behalf really. The best example would be from about 8 months ago. A client needed a social feed set up on their website. The client was unable to go through the facebook developer steps to connect all the pieces, even with a comprehensive tutorial. I stepped in and took care of it. I would think there should be some level of allowance for that type of activity.

Facebook has their own colorful history of leaking data in breeches. I really don't trust them to keep something like my driver's license number. I'm aware that there is a system for verification there, but the thought of having it in their system freaks me out. It's like the last thing somebody would need to fully own my identity. It's a rather stiff requirement for something I've already been doing for 12 years...

In any case, I'll never start a new account. It's just the one for me. If I can't have that one I don't want any other.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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St. Louis
#6
Unfortunately, you are not considered the customer of Facebook, but the product. They generate revenue by showing you targeted advertisements. We receive a lot of submissions concerning folks being banned, and I'm afraid since it is a free service there isn't much that can be done but appeal to the company contacts that we list on our website. Here is a recent article from Michelle on the subject:

https://www.elliott.org/blog/banned-from-facebook-permanently-how/
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#7
I took the time to read through your related post on you own site, and have a thought about what "might" have happened. Section 3.1 of their user agreement has a number of terms listed, and the statement about "one account" actually ends by specifying that you must:

"use your timeline for personal purposes"​

It may be that something in your recent post was interpreted by Facebook as an indicator that this account is really for your "business". Nothing else in paragraph seems to make sense. And I am not excusing Facebook here by any means. Just my thoughts about their specific reference to that paragraph. I could easily be mistaken.

I have read about this recently regarding Venmo transactions. All sites like these monitor descriptions and other textual content and will lock accounts when "violations" occur. What is scary is that the content in question can be innocuous and still "trip their triggers".

That said, your ban does seems odd to me . . .
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,723
20,273
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
Facebook is also considered “out of style” and only used by those of us who are older. Instagram seems to be the new Facebook. Plenty of other places to go.

I just hope that this doesn’t affect any of the other accounts you say you are managing for others. I also wonder if your email to the saying that triggered the ban with the sentence VOR found in the terms.

I truly believe someone reported something. Do you have any fellow marketers who might have reported you?
 
May 1, 2018
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#9
Now on to what I think really happened. I wrote the word "Christian" in a reply comment to a comment that one of my friends had posted to my timeline. It was not political or religious in nature really.
I'm having a hard time believing the word "Christian" would be trigger a ban. That word is also a common male given name so it must be used millions of time a day on facebook without causing millions of users from getting banned. Nothing in section 3.1 mentions political or religious discussion as being within the scope of that section so I think you are choosing to focus on the wrong thing.

Here's the full text of that section:

3. Your commitments to Facebook and our community
1. Who can use Facebook
When people stand behind their opinions and actions, our community is safer and more accountable. For this reason, you must:
  • Use the same name that you use in everyday life.
  • Provide accurate information about yourself.
  • Create only one account (your own) and use your timeline for personal purposes.
  • Not share your password, give access to your Facebook account to others, or transfer your account to anyone else (without our permission).

We try to make Facebook broadly available to everyone, but you cannot use Facebook if:
  • You are under 13 years old.
  • You are a convicted sex offender.
  • We've previously disabled your account for violations of our Terms or Policies.
  • You are prohibited from receiving our products, services, or software under applicable laws.
 
Mar 23, 2015
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#10
I find the likelihood that using the word Christian in a post was the precipitating offense ludicrous. I personally have used that word multiple times (usually preceded by the word fake but I digress). More than likely it has to do with the appearance of using your account for an unauthorized biz purpose of some sort would be my guess...Sorry. You’re very likely out of luck.
 
Nov 6, 2019
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#11
Sorry everyone, just coming back to this after a few days. I wasn't seeing additional notifications for some reason.

Plenty of other places to go.

I just hope that this doesn’t affect any of the other accounts you say you are managing for others...

I truly believe someone reported something. Do you have any fellow marketers who might have reported you?
I'm already at many of the other places. It's just a bit unfortunate for now. Facebook was the most common and the easiest way for me to get things out to the most people when I needed.

None of the other accounts are affected. That's the primary reason I don't believe it was the real cause.

My personal account really didn't have anything about marketing on it. It just overlaps in that I use it to admin client accounts while I'm doing my day job. It's more likely that somebody religious zealot didn't like me talking about a guy who turned atheist so openly. There are a lot of uptight churchgoers in my past.

I'm having a hard time believing the word "Christian" would be trigger a ban. That word is also a common male given name so it must be used millions of time a day on facebook without causing millions of users from getting banned. Nothing in section 3.1 mentions political or religious discussion as being within the scope of that section so I think you are choosing to focus on the wrong thing.
I would typically agree with you. It's just that nothing else in section 3.1 really makes sense either. The public facing side of my account, meaning anything I ever post, is not about work at all. My timeline content was only about my personal life and opinions. I never discussed work successes or failures. I didn't even have my employer listed until about a year and a half ago. My identity in real life and Facebook was an exact match, so it can't be that. And none of the other accounts I admin were disabled, so I don't know how they would single me out as the one account that was the violator. Just none of it makes sense...and that's what's frustrating.

You’re very likely out of luck.
Yeah, pretty much this. I've basically moved on. There's years worth of residual habit to break and that's the hardest part. Opening my phone at certain times and reaching for the app had pretty much become muscle memory. I uninstalled anything FB related to break. There's still the stuff that happens at my laptop and desktop computers but it's fading.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
"Plenty of other places to go." SO TRUE! It saddens me to think that we have an entire group of people who rely on this kind of technology without ever understanding what it is. "The Internet is not your friend". Forget that truism at your peril. I saw a video the other day of a high-effort hike up some mountain in China. The leader was carrying a phone. What? To check his FB posts as he climbed? Sad. The phone would be useful in an emergency, of course, so put it in your backpack. Don't put it fashionably in your pocket, then sit on it at the top of the mountain. Use the wonders of technology to enhance your life, not crumble it into little pieces when something doesn't work the way you think it should.
 
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