My Facebook account was deactivated on Monday night. Â Apparently I wasn’t the only one. Â So, I followed their appeal process. Â I scanned my Driver’s License, blacked out the license number and address, leaving the picture, name and date of birth and I submitted it on their form. Â And this morning I received this note from Facebook:
Fake accounts are a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited, as is maintaining multiple profiles on the site. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final.
Thanks for your understanding,
The Facebook Team
I have no clue what I did. Â The last thing I did on facebook was browse the wall updates. Â I don’t think I even commented on anyone’s status update. Â That was 9pm on Monday night. Â The most frustrating part is that I don’t know why my account was deactivated. Â I don’t know what I did, and instead of speaking to a human about the problem I’m getting form letters from some nebulous group. Â It’s not the end of the world – it’s just Facebook. Â But, I connect with friends and family on Facebook. Â I can’t keep up on comments about “The bachelorette party that never happened” that I’m attending next month, or email my sister-in-law. Â I’ve also finally started to build some relationships with the college students I supervise, and Facebook is a big part of that. Â They live in Facebook, and I was trying so hard to connect with them in their digital world. Â Now I’m forever on the outside and I don’t know how I’m going to regain those connections. Â It’s taken me nearly six months to get some of them comfortable enough to friend me on Facebook.
I want another course of action. Â I want a second appeal process. Â I want to talk to a real live human. Â I want to know why my account was deactivated and I want a chance to defend myself. Â Is that too much to ask of Facebook?
Update: I responded to Facebook’s email with this:
I apologize but I don’t actually understand. Â I am not fake. Â I have never provided Facebook with false information. Â I submitted my NH Driver’s License as requested. Â I do not have multiple profiles and have not violated your Statement of Rights and Responsibilities in any way that I am aware of. Â Can you tell me what prompted the deactivation? Â Is there someone else I can speak with? Â Is there a phone number I can call? Â I’ve spent 2 years maintaining my Facebook account. Â It’s sort of a shock to lose all of those connections randomly at 10pm on a Monday night in November for no apparent reason.
I also sent them a link to my blog article. Â Do you think they’ll respond?
Update # 2: I found an email address (thanks Google) of firstname.lastname@example.org (and received an auto-reply that I should update my contact to use email@example.com in the future). Â So I sent this note to that email address:
I believe that my Facebook account was deactivated by mistake. Â I believe that I am a victim of the ‘bug in the systems designed to detect and disable likely fake accounts’. Â http://gawker.com/5691682/facebook-gives-women-the-third-degree
I followed your appeal process and sent an image of my NH Driver’s License with my name and date of birth on it.
My appeal was denied, but with no explanation about what term I violated in the User Agreement or why, after I had verified that my account was indeed real, not fake, the account was not reactivated.
I am a supervisor of 35 college students. Â Maintaining a Facebook relationship with my students is vital to my communication and relationship building strategy. Â This is more than just a personal loss for me, it seriously degrades the quality of my professional relationships as well.
Is there any other recourse for me? Â Is there a person I can speak with on the phone? Â An email address I can use to communicate with someone in the Customer Service Department? Â A different appeal process?
Any help or assistance you can provide would be greatlyÂ appreciated.
I’ll update again if I hear anything from the Facebook Machine…
Update #3: I have my Facebook account back! Â I have no idea when or how or why, but mysteriously when I returned from lunch I could log in just fine. Â No explanation or error messages or warnings about impersonating fake people, just my regular old account. Â I’m glad it’s back, but I’m still confused about the whole event…