Have you had your Facebook account suddenly disabled even after having no issues and following their community guideline rules?.
Then stick around you might be interesting in what this person who contacted me has to say.
But before that let’s make a few things clear. I’m not talking about fake accounts, bots or people who have set out purposely to rock the bot with Facebook. I’m talking about people who have had their accounts disabled suspiciously.
Let me explain. A while back I used to work for a website that reported sports news, I was also their social media manager. Facebook was our biggest platform with over 7million followers. He also owned a few other pages I managed as well.
My boss at the time was a very strict person, to put it bluntly, the guy would threaten to fire you every second day if something went wrong or you didn’t do what he said, even if it was the wrong thing to do. I had started my own news page at one stage and he threatened to fire me for that even though it was based around politics and not sports. But I still posted on that even though he didn’t like it.
Just like any industry in the media copyright material is an issue. If you don’t have the rights to post something IE: a video, picture etc, then you can face consequences. You just shouldn’t do it with permission or paying for the rights. And in the sporting world, it’s a jungle. Companies that owned rights to material you don’t have permission to post will hunt you down and punish you. Big time.
So I was very cautious about what we posted on the pages. In fact, I was strict about it.
However, my boss would pressure me and colleagues to post videos and pictures every 30 minutes to gain more likes. Anyone who runs a page knows this is important to gain reach. He would send content via email ordering me to post them on the pages. If I didn’t I would be fired and he “would find someone who would”. So I did.
but the issue was we started getting flagged by big companies such as BeinSports, FoxSports, Sky and more. First, the pages would get punished. A 3-hour ban here, 3-day ban to once a 30-day ban.
At that stage, I thought my boss had learned his lesson. And it looked like he had, he told me he had started purchasing subscriptions to websites affiliated with those companies that gave him rights to use content on the pages and the website.
This would later turn out to be a lie.
So when my boss would send through content to post I would post it up thinking all is ok now. we should be right.
Not so. one day I logged into Facebook as I do daily to start work and boom boom boom. Three posts in a row flagged. only this time something had changed. the page wasn’t punished, I was.
My account was banned for two weeks. How was I going to do my job?.
I informed my boss and he claimed it must be some mistake and he would contact facebook and the companies to have it fixed. Another lie.
Three days go by and I still couldn’t post, so hits to the website were low as 90% of the clicks came from Facebook.
So, for the time being, I relied on a colleague to post content and the articles on the pages guiding him cautiously so he wouldn’t get flagged, telling him to just post content that was fair use, which isn’t much. But it was safer.
My boss didn’t like this and threatened to fire everyone.
Two weeks later my account was back. My boss never contacted anyone or he did and never got a response. Guess which one it was.
So I continued doing my job and my boss started sending me content to post up. I disputed the fact that he had the rights to the material and he responded by saying he did have the rights and not to question him. then he threatened my job and said this was my last chance, post or get lost.
So I stupidly believed him and posted content he sent me. Boom, four days later I was flagged. Three-day ban.
That was it. It was the straw that broke the camels back. I got into a massive argument with him and ended up quitting. I finished up the week only posting fair use content and articles and by January 1st, 2018, I was removed from the pages and was gone.
Now that I was gone from his evil clutches I was free to finally follow my dream and go independent full time.
Here comes the kicker. Now I was working on my own page “Steve Milne News” I created a while back. I would post on there from time to time as I was so busy working for my boss it was hard to maintain every day, plus I had not yet set up a website.
I started up a website which was originally stevemilnenews.com which would later become this website MilneNews.com and made content for my page. It was all going really well.
It’s never been flagged and has had no issues minor the few who message in with abuse because they don’t like some of the pro-Tump political stuff depending on where they align. but that’s nothing unusual.
To help keep the page going regularly I added a friend who is a social media manager to the page to help out. he was great.
Then all of a sudden I went to log into my facebook account and there was that dreaded checkpoint and my account was disabled. The reason Facebook stated was that I had posted too much copyright material. But hang on I thought, I had already been punished for all that and I wasn’t being flagged for my personal news page.
It turned out I was still being flagged for content on the sports pages. How can this be I thought, I was removed from the pages months ago. I contacted Facebook to find out what was going on and they just kept responding with the same answer. you posted too much copyright material.
So to this day, my personal account remains disabled for good and Facebook won’t listen to a word I have to say about it.
But then, yes there’s a but then.
My friend continued to keep my news page going. posting content and articles. No issues.
It all went fine for about a month, then my friend went to log on and boom, checkpoint.
Now his account was disabled for a different reason. Facebook wanted him to confirm his identity. He’s been on Facebook for years and has had no issues, no strikes or anything. but ok, nothing suspicious going on here.
He figured it was just standard now due to all the fake accounts popping up and Facebook taking more precautions.
But then it got strange. my friend sent them his birth certificate which was one of the items on facebooks list of accepted ID’s.
Wasn’t good enough. They emailed requesting a photo ID. So he sent them one that was accepted on their list.
It’s been more than six weeks now and my friend has not had his account reenabled despite sending them two personal documents proving his identity.
He has contacted them numerous times and now receives no reply.
We come to the conclusion that both of us have been targeted by someone working for Facebook due to my news page. Someone didn’t like it and because there was no content on there that went against the community guidelines, what better way to take down the page than to take down the two admins that run it.
But we thought no way that’s what they would do right?
Wrong. It’s now been confirmed by someone who contacted me that’s exactly what people at Facebook do. they use dirty tactics to take you down and silence you.
This is where “Jim” comes in. clearly, this is not his real name as to protect his identity. Jim worked for Facebook and came to me after seeing my friend and I post across other social media platforms questioning Facebook’s motives.
And boy was I in for a shock.
As it turns out people that work for Facebook will go out of their way to take your account out and or any page you run that they don’t like, even if you haven’t done anything to break their community guidelines. Especially if it’s a political page that they don’t like.
After Jim contacted me we started chatting and here is some of what was said:
Me: Did you working in the department/section that would oversee account reviews/ disabled accounts etc.
Jim: Yes, among other things it was primarily what I and many others did we reviewed accounts complaints flags and what not.
Me: Did you see anything unusual like peoples accounts disabled that shouldn’t of?
Jim: Absolutely, there are a lot of accounts that shouldn’t be disabled and accounts that should that are not.
Me: So pretty much it depends more on the person behind the reviews than a set guideline, standard or set of rules?
Jim: Yes, the rule book was thrown out the window long ago, if a person is reviewing your account and they don’t like you then you can forget getting your account back. They can cite some reason and log it and that’s that. You have no power and once they log their final decision the system pretty much ignores any appeal you lodge thereafter.
Me: What about in the case of my friend who had his account disabled because Facebook wanted him to confirm his identity. So he did, birth certificate and photo ID. ( I then ran him through the same story as written above)
Jim: He’d be lucky to see his account again. I’ve seen hundreds of those cases where people are ignored even though they have done the right thing and sent in their ID. By the sound of it and what I’ve seen it was a hit job. someone set out to get you off the platform and when they saw that your page was still up they went after your friend. I can’t confirm that as I would have to see what was logged but I dare say that was the case.
Me: Would you say it’s a very left-leaning environment at Facebook?
Jim: Very much so, but to be fair I have seen left-leaning and liberal profiles/pages punished as well, but it’s usually if it’s very extreme. They do tend to get away with quite a lot.
Me: Do you think what has happened to my friend and I and no doubt many others have happened much to liberals or people who lean to the left?
Jim: I never saw it happen like that. The system will automatically disable an account and ask for ID due to what it thinks is unusual activity or if it was reported. once the appeal is sent someone will manually review it and make the final decision. I’ve seen cases where reviewers just reenable accounts they know are left-leaning and disable other accounts even if they are on the same par.
Me: How so?
Jim: Well take you and your friend’s case for instance. If you both were liberal or left-leaning, anti-Trump, Anti-gun then you would have no problem getting your accounts back. When I was trained up we were told to treat every case fairly and only allow wiggle room if deemed necessary.
Me: I see, so do you think in my case being flagged months after I was removed from the pages and being permanently disabled was unfair?
Jim: I would say so, the reviewer should have seen you were removed and wouldn’t have had a chance to remove any content on the page and page owner should be held accountable. that, and you explaining your situation should have only got you a temporary ban at the most. It’s not an extreme situation to have you banned permanently.
Me: I can see the possible complication in my case, but what about my friend who was running my news page?
Jim: That’s sounds targeted. If he’s had his account for years without being flagged or no unusual activity, then I don’t see why he’s been disabled in the first place. having said that, his account may have been auto-flagged. But still, the reviewer should have immediately restored his account after he sent his ID’s. It doesn’t make sense but not surprising.
Me: What can one do in that situation? what resources does someone have to take it higher? Where does Mark Zuckerberg come into all this?
Jim: Nothing, there’s only the appeals page. that’s all. like I said it all comes down to the person reviewing the appeal. Nothing reaches Mark and he is blind to it all or doesn’t care. You could try to file a lawsuit against Facebook. but that’s if you have the money and good enough resources to. I’m not entirely sure how that process works. that’s a different department.
Me: So just to confirm, would you say if you are Conservative, Republican, pro-Trump, people at Facebook will target you and try to get you off the platform?
Jim: Oh most definitely.
Me: Thank you, Jim, Do you think I could get people to send in some questions for you and do a follow-up article? I’m sure there are a lot of people out there that have had issues with their account.
And there you have it. If you have encountered these problems with your Facebook account you now know you’re not crazy to think someone has it in for you.
The big question is will it get any better?
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