Why we can’t be friends (Social media justice: part 2)

It’s official.

I’m now an outcast from modern society, a pariah of current culture, a man without a profile.

I’ve been permanently banned from Facebook.

And I’m okay with that.

In my last post, I shared how I received notice from Facebook that my account was suspended, for reasons that were a mystery to me. I was given 30 days to appeal, a process that must begin with me uploading my state ID to Facebook. This is something I would not do.

Since then, things have gotten more interesting, in an alarming sort of way.

I began to receive emailed receipts for ads placed on Facebook. There were two simple reasons why I could not have placed these ads:

  1. I had been locked out of my account for more than three weeks.
  2. The descriptions of the ads were in a language I don’t understand. (In fact, I can’t even tell what language it is.)

This shed some light on the situation. It appears that somebody in a foreign land had hijacked my account and done something with it to get me expelled from the platform. The brilliant minds at Facebook swung into action and barred the true owner of the account while apparently allowing the pirates to access the account freely and, as a bonus perk, to also run fraudulent ads on it. They weren’t getting any ad revenue from the rightful owner, so why not?

I found generic email addresses for Facebook departments online. I also found one reference to a phone number, but this was explained as the number that tells you not to try calling Facebook when you dial it. It seems that Facebook wants to hear from you in only one way, and that is the way that begins with you giving them more personal data about yourself. This personal data could easily end up in the hands of the new owners of your account, but even if it doesn’t, the prying eyes of Facebook would still have it.

I sent emails to all the Facebook addresses I found. In them, I explained the situation. I did not ask for my account to be reinstated. Now, I was sure I wanted it deleted, and the sooner the better. That was my best hope for making it useless to criminals. I don’t expect that any of the emails were ever read, but you’ve got to try.

I tried to log into my account again. Not surprisingly, I still couldn’t. When I click the button to close the app, I was warned that I had only one day left to appeal before my account was permanently disabled. I’m sure this was meant as some sort of threat, but I saw it as my only hope. I hoped it wasn’t an idle threat.

I’ve stopped getting the ad receipts. My account is beyond the appeal period. If that’s the end of it, I’m grateful to be done with Facebook. My only regret is that last Christmas I bought my boys an Oculus VR headset. It ran off my Facebook account; Oculus has alerted me that we will lose all the games we bought for it. The consolation is it wasn’t a huge hit with the boys and we didn’t spend a ton on games. And when I think back, it wouldn’t be the first time money spent on gifts for the kids was wasted.

In conclusion, I will not be accepting any more Facebook friends.

I’ve no more friends to play with.