Further update: It all depends on who you know… I am grateful to Shahzad Ahmad of Bytes for All for appealing on my behalf via email to Sir Richard Allen, Facebook’s Director of Policy in Europe. Sir Richard forwarded the sifarish to an internal team at Facebook, and my account was restored within hours. I would like to thank both of them – but the issue still remains for so many Facebook users who don’t have recourse to such resources. That’s something Facebook still needs to work on.
UPDATE. As I finished writing this post, I checked facebook again, and it seems the block on me has been lifted. But I’m posting my rant anyway.
Since November 22, when I made a password error, Facebook has restricted me from certain features for 30 days.
- I can’t ‘like’ statuses (mine or anyone else’s)
- I can’t comment on wall posts (even my own)
- I can’t reply to or send messages (though I can see them).
Highly inconvenient because I am admin of several groups and pages (mostly related to peace and human rights). Each I try to take any of the above actions, I get a note saying I have been blocked from certain features because I may have violated community standards. Like which ones? I send a complaint, Facebook sends me this message saying that I will receive an email. A week later, I have yet to receive it.
If Facebook thinks I’m a troll or impersonator, why is it letting me post statuses to my own wall, friends’ walls, pages and groups, upload photos to my pages and groups, tag people (sometimes, randomly) and ‘like’ some wall comments (sometimes, again randomly, but not statuses, go figure).
Some friends and subscribers suggest that this happened because I:
- Copy-paste statuses in quick succession to multiple pages – I never do that
- Send too many friend requests – I hardly ever send friend requests
- Tag too many people – Never
- Send too many messages to too many people – Nope.
“Facebook support appears to be uniformly lousy. Here’s the Quora answer to Why does Facebook have such poor user support?),” points out my friend Bhatta Som in India. “FB thinks this way – We have all these millions of users. What’s a few more or less. In any case, 99.99% users who quit FB in disgust just come back again. So they are now pretty much in a seller’s market.”
This feminist talk was originally written by Beena Sarwar for her blog "Journeys to democracy" .
Beena Sarwar is a journalist, editor and documentary filmmaker (originally a painter) focusing on issues related to media, gender, human rights and peace.