On October 1st Facebook updated their terms of service for users, which states, “We also can remove or restrict access to your content, services or information if we determine that doing so is reasonably necessary to avoid or mitigate adverse legal or regulatory impacts to Facebook.”
As was widely suspected by users of the platform, the Kristallzuck was upon us, and many accounts started to disappear overnight. Users who had been loyal to the platform signed in to see they had been logged out with a prompt to sign back in. When they attempted to sign back in to the app many of whom (like yours truly) had been using daily for over a decade and had all of their photos stored on, were greeted with a prompt saying their account had been disabled and given the link to a form to dispute the decision. Upon filling out the form they got a pop up that said, “We Cannot Review the Decision to Disable Your Account” with a message underneath reading “Your Facebook account was disabled because it did not follow our Community Standards. This decision can’t be reversed.”
Obviously, I cannot speak for every user that was lost in the Kristallzuck, and everything I can say from here on out is related to my account and my account alone; however, I am certain that my situation is very similar to many other former facebook users who found themselves locked out of their accounts.
I have been suspended from Facebook once in my 14-year span of being a member of the social media site. It was a 24-hour ban — 4.5 years ago. That was the only strike on my account. The last few posts I made, that I recall, was a direct from Instagram post of “Super-fan” Sarah Anderegg and myself out on a date the night before the ban, and (I think) a joke meme that featured a pun. I don’t really remember the joke or I would post it here as well.
The rest of the posts on my page were shares from the Muddied Waters Media business page, posts that had not been removed from the page, and to the best of my knowledge are still up on Facebook. I don’t really engage with people on Facebook, because I, personally, don’t see the point of arguing online when I can be doing something constructive in my real life.
Then I woke up on Friday to discover that, without the simple courtesy of an explanation, I was banned from the platform.
For someone who has the majority of his viewership coming through a platform such as Facebook, not being allowed to post on my business page, or in the Muddied Waters group, is detrimental. I got some advice from another user, who had the same thing happen but had the decision reversed, on how to get my account back. I emailed the people I was told to email, and followed the instructions on what to say in the email, but here I am today, writing this piece to all of you, some of which understand the pain of losing 14+ years of photos and memories, and some of you who fear it will happen to you one day.
If any of you out there don’t think it can happen to you, you think you’ve kept your nose clean on Facebook and there is no reason for them to take your profile down, I thought the same thing. I knew how important it was for me to not violate any terms of services on the platform for the sake of Muddied Waters Media, and now I am locked out of my account. Don’t let your hubris take over. Keep all of your photos backed up somewhere, have multiple social media accounts in good standing and with a good following, because now I am left building everything from the ground up on MeWe, Flote, and Parler. Be prepared, because if it can happen to me, it can happen to you as well.
Zuckerberg and the rest of Facebook say they like to promote the “free exchange of dialogue and ideas,” but the truth is if it’s not dialogue or ideas that they agree with, you are in danger of being deleted in the Kristalzuck.
The Libertarian Party is working on getting many of these accounts restored. They have set up a Google Doc for anyone to fill out who has experienced the same thing I, and so many others, have. I hope something comes of it, but I am not expecting to ever get that account back.