On Friday, Nov 27 I received an email from the “Facebook Security Team” that my account was not secure and needed to click on a link to secure the account. The return address for the email was firstname.lastname@example.org.
I ignored the email as I assumed it was a phishing email due to the fact that I get many that sound legitimate but are not. Later when I tried to log onto my Facebook page, I got a message that my account was disabled. There is a form to fill out if you think your account was disabled by mistake. All the form asks for is your email address and proof of identification such as a copy of your driver’s license, leaving no place to put any comments. I sent in the form. The next time I tried to log in I got a message that my appeal was denied and the account has permanently been disabled.
I never got any notice that my account was disabled or my “appeal” was denied.
I have had my Facebook page almost from the start. It is upsetting that your account can be disabled with no explanation and no notice and no method of appeal. To this day, I cannot figure out why my account was disabled. I never posted anything even remotely unlawful, misleading, discriminatory, fraudulent or in violation of community standards. My posts were mostly photos of places I went and glass fusing projects I made. I was even an administrator of my homeowners association group.
Facebook also disabled my Instagram account since Facebook owns Instagram.
Many of my friends’ primary method of communication with me was Facebook and Facebook messenger. I also enjoyed seeing what my friends are up to. I was a member of several Facebook groups such as the LPC Veterans First group, Yosemite photos, Livermore Rants and Raves and many others.
Even though Facebook is not a government agency or a regulated utility, Facebook should still be held accountable and give notice when there is a problem. When disabling an account Facebook should tell people why the account is being disabled and allow them the right to appeal the decision. My hope is that this will allow people to give their side of the story.
I also am warning others that this may happen to them.
Alan Lewis is the photo editor of The Express. Follow him @AlanLew89343503.