I was slightly baffled Monday night to be faced with:
I was bemused at what might have triggered the block, and why Facebook goes straight for a ban, rather than a ‘first warning’. I did some sleuthing work on Twitter and decided that it was this that had triggered it:
A couple of people had commented that they felt that this was a problematic post, but I felt it was clear that it was a joke, and that’s certainly how the majority of those in my space took it… the same as posts which tell you to vote on December 13! It seems that someone would have had to report it for Facebook to look at it (and if so, when I see the other posts that don’t get taken down…), OR it was flagged as a problem elsewhere and Facebook did a sweep for the same image (I know that internet platforms does this to look for child abuse images). Others who had shared the post were left with a blank space, but not removed from Facebook.
I found that I was unable to like, comment, direct message, although I could see everything – a little frustrating as I’m preparing for my operation this Thursday – but I decided to try and take it the same way I took my cancer diagnosis – unwanted, but let’s try and treat it as an adventure! If this continues to happen, I will be more concerned, as there’s no recourse to complain, and I use my Facebook communities (personal, and groups) widely.
Any time I tried to post anything during the day (via laptop), I received a reminder that I was on a ban, with a countdown of time remaining. In the evening I looked on my phone, and saw (bit shocked that I still had 11 hours to go, but it shortly after changed to 1 hour, but a more concerning thing I will return to):
I then clicked into my account status, which allowed me to click through to try and get more information – and I though – ah ha – I’ll find out what post caused the problem…
But no… it indicated simply that I had breached a post re ‘nudity or sexual activity’. I can pretty categorically say I don’t post stuff like that – unless it was something to do with breast cancer?! But I don’t remember getting a notification for that so no idea what that is…
And see that at the bottom – violations stay on your account for a year. In many ways, that’s a fair deal, except that I tried to respond that I thought it was an incorrect banning this time – but one of the problems of dealing with a big faceless organisation like Facebook is you’ve very little power… try a little tweeting, but with no expectation of response:
— Dr Bex Lewis (@drbexl) December 9, 2019
Once you look at what happens when people violate, it does appear that they do seek to ‘help you learn’ (but as I didn’t get that notification and have no idea what that post was), then I’m onto restriction. I have heard from another who has been banned for a week, and now can’t interact with cancer support groups…
Shortly after 8pm, I was once again able to interact – a good opportunity to rejoin with a Gif:
So, an interesting experience, but one I hope won’t be repeated!
It feels that the mainstream media is not hugely balanced much of the time, so memes are playing an undercurrent – interested to see that there’s a concerted effort on this from Momentum, although I’m not so convinced as the author is that this is effective, as I think many of us speak to others in our echo chambe.
Digiexplorer (not guru), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing @ Manchester Metropolitan University. Interested in digital literacy and digital culture in the third sector (especially faith). Author of ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’, regularly checks hashtag #DigitalParenting.