[DIGITAL] The Experience of a 24-Hour @Facebook Ban

I was slightly baffled Monday night to be faced with:

Block text from Facebook

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:

Political Joke Meme

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:

This was the official summary of sanctions:

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.

Media & Press Media - Audio

[MEDIA] General Election: What is the role of social media? with @UCBMedia #GE2019

Recently I did a pre-record with UCB, who used a short segment of the interview the same day. Today, 3 minutes of the interview were used in UCB’s 12 o’clock news programme, and the full version was on ‘News Extra’ on UCB1 by 1pm. You can listen to the interview here (just under 10 minutes):


[MEDIA] How can social media affect an election? #GE2019 for @ManMetUni

I’ve been talking about social media and elections again … who knew I’d have to do this so frequently? An extract:

Social media is more embedded in people’s lives than ever before – most people don’t overthink their use of digital platforms.

The four biggest platforms currently in use (albeit differently by different demographics) are Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram. Three of those are owned by Facebook and, as Hilary Clinton said recently, “When Facebook is the principal news source for more than half of the American people, and the only source of news that most of them pay any attention to, and if it announces that it has no responsibility for the airing of false ads … how are you supposed to get accurate information about anything, let alone candidates running for office?”

For younger users, Instagram has grown in popularity, although Snapchat still has its place (and has recently been used by the UK government). Tik-Tok (formerly is also widely used by teenagers and recently banned political adverts.

Social media offers portability, availability, searchability, interactivity, many-to-many messaging and increasing personalisation. It offers a space for ‘sharing, connecting and engaging, with an expectation that one’s actions will be observed’, although there’s less recognition that users will be observed by big data algorithms as much as other people.

Read full article.

Media & Press Media - Audio

[MEDIA] Talking about #FactCheckUK with @UCBNewsTeam for #GE2019

Earlier today I had a conversation with the news team for UCB radio, and manage to capture this snippet used this evening (the rest will follow later, as we talked more generally about social media/the election):

I’m keeping tabs on some interesting links on Wakelet.

Interestingly the parody account for Boris Johnson was right on top of it, demonstrating just how quickly the internet can respond: