I think Facebook hates me

Facebook Account Disabled

They have disabled my account about a dozen times now without stating any reason for doing so. They seem to believe, for some strange reason, that I am not me. This, despite the fact that I have uploaded a photo of my ID on more than one occasion and proven ownership of my phone number and email.

If you violate the letter or spirit of this Statement, or otherwise create risk or possible legal exposure for us, we can stop providing all or part of Facebook to you. We will notify you by email or at the next time you attempt to access your account. You may also delete your account or disable your application at any time. In all such cases, this Statement shall terminate, but the following provisions will still apply: 2.2, 2.4, 3-5, 9.3, and 14-18.

Facebook TOS

I have emailed and tweeted at them with, predictably, no response. After seeing if this is a known issue, I found that there is a somewhat uncommon problem of Facebook disabling accounts without any known reason. For every tale I’ve seen, there has been at least a reasonable guess at the cause though. I have not violated any of their rules

  • Posting content that doesn’t follow the Facebook Terms
  • Using a fake name
  • Impersonating someone
  • Continuing behavior that’s not allowed on Facebook by violating our Community Standards
  • Contacting other people for the purpose of harassment, advertising, promoting, dating or other conduct that’s not allowed

Everything that I do is heavily criticized by Facebook. I even entered my birthday, which Facebook automatically created a post for and then marked the post that they created as spam. How odd is that? It’s not as though I’ve been posting anything other than, “Hey everyone, I’m having difficulty with Facebook disabling my account.” No harassment, soliciting, etc. I don’t see anyone considering anything I post offensive either.

Appeal Form

It is interesting, however, that my account was disabled almost immediately after stating my political beliefs. This leads me to believe that Facebook using my Libertarian beliefs as a factor in some algorithm, since libertarianism is (falsely) associated with the alt right, which is linked with hate speech.

Is it possible that Facebook is making assumptions based on my political beliefs that would flag me as a risk? As unlikely as this might be, it is my best guess, and it really wouldn’t be surprising if such things are handled by an AI.

My second guess is that it is a result of UA sniffing. As a user of Firefox on Fedora, perhaps they are assuming that, since they do not recognize my UA string, I must be a bot. But you’d think that, with all of the Firefox and Fedora users out there, as uncommon as they might be, this would be a known issue, and that it would be quickly and easily resolved. It seems reasonable, but this would be something that would be reported. I think it safe to rule out this possibility.

My account will also be disabled if logging in from Firefox on Android, making it even less likely that there is some UA sniffing issue causing all this. I don’t have to post anything, send any messages, make any Friend request… Just login.

You’d think that, if the reason for this issue was that I was flagged for some reason as running a fake account, proving my identity would bring an end to the problem. But it hasn’t! About two days after uploading a photo of my ID my account re-enabled

Conclusion

All things considered, I really see only two possibilities:

  • This is evidence of political bias and censorship
  • Their AI is deeply flawed, which leads to unintentional censorship

Oh, and since Facebook is still holding and collecting data about me, wouldn’t that make this a form of theft? I mean, however you look at it, this is them making a profit from me (now against my will) and denying me the use of their services in return. Imagine a company that provides no service to you but still forces you to pay the bill.