Finally, and after much anticipation, facebook “management” decided to disable my account! http://www.facebook.com/soberhigh is no where to be found on facebook!
I can not claim that I did not expect that, actually I’ve been expecting it for quite some time now, it took facebook (henceforth referred to as fakebook throughout this article) longer than I expected to ban me!!!
But you know what they say, better late than never!!!
I was starting to wonder actually… and a doubtful unpleasant idea started creeping into my mind: “Wow, I wasn’t banned so far? Well maybe it’s a “free” site after all!!!”
I, a foreman and long time advocate of cynicism, was starting to think that “fakebook”, a republic of 500 million active users in July 2010, might be after all a democratic environment, can you believe that?
But the sudden, unwarranted, unexplained, undeserved ban came just in time to save me from such ludicrous illusions!
Anyhow, What really surprised me about the ban was the timing actually…
As I said I was expecting this ban much earlier than they did, but don’t misunderstand me here, I’m not a pedophile or a web-predator or a pervert or even a spammer or anything of the like… at the high-time of my “fakebook” usage I had a contact list of +650 friends (all real friends may I add), which I filtered about a year ago to keep only -350 friends whom are still in touch…
I am in fact a real person, I didn’t impersonate anyone on “fakebook”,
I also never posted racist or hateful comments,
And of course I never posted nudity or obscene content,
I never posted any copyrighted content,
I never posted any offensive comments, and dare say I never offended any group, religion or ethnicity!
The reason why I was expecting to get disabled was that I am very politically active (as you might have gathered from my blog) and very outspoken about my political opinions, but in a respective manner nonetheless… All my blog posts were also posted in the notes section on “fakebook” (unfortunately it’s not the opposite way around, meaning that not all my old “fakebook” notes are posted here on this blog, and most of them are not available anywhere else so I assume they are gone without a trace!)
Back to my point, I expected to get banned ever since I joined “fakebook”, but really the time of the ban came as a surprise, because although in a utopian world “fakebook” management should not have the right to ban me because of my political views or being political active, nonetheless I knew all the way that we do not live in a Utopia, and “fakebook” has a long dubious history of engaging in un ethical behavior, as well as banning users who have committed no violations just to censor their freedom of speech.
Yet still I never expected to get banned now, because I have been “fakebook” dormant for the past two month! Since even before Ramadan I zoned out of “fakebook”, and throughout Ramadan and the later month this “fakebook” inactivity continued; throughout the last two month I haven’t posted more than 20 links (a number I sometimes surpass daily!), I haven’t formed or promoted any new pages, except one “Learn a Quran, Don’t Burn a Quran” page which was to promote an American tolerance campaign in the memory of 9/11 and which contained no offensive content whatsoever. Surprisingly this page was the only page of mine which also got deleted with my account, all the other pages I formed are still active!
So why is it exactly that “fakebook” decided to disable my account?
Well I sent them 4 inquiries about the reasons of the ban, and they replied with 2 mails, each stating a different reason for the disablement, which were equally, feeble, vague, untrue and utterly aggravating, one email stated:
“You were disabled because you created or posted content (i.e., photos, groups, shares, etc.) that violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
Types of content that are prohibited from Facebook include, but are not restricted to the following:
• No nudity or other sexually explicit content
• No content that contains hate speech or directly attacks an individual or group
• No content that contains self harm or excessive violence
• No content that contains illegal drug use
Unfortunately, we won’t be able to reactivate your account or respond to your email directly. This decision is final and cannot be appealed…”
The other email said:
” Your account was disabled because your behavior on the site was identified as harassing or threatening to other people on Facebook. Prohibited behavior includes, but is not limited to:
• Sending friend requests to people you don’t know
• Regularly contacting strangers through unsolicited Inbox messages
• Soliciting others for dating or business purposes
After reviewing your situation, we have determined that your behavior violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. You will no longer be able to use Facebook. This decision is final and cannot be appealed.
Please note that for technical and security reasons, we will not provide you with any further details about this decision.”
Hmmm! so, which is it? should I go with the first reason or the second? either way I really don’t give a damn!
Don’t think that is one of those bitter kicking and whining posts which usually ends with a desperate appeal to “fakebook” to reactivate a user’s disabled account…. although I lost about 5 years worth of valuable notes, images, videos, contacts, groups, pages that I founded, and tons of web content, most of which are not backed up elsewhere (because fakebook prevents it’s users from migrating or backing up their own content elsewhere; believe it or not!), still I don’t really care!!!
All this lost content, I will be able to re-master one way or the other, but what “fakebook” ultimately did is:
1. Proved me right from the beginning when I thought that Fakebook was indeed a dubious, evil, unethical, profiteering organization.
2. Gave me the push that I always need to totally stop using their fake service, something I always considered doing, but never mastered enough motivation to!
3. Gave me a good reason to write this!
Now, let me start with examining the above emails, typically when any decent company find that one of its users violated its terms of service, there is a warranting communication sent out to the individual before stripping them from this product, service, account, etc.
And if the violation was so severe that it required an immediate ban, there needs to be a post-ban communication stating in detail the reason for the ban and also what they can do to re-initiate their service. Going WAY back into the past with AOL accounts, they used to do this if your account was reported, saying the account was disabled for the following XX number of reasons, and furthermore, provided steps to getting your account back.
But fakebook, being what it is, apparently doesn’t abide by this moral/professional code.
What really bothers me is the end statement: Please note that for technical and security reasons, we will not provide you with any further details about this decision.
So let me get this straight, I’m not allowed to know why exactly was I banned and over which posted content (or Harassment since they can’t seem to make up their mind), because of technical and security reasons???! In the name of all what is holy: Come again?????????????
Ok just to give you a hint about how illogical and hypocritical the above statement is here a couple of facts about fakebook’s long trustworthy history of protecting security and privacy:
An 2007 “fakebook” outage resulted in a security hole that enabled some users to read other users’ personal mail.
The change was described by Gawker as Facebook’s Great Betrayal. Groups criticizing the changes include the Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union. Journalist Dan Gillmor deleted his Facebook account over the changes, stating he “can’t entirely trust Facebook”.
I personally know a couple of people who abused the privacy settings changes and used it the chance to view other unaware users’ accounts and personal information, before those other users caught up with the changes and adjusted their privacy settings.
Yet, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, defending the changes: “we decided that these would be the social norms now and we just went for it”!!!!
On 29/07/2010, various news sources reported the following:
“Ron Bowes of Skull Security created a 2.8 gigabyte file on his Web site containing info – such as individual URLs, phone numbers and e-mail addresses – using a web crawler program that harvested data from Facebook’s open access directory.
The data file, which contains 171 million entries, is not illegal, since information entered into Facebook is public unless security restrictions are put in place.”
“fakebook” comment on the incident was:
“People who use Facebook own their information and have the right to share only what they want, with whom they want, and when they want. Our responsibility is to respect their wishes. In this case, information that people have agreed to make public was collected by a single researcher. This information already exists in Google, Bing, other search engines, as well as on Facebook,”
So let me get this straight again, fakebook has no problem with someone who collected personal details of 170 million users who were most probably unaware of the glitch and were unable to keep up with the continuous changes in privacy settings which fakebook constantly comes up with, whenever it’s users are used to the older versions! But they have a problem with sharing with me the details of the content which caused them to disable me!!!!! This is hysterically funny!!!!
On 30/07/2010, msnbc continued its coverage of the story:
“Ron Bowes is just a security researcher who used a tool to quickly access all the profile info made readily available by Facebook users who — by either choice or chance — didn’t lock it down. He didn’t even need to be a “hacker” to do it. Sure, the dude wrote some code to access and aggregate user information through Facebook’s directory , but he isn’t a “cracker.”
… here’s the deal: Facebook has not now, nor will it ever, protect your information for you.
… Facebook might very well be incapable as an organization to protect your stuff because at its very core, Facebook wants to spread your information, not protect it. They may say they will protect it, but you should bet that they won’t. Facebook in its very DNA is about spreading information and is repulsed by the idea of locking it down. They may say they care about privacy, but they hold their nose every time they add another privacy setting.”
Ehm, well, SCREW facebook! I always knew it was vile, but this time they really exceeded my expectations!
Apparently facebook team operates with an ethical code worthy of tricksters and the lowest scum of the earth! I personally am pleased I’m outta of a community run by such ethics…
I’m done with the Social Network and it’s fascist authoritarian rules and regulations… I will not create another account or attempt to, I will not appeal the disablement or even bother to!
And here is my farewell message to “facebook Team”: Thank you for riding me from your invaluable superficial services…
As to all my friends who are still on “fakebook” I say: I’m actually relieved that my account was disabled, and I hope it happens to you too…!
I hope the faceboook team keeps deleting the real people, those who have real opinions, concerns and views of their own, those who are real, active, independent individuals and who will not compromise their freedom of speech… I hope they keep disabling those real users, until all fakebook is left with is what it really deserves: billions of fake accounts and dull, shallow, gaming freaks who will succumb to the dictatorial laws of the corporation just to avoid getting disabled!
I leave you with this video:
Footnote1: To learn more about fakebook’s long honorable history of protecting privacy & security, upholding freedoms, responsibilities and rights visit this Wikipedia article.
Footnote2: the spelling mistake in the title is intentional!
For more on “fakebook” Hypocrisy read my older Post: