Yesterday I was “suspended” from Facebook for 12 hrs. This morning (Thursday 17th Oct. 2013) long after the 12 hr. sentence has expired, I find that I can access my account but I’m not allowed to post because, I’m told, I’ve violated FB’s Community Standards.*
Here is what happened yesterday and it involves two unconnected posts which appeared on Facebook. They were posted several hours apart. The first post was written by me and I was challenging someone who was trying to change the subject of a thread by presenting allegations which could not be checked. The second was a post written by someone else and about which I complained to FB. My objection was genuine but I also wanted to test FB’s attitude to posts of this kind which have become common in Ireland. **
Here’s what I said early in the day and which hours later FB told me violated their Community Standards and warranted my being banned,
“Sandra, It’s always possible to stop a discussion by resorting to a “what about?” It is conservative and prevents reform. Discussion of doctors’ income does not preclude a separate discussion of cllrs’ expenses. However, you cannot make an allegation without at least naming the Cllr because it prevents the figures being checked. Indeed, you should provide a link to the information.”
In the afternoon I submitted an entirely unconnected complaint to Facebook. I complained about a post which suggested violence towards a possible election candidate whose name was mentioned in the thread.
Here’s the post about which I complained in the afternoon,
“Put him in a ward, an intensive care ward.”
Facebook responded saying that this did not breach their Community Standards.
I then posted my complaint together with FB’s response on FB and a discussion ensued about freedom of speech.
Some hours later Facebook informed me that my own morning post (which appears above) was a violation of their Community Standards, that they had removed it and that I was barred from the site for 12 hrs. The 12hrs. have passed and I’m no longer barred but I’m now silenced; I’m not allowed post on FB. I’ve read and reread my words, together with the text of the Community Standards*, and I cannot for the life of me see how it could possibly breach any standard whatsoever.
More interestingly, I’m at a loss to see how my ordinary post could be a violation while the violent post about which I complained could be deemed fine.
I could take all this as a fortunate boost to my street cred; I’m a PhD in my mid-sixties and I’ve been banned by Facebook. Cool or what! I could ask FB to explain but that’s next to impossible. They don’t do phones and one contacts them by filling in on-line forms. However, having filled in the only form that could possibly refer to my suspended account, a message appeared informing me that I had not been disconnected. This morning I had access to a different form and this I managed to send.
It may be a long shot but perhaps someone at Facebook still surfs the net and may find my blog.
** This might be of interest: http://colummccaffery.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/citizens-children-and-social-media-the-problems-arent-new-but-many-parents-are-copping-out/