Seven Things I Learned when Meta Disabled My Accounts
MY FACEBOOK DEATH NOTICE
On October 27, 2022, I opened Facebook from my phone and found a white screen with bold text that said my account was disabled. Not just that I was in Facebook jail for posting a Monty Python quote as usual. It was disabled. It didn’t work anymore. It was deceased. It was no more. And “its total lack of movement was [NOT] due to it bein’ tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.”
WAIT. Who the hell am I?
I am Kellie. Some people call me Aunt Kellie because sometimes people need a nutty old aunt who has seen some things, who loves them no matter who they love, no matter how they identify, whether they are neurotypical or not, if they have mental illness, if they’re recovering from religious abuse, are funny as fuck, and if they’re not. Sometimes you just need an old aunt, and not everyone has one, so I offer my services. Oh, my kids call me Mom, my husband calls me, “Ready to eat?” and my cats call me Lady.
Oh, yeah. There will be cursing.
And I am an artist. I had a growing art business doing commissions and selling artworks over the last two years since being laid off from a job that was doing its best to kill me. (That could be a whole blog of its own.) I took advantage of Covid to regroup and head off in a happier direction. And I was very happy.
But because of Meta I’ve hit a snag. I’ve decided to use this as AFGO. Another fucking growth opportunity. My plan is to drag you along on my journey to figure out how to fix this problem and prevent it from happening in the future. So, buckle your seatbelts. I’m going to be telling some truth up in here, and I’m not sure where it will lead.
So, I clicked the appeal button and Meta instantly (immediately, right away, without hesitation, pronto, lickety split) replied that the case had already been reviewed and this account was closed, no further actions possible. Kellie Sisson Snider, the account we once knew, was now dead. She was no more. No reason given. Just dead. NOT just pinin’ for the fjords. (If you’re not a Monty Python fan, you can assume that any obscure quotes are from Monty Python. They might not be, but I don’t know, it’s worth a try.) The account I opened in 2008 with all the memories, hilarity, feminist anger, and pet pictures passed down through the ages is no more.
Yes, I know if I contact HACK_ME@SCAMMER they can fix it for me. Right. Got it. Heard it before.
Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch.
King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off.
Black Knight: No it isn’t.
King Arthur: What’s that, then?
Black Knight: [after a pause] I’ve had worse.
King Arthur: You liar.
Black Knight: Come on ya pansy.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
“I’m not dead yet!”
So here’s some stuff I’ve already learned about this situation.
(Oh, don’t act like such a smarty pants! You may not know some of this! Hell, you might not even agree with some of it! But tell me this. How well have all those art marketing trainings they hawk on Facebook worked for you? Did you make six figures your first month? I sure didn’t.)
LESSON #1: Marketing people always say that you must not rely on social media for your business, immediately before they sell you their program on how to build your social media marketing chops. I’m not a marketing person, but I’m going to lay some truth on you.
Truth: You can and should USE social media, but you MUST collect your CONTACTS in another way outside of the social media platform. If you have all your audience, content, photos, and other awesome shit on any given social media platform, they can take it away from you at any time. You don’t own the platform, even though, technically your content is copyrighted to you. They can shut you down. It happened to me. It can happen to you, too. Facebook is notorious for it, but other sites do it, also.
How will I collect my audience in a safe place? I’m going to explore that in future posts. Stay tuned, y’all, this blog is about figuring out what to do about this. I’m going to ignore some marketing wisdom, run with scissors, and maybe raise some hell, but whatever happens, I’m going to tell you about it. There could be data. In fact, just go ahead and assume there will be data. It will probably be collected on one Subject, Moi. But it will be data-esque. (I read this article today. It doesn’t have any data about me, but it was very good and includes some data.)
THE WEE HOURS PEE
My Facebook banishment happened at about 5am after my wee hours pee (There’s a reason it’s called The Wee Hours) so I didn’t register an emotional response. Or maybe my antidepressants are really working well at that hour, I don’t know. I checked Instagram, and it was still active, so I scrolled there for a while, pondering the state of my future under these new conditions before going back to sleep for a few hours.
When I woke up again I checked Facebook and found I was still persona non grata. So, I checked Instagram for comfort, and DAMN IT! Instagram flashed a message that said that said because my Instagram and Facebook Accounts were connected, and my Facebook account was naughty, I couldn’t play in Instagram either. Forever. It was dead to me. Instagram fired me, too.
My brain started clicking through the ramifications. My business account was inside my dead Facebook, and I used Instagram for business marketing. BOTH were gone. Gone, gone, gone. Just gone.
And all my friends were gone, too. So many friendships, just gone.
LESSON #2: If you have a business account on Facebook or Instagram, keep it separate from your personal account. Most small business owners let everything blend together for convenience. Meta encourages this and makes separation a real pain in the ass, but it’s really important to keep them separate if your business account is important to you. (Voice of experience.)
LESSON #3: Although Meta Business Suite makes everything super easy for scheduling things to both Facebook and Instagram, it also ties your accounts together. This means that if one of your accounts is accused of wrongdoing, as my personal Facebook account was, all of your Meta accounts will be at risk of being shut the fuck down as my Facebook and Instagram accounts were. (I told you there would be cursing. One time I wrote a novel and gave my aunt a copy. She went through and marked out all the curse words before she loaned it to people. That’s another story for another day. Yet, I told it to you just now. BONUS!!)
LESSON #4: Do NOT reuse the same email accounts you are using for your different Meta accounts as backup emails for other Meta accounts. Meta will not let you sign up for a new personal account with an email used on another account, but you can’t just rearrange the accounts to get them all onto separate platforms. For example, if you have an email account as your backup account for your personal Facebook page, don’t just delete it from your personal Facebook account and use it for your Instagram account or your Business page. Meta “remembers” all the phone numbers and email addresses you have ever used in the past, and will quickly figure out that your two accounts are connected. After that, if one of the accounts is disabled, they will also disable all your account(s). This happened to me, and they were able to quickly determine out that I was pure evil. More on that as I drag you along kicking and screaming on this treacherous journey of danger and hope. And trepidation.
You may be wondering why the hell Meta gave me the boot. I’m not 100% sure, but my suspicion is that it has to do with the following events. These took place over the past year, maybe even a bit longer, but they have a long memory.
- I posted a video of a cat pushing a bowl off a countertop. It was considered bullying. I was jailed for a day. An appeal didn’t work.
- I posted a meme about a rich guy named Johan Eliasch purchasing a bunch of Amazonian rain forest for a certain amount of money to protect it from deforestation. Facebook said their fact checkers could not verify the amount of money so they deemed the whole meme fake news and I got more jail time for posting fake news. An appeal didn’t work.
- I posted to a friend in jest that if she didn’t stop whatever joking she was doing I was going to poke her in the eye. She got that it was a joke, but Facebook did not. I was jailed for about a week that time, I think. This was clearly inciting violence.
- There were some other jailings that I was given, including one that lasted a whole month. Some just a day. Generally they went from a day to 3 days, to a week, to a month.
- There were a couple of instances of my appeals working, and I was released from jail early. Just giving credit where credit is due and all.
- The week before my account went to hell, I was jailed for posting a Monty Python quote in response to a Monty Python post, with the punishment due to last 72 hours. It was lifted after about a day. The quote was “A Witch! Burn Her!” (Don’t quote famous Monty Python Quotes. They go against Community Standards.)
- Then they said I couldn’t like anything because I was constantly breaking Community Standards laws or whatever. Or maybe it had to do with loving too much. I just don’t know. That was supposed to last 30 days, and was only about half completed when I was given the boot. I feel jilted.
So, there isn’t a lot I would have thought to do differently. Oh, except that I completely stopped telling friends I would poke them in the eye, and I started misspelling things like “A Stitch! Durn her!” I used to be a grammar Nazi, and now I see that poor grammar and spelling are merely self-preservation strategies.
Where do I stand now?
At this moment I have created a new Facebook account using a separate email address and my passport. You can follow me on Facebook at Kellie Snider. We’ll see how long that lasts. (Some of you are getting ready to comment about how I should never show anyone my passport. Just please don’t. Just read the next lesson.)
LESSON #5: There are times when Meta will ask you for your personal ID. A drivers license, a government ID card, or a passport. This happens when you lose access to your account like by forgetting your password too many times or getting stuck after setting up two factor identification. They will keep it on file for up to a year. Seriously. I know. That sucks. But it’s true.
But, word to the wise, they will also request ID if you have been kicked out and are trying to set up a different account. This just happened to me. I used a different email account to set it up and didn’t enter a phone number, but since I only have one driver’s license, when they asked for ID because they said they suspected I was attached to a different account (they admitted this), I tried using my passport card. I was sure that that would be the end of Facebook for me, but the passport card worked, and for the moment I am back in. I have gathered a lot of contact info so I hope I don’t lose all my friends.
I don’t know if it was the Buddha or that guy on the Werther’s Candy Commercials, but, “Impermanence is forever”.
LESSON #6: Instagram will not let you join without giving a unique phone number unless your accounts are linked. And if your phone number is linked to an account that is disabled, you can’t use that phone number at all. Right now, Facebook will allow joining without a phone number, but I suspect it will also move to the phone-number-required model soon. I would need to set up a burner phone to do that, and I am just not motivated enough. I miss my artist friends over at Insta, and my behavior friends over at Facebook, but I’m not going to deal with that at the moment. I’ve found the primary ones on different platforms or have just moved to texting.
LESSON #7: Facebook and Instagram are already sewn together, but I fully expect their symbiosis to get worse, possibly melding into one entity at some point. Zuck is busy with his Metaverse fiasco at the moment so it might not happen this week or this year, even, but it is in process now. I’ll be interested to see how long it takes for them to either merge into one platform or, worse, merge into the Metaverse.
What’s the Next Step?
I’m going to share about the process of rebuilding my art business following without Meta Products. I don’t know what that will end up looking like. I already did one thing you’re not supposed to do as an artist, and it’s working nicely, so I’ll tell you about it soon and give credit where credit is due.
Please join me. And PLEASE share with friends.
Onward and Upward,