Imagine spending years building a Facebook page with over 370,000 fans (AnimeWorld). Also imagine building a Facebook group (a feature Facebook has recently been trying to promote) with over 430,000 members (AnimeWorldUnite!).
On top of that, imagine owning a Facebook Business Account and managing pages for multiple clients and projects in which your entire business relies on.
And just for fun, also imagine the easiest way to keep up to date with your your family, friends (international and regional) have suddenly disappeared in the blink of an eye.
All of this for actions you DID NOT TAKE.
Would you be pissed off? I would.
Facebook is Dehumanizing
In the past 2 weeks I have tried to reach out to Facebook using multiple methods in ways. However, no matter how much I elaborated on the situation, no matter how much I poured my heart and soul into these communications, I have only been met with copy / pasted responses from the soulless, leeches that are Facebook employees.
Notice how the Facebook Help Center lists 5 ways to “contact Facebook”, and notice how NONE of these methods actually connect you to Facebook.
We get it, Facebook has billions of users, they don’t have the resources to spend on every single one of their users.
But I am not a regular user, I have a Facebook Business Manager account and have spent thousands of dollars in advertising. Where is the customer support for business users?
Well, if you visit the Facebook Business Help page you will find that once again, there are no actual ways to contact anyone from Facebook and most of the links are circular and will simply redirect you back to the same page.
So much for the Facebook Business Live Chat that was implemented in 2015. That didn’t last very long…
So What Happened?
Why do I believe that I was removed from Facebook for false reasons, that Facebook is doing nothing to investigate the problem, and as a result, has blocked my from my business, my clients, and my international friends / family members?
Dissecting the email of doom:
- Your account is disabled AND you (personally) are no longer permitted to use Facebook (presumably in perpetuity)
- Facebook terms state that users can not infringe on copyrights or violate IP laws AND you agreed to those terms.
- Your account as “reported” multiple times.
- You were warned that IF YOU CONTINUE TO INFRINGE ON IP RIGHTS you would be disabled
THEREFORE: You have been disabled.
The only way the logic in this email actually follows is if Facebook is actually accusing me of infringing on rights / violating IP laws (in my opinion). That’s the problem here!
Facebook is acting as the jury, judge, and executioner in this case and whenever I have confronted anyone from Facebook’s IP department about this, I have not received any sort of real investigation or response.
IN FACT whenever I am able to get in contact with someone from Facebook’s IP email: IP@FB.com, all I get in return is this exactly copy / pasted response:
As a user of Facebook, you have agreed to our Statement of Rights & Responsibilities, which states that users are prohibited from taking any action on Facebook that infringes or violates someone else’s rights or otherwise violates the law. When we receive a proper claim of intellectual property rights infringement, we promptly remove or disable access to the allegedly infringing content. We also terminate the accounts of repeat infringers in appropriate circumstances.
We previously warned you that if you continued to infringe the rights of third parties, we would terminate your account. Accordingly, your account has been disabled and you are no longer permitted to use Facebook.
Thank you for your cooperation,
Facebook is NOT over the Past
This is relevant because the email brings up “past violations” that I have apparently been reported for. Howevber Facebook has clearly done zero due diligence on investigating those past issues, otherwise they would have known that the multiple past “violations” my account was reported for were:
A.) Not even committed by my own account
B.) Not even valid copyright reports. (Made by spammers / haters)
The evidence for all the past false copyright reports can be found here.
I thought we were able to move past those old copyright reports because at that time, because I was able to get in contact with a real person and resolve the situation. I would have thought that if the situation was actually resolved, then Facebook would have removed those “strikes” from my account since they were clearly fake!
However, based on the above email, it is clear Facebook is still holding all those fake copyright reports against me and when this final copyright report came in, it was the final strike for my account (apparently).
The Language in the Email Seems to Imply that I actually Broke the Law
Only in my humble and personal opinion, do I hold that the language in which that email from Facebook was written in, implies and accuses me of actually committing some kind of IP violation or otherwise illegal activity.
The key phrase is:
IF YOU CONTINUE TO INFRINGE ON IP RIGHTS….
Because the email has this clause in it, and uses this as a defense for the reason why my account was disabled, then it seems to logically follow that Facebook is accusing me of actually infringing on 3rd party IP and / or otherwise breaking the law.
This is wrong on so many levels, primarily because I believe I had not actually done any actions in reference to this case.
The official Facebook Report number is:
Okay so WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED?
Did I do it or did I not? The answer is NO, I DID NOT DO IT. In fact, in reference to this specific report, I really honestly did not do anything.
The Facebook page that was removed as a result of this copyright “report” was a page called ALL ANIME.
As you can see, the page ALL Anime has been reinstated.
I was only added as an Admin by the owner of this page, but I have zero involvement in the page.
Well maybe All Admins are Held Responsible?
Clearly this is the cases, I am not sure if Facebook TOS actually states that all admins of a page will be held responsible, but that still does not excuse the language from the email of doom which seems to personally implicate me in some kind of violation / IP crime and thus justifies disabling my personal Facebook profile.
The Page Take down
Again, a similar story in this email as it seems to personally implicate ME for committing some kind of infringement.
The funny thing about this email is that every admin of the page received the same exact email… How could we all have posted it? Only one of us is responsible (and I know who it is) and it was not me!
As a result of this report I was sentenced to serve a 3 day ban of silence from Facebook. I was not allowed to post, react, comment, or even respond to messages for 3 full days. I served my time. Then shortly after I was unbanned I received the follow up email where Facebook decided to terminate my account.
Thanks for making me wait til I was unbanned to suddenly terminate my account Facebook.
What Content Was Actually Posted?
Actually I don’t know.
This is not a joke…
What do you mean you don’t know?
Did you not see the email above? There is no reference to the content whatsoever, it simply references the page that the “infringing content” was posted to, but not the actual content itself.
This is very different from the past reports where I actually was able to see what content was being reported. I have a theory… Probably because in those past reports, I was actually the one who posted the content.
But Facebook Says they will Reveal this Information!
Facebook says a lot of things, why should you believe a thing they say?
It clearly states here that Facebook will “regularly provide the right owner’s name” email, etc, to us.
NOTICE: “…to the person who posted the content you are reporting.”
So maybe Facebook is telling to truth here? Since I was NOT the person who posted the content, of course, I would not be able to access this information?
Facebook already seems to be proving my innocence without even trying!
Still, I have requested this information multiple times and have only received the same copy / pasted answer (which is just a rehash of the original email.)
Proof That I attempted to Contact Facebook Multiple times
In these attempts to reach out to Facebook and resolve this matter, I have politely, professionally, and explicitly requested the information regarding the copyright report, including:
WHAT posted content / media is actually being reported?
WHO is reporting us?
HOW can we contact them or otherwise resolve the situation?
WHY has nobody given this information to us?
This email snippet was towards the end as I was beginning to lose patience with the system…
Of course, as stated before, we were only met with copy / pasted responses. Very dehumanizing and pointless.
What About the Reporting Party?
Have not had any interaction or involvement with the “reporting party” nor do I know who they are or how to reach out to them.
Even though it clearly states here that Facebook would “forward it to the reporting party.” Notice it doesn’t say “can” or “could” or “may”, no, this page clearly says Facebook WILL PROMPTLY FORWARD counter notifications to the reporting party.
In my experience, this is clearly not the case and a blatant lie (big surprise), all of my interactions have been exclusively with Facebook representatives, acting on behalf of Facebook itself via copy / pasted responses. And there was no waiting period of 10 – 14 days either!
The Reporting Party is Irrelevant
As stated at the beginning of this post, the page ALL Anime was already restored after someone from Facebook finally manually reviewed the situation.
However my personal profile is still in Facebook limbo.
So who cares who reported this? It’s no longer relevant. This is between me and Facebook.
Investigating the Facebook TOS
The actual Facebook Terms of Service page does not reference Page Admins but redirects users to their supplemental Commercial Terms. The Commercial Terms also redirected us to a Pages, Groups, and Events Policy Terms which seems to be a dead end as far as copyright infringement matters are involved, so headed back to the Commercial Terms.
After spending about 30 minutes looking through this I must admit I am no lawyer, and there is no way I can sift through all these terms. I have not been able to identify anything that states that “all the admins of a page” regardless if they did or did not perform a certain action, would be held responsible for the actions of other admins.
This does not mean that term does not exist, but as far as I have searched, I do not see anything regarding this. I still uphold my personal position that Facebook is completely in the wrong to personally accuse me of these actions OR to hold all the admins of a page accountable for the actions of another.
As of July 1st, 2019, I have not had any solution to this problem.
- I don’t even know what the content was, who reported it
- Regardless, I was still able to restore the page ALL Anime by filing a counter report and the person in charge did reverse the page removal.
- My personal profile is still in Facebook Hell on the grounds that I am a “repeat infringer”
I have supplied very detailed evidence and documented everything. The best Facebook has given me is circular responses and repeats of the same original profile disabling email.
I have come to the conclusion that this situation is no longer related to the original IP infringement report and is instead something different regarding my own personal profile and the “repeat infringements” that need to somehow be removed.
I do not know how else to contact Facebook, but I hope someone with a sense of morality (from Facebook) would actually read this and do the right thing!
Why Don’t You Just Make a New Account?
- I am personally banned
- Large pages require Facebook Verification to post on
- If I try to verify a new account using my ID I am sure that profile will get immediately removed
What Does This Actually Mean for the Future of the Internet as a Whole?
I’m glad you asked…
Abandon ship. All centralized mega-platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twtter, and Google will be replaced by their Decentralized counterparts. It’s only a matter of time.
So much for centralization right?
The main arguments centralizers use to promote Centralization over Decentralization is that “at least you have someone to contact if something goes wrong”, well as it turns out, that’s not entirely true! (Or at least you won’t get any meaningful resolution from the people you contact.)
Facebook a.k.a Libra, has just proven that Centralization is worse than Decentralization and the main merit of Centralization doesn’t even work in real world applications.
Ever tried calling a mega company like Google? You usually either get robots or Indians. No solutions provided, just excuses. You probably weren’t expecting this sort of ending, but what else is there to look forward to? Honestly this is the best outcome for the internet anyways!
Disclaimer: This article and any content relating to Facebook, Facebook employees, etc, is 100% our personal opinion and not presented as fact or claims!
Update – 7/26/19
My personal account was restored after someone from Facebook eventually responded to our counter IP notifications, in which I specifically linked to this article.
You know who you are, thank you for doing the right thing!