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Technology

Back on Facebook

Well, I’m back.

On the day after Memorial Day, I woke up to discover that someone had broken into my account and changed the profile and header images on a page I maintained for the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival. As I hurried to log into Facebook so that I could fix that problem, I discovered that my whole account had been disabled by Facebook. I followed the prompts, and tried to verify my identity, but that seemed to fail and the response Facebook gave me was that I had violated their community standards, my account had been disabled, and they were not going to review my account again.

It stayed that way for many weeks as I tried different methods of reaching Facebook so that I could speak with someone about restoring my account. I tried any direct or back channel that I could think of. I also wrote to the BBB, filed a letter with the FTC, and reached out to local media.

I launched a blog (http://www.gazerbeam.com) where I could document my struggles. Along the way, I discovered how common this problem was, so I dedicated a portion of my website to the cause of helping other people who had their accounts disabled for a variety of reasons. I stayed active on Reddit, and joined a few discord servers, all filled with people who were in the same boat as me. I even participated in an interview with NPR for a story they did about the issue with Facebook accounts.

My account on Facebook was the best record I had of everything that’s happen during the last ten years of my life, most notably the last two years during which Josh fought his battle with brain cancer.

My best advice to everybody is to ensure that your credentials for Facebook are secure and that you should download a backup copy of your account data as soon as possible, just in case something happens and you lose your account.

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