Facebook deactivated my account for no reason and now I am blocked from all “Facebook login” apps
The morning today was no different than any other. I woke up, made coffee, read the news and at some point I checked my Facebook profile. As expected nothing interesting popped up there. At some point during the day, I ordered a service check for the airconditioning in my car, and I found it funny that the first available spot the workshop have is in August 2028.
I don’t post much on Facebook any more, but I found it funny that I have to wait 8 years if I want to use that workshop, so I uploaded a picture of that and wrote a funny comment. I went through my news feed and saw a post from a person I more or less had forgotten about. Since he was a very distant friend, far out in the network, I decided to unfriend him.
After working hours in the garden, I open Messenger to write to a friend I am meeting tomorrow. The app is kinda slow and when it finally shows something it asks for my phone number. I click skip, as they already have it, and then my friend list loads. It is completely empty. All connections are gone, all the messages are gone, the app is completely blank.
I open my Facebook App just to find out that my account has been deactivated. The reason is “a suspicious activity or something else”. I am not doing anything that would violate Facebook guidelines (except that I unfriended a person…), so I am guessing I fall under “something else”, which is a rather broad category. A friend tells me that Facebook recently had a data breach, so I am guessing my account was part of that. But still, wouldn’t I at least have received an email then?
From Facebook I am now asked to take a selfie video, to prove that I am not a robot. I do what the app says, move my head to the left and then to the right, and then I upload it. Then I get a confirmation and the screen changes to the picture below.
Pay good attention to what the message says:
We have fewer people available to review information due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This means we may be unable to review your account.
They seriously say that they may be unable to review my account and then apologise for any inconvenience. How can they do that? What about people who run their legit business through Facebook? People who buy adds (which I have done), people who use Facebook for the original reason Facebook was invented, to connect with your friends.
I now have no way of contacting any person at Facebook and I just have to wait for them to, at some point, get to my number in the queue. In the meantime, I am logged out of everything. The odd thing is that I am still receiving notifications on my phone, even though I am unable to login to Facebook.
This particular message I received even though my Facebook account is deactivated, is regarding an upcoming reunion party from my old Primary school. As Facebook has become an integrated system for remembering event details like this, I have no idea when it is or what my two old classmates just wrote. I most likely won’t have any of the people in my phone address list, as I would just use the Facebook address list to contact them. Thank you Facebook for ruining the reunion party for me.
Apps where I use Facebook login
Another problem that I, unfortunately, didn’t think about before, is all the apps where I have used Facebook login as the login method. As I am unable to login to Facebook, this also means that I am unable to login to any app where I have used Facebook login. This is really inconvenient. One thing is that I am unable to login to Facebook, okay I could live with that, but what about all the apps where I was so stupid to use Facebook as my login method?
In a way, Facebook is now keeping me, a hostage, from using any other app where I used their login, just because they somehow decided that they could deactivate my account. I have done nothing, absolutely nothing, which would violate Facebook Guidelines, they have absolutely no reason to deactivate my account. But they do it, just because they can, and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it except waiting for them to approve my ID confirmation.
What I want you to take home from this post is this question.
Are you using Facebook login for any of your apps? If yes, then change it. You don’t want to be in the situation that I am in now…
Update: After my post, I found that there is apparently a hashtag for this situation on Twitter:
Originally published at https://www.bpetersen.dk on August 14, 2020.