I really liked Facebook for a long time. I spent hours working on my Facebook page nearly every day for 13 years. I had a personal page of course, but more importantly, a fan page with over 886,000 followers.
My fans were really important to me, in a personal sort of way. I got to know some of them very well. We became friends, similar to real friends in the real world. I felt like I was part of a community that I built up little by little with a lot of hard work, while having fun at the same time.
I posted 15 to 20 times almost every day, posting pictures with quizzes, all of which I made myself, using, to the best my knowledge, public domain photos. I also re-edited my videos, the Real English videos, of course, just for Facebook. I would show an extract of a video, asking my followers to go to my site to watch the complete versions and to do the Exercises for these videos. And it worked very well. I had a lot more visitors to my site 2 months ago, before Facebook disabled my site.
Yes. Facebook suddenly disabled my account. My personal page and fan page have been gone for over 2 months as of this writing. Today is November 15th, 2019. This catastrophe took place in early September of the same year. But why? What did I do that was so bad that Facebook decided that they had to trash all my pages? My 13 years of work? After all, I was looking forward to a million followers before the end of 2020, and doing everything I could to keep everyone engaged with good content.
I have very honestly imagined everything possible, and I still don't know. I have read a lot about this Disabling or Blocking of FB accounts, and one astute person pointed out that people with disabled accounts actually know deep down that they have done something wrong. Myself included? Please read on.
The main reasons seem to be the following:
- Fake Accounts: You must use your real name or Facebook will disable the account immediately.
- If you created a page that impersonates another person, it will indeed also be closed without warning.
- Groups Joined: You have joined too many groups. The maximum limit is 200 groups per user.
- Spam: If you posted too many messages on a wall or in a group in a too short time span, it can be considered spam.
- Friends: If you make too many requests for friends, you're also in trouble. Facebook has instituted a maximum 5000 friends policy.
- Under Age: You are under 18 years old.
- Offensive content: You wrote content and some people reported you.
- Frequency: You made too many wall posts in a short amount of time. But Facebook doesn't define how many is too many.
There are more reasons spelled out in FB's Terms And Conditions, but these are apparently the most common ones. I can honestly say that I have no idea what I did wrong, except to admit that I might have made too many wall posts. I don't know if 15 to 20 a day is too many or not.
Another possibility is the fact that the name of my page was Real English®, with the trademark sign at the end, since I have owned this trademark for over 25 years in the US and the European Union. Nowadays, it is not possible to create a name of an FB page with any symbols in it, but it was perfectly acceptable in the early days of Facebook when I created my fan page. Did a new FB employee presume that I hacked the FB system by including a trademark sign? In point of fact, I am not at all capable of hacking. I can barely write this HTML! But it is certainly possible that an FB employee was offended by my unusual trademark sign. I will never know since Facebook does not communicate with people whose accounts they disable. But they did destroy 13 years of hard work, and they said nothing at all.
Facebook is in fact so extremely opaque, not answering a single message that I sent them, which seems outrageous to me. I think I am innocent. I also think it is possible that my account was hacked (again), and the hacker did terrible things to my page which offended a Facebook employee. I will simply never know.
Posted by Michael Marzio,
Creator of Real English® Video and Lessons,
November 15th, 2019.