Like City Hall, You Can’t Fight Facebook. You Can’t Even Give In!


I fought the law and the law won
I fought the law and the law won
                                   Sonny Curtis

While I may not be ‘breaking rocks in the hot sun’, I have been punished by Facebook for using an alias. It has been said that you can’t fight city hall, but even when I obeyed Facebook, they still screwed me over.

I’m not sure about city hall, but I know you can’t fight Facebook, in fact you can’t even acquiesce.

Like many people I had a personal Facebook page on which I identified myself not by my real name, but as DC Montreal, the name of my blog. Even worse, the photo was not me, but was my DCMontreal logo. This riled the Facebook police who were on a ‘real name’ mission. One day recently when I tried to sign in to my page I learned that they had frozen it and in its stead put a message informing me I needed to submit proof of my real name. They provided several examples of the kind of document they would accept, among them was a driver’s license.

Long a supporter of the right to Internet anonymity, this irked me considerably. From George Sand to Mark Twain, writers and artists have used noms de plume for centuries. What’s Facebook’s problem?

Regardless of my thoughts on the matter of anonymity, I played along and submitted a colour scan of my Canadian Province of Quebec driver’s license, redacting all but my real names, date of birth and photo. This I believed to be in accordance with the request made by Facebook. For a couple of weeks I checked several times a day to see if my page had been liberated with my real name and photo, as I was lead to believe it would. Nope, nothing but a note informing me they were considering the submitted document.

Long a supporter of the right to Internet anonymity, this irked me considerably. From George Sand to Mark Twain, writers and artists have used noms de plume for centuries.

Finally I received an email letting me know that they – who I consider to be the Facebook Star Chamber – had deemed my Quebec driver’s license invalid for the purposes of identifying myself. Huh? It’s a legal, government issued form of identification. Facebook even listed such licences as acceptable, or is that only in the USA? Another document deemed acceptable by Facebook was a passport. Scanning and transmitting passports does not strike me as a sensible thing to do. It also speaks to me of an arrogance on the part of Facebook, as if they see themselves on a level with nations.

Even though it went against my moral grain, I played by Facebook’s rules, and still got stiffed. But it gets worse.

When I did have access to my Facebook page I used to post links to my blog on it. Like millions of others, my blog is hosted by WordPress.com. Some months, perhaps even a year or so, before the real name crusade, the folks at WordPress informed their users that Facebook did not want bloggers using personal pages to promote their blogs. Rather they wanted them to create a business page, one of those that has no friends, just likes.

Even though it went against my moral grain, I played by Facebook’s rules, and still got stiffed.

No problem, I set up a dcmontreal.wordpress.com Facebook Business page. The problem is I did so through my personal page and when it was incarcerated in the Facebook penitentiary, my business blog page was also made inaccessible. Great.

The bottom line is that both my Facebook pages, personal and business, are serving time in Facebook’s jail even though I have done what I believe was asked of me. I’m not sure about city hall, but I know you can’t fight Facebook, in fact you can’t even acquiesce.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Like City Hall, You Can’t Fight Facebook. You Can’t Even Give In!

  1. I really hate Facebook and don’t have a special “page,” just a presence. If they were to cut me off tomorrow, though I already use my real name so I can’t imagine why, I’d survive. I really DO hate them. They have their uses (playing stupid, mindless games to wile away otherwise unoccupied hours comes to mind,) but more than a few minutes on FB has me gnashing my teeth. It’s ironic that they would pick on YOU considering the morons that populate their feeds. Bizarre.

  2. It happened to me yesterday. Facebook didn’t have a slightest problem taking my money under the name they decided to disapprove suddenly. My business page is still there and I have no access to it. First, I’m not sending any id’s to the social media site full of security holes and broken fixtures. Others experiences (including the comments above) only confirm my decision. If they think they can require the Swiss Bank verification system, they should first implement one. Second, I’m not going down quietly – I already disputed all the charges for the ads and consider legal action to recover my data. They can do whatever they want, but nowhere in their Terms and Conditions it says they will cut you off without fair warning and the chance to recover your data, which I consider stolen by them at this time. Free personal profile is one thing, but as soon as one starts accepting money for their services the relationship changes and is protected by business laws (at least that’s what I hope for here in US)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s