Author Topic: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts  (Read 1636 times)

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« on: April 30, 2018, 09:20:23 AM »
So, I'm having this huge problem with Facebook and hope some of you can explain to me what's going on, or help me fix it. If it can be fixed.

Let me explain the situation:

I have a Facebook account for my author pen name, which I almost never use except for ads, announcements about new books, things like that. I would never ever use this account for anything personal as I need it to stay 'clean'. I'd never use it to join a flirt group for gothic folks, for instance. My pen name remains 100% separate from anything personal I do.

Apart from this, I used to have a second account for personal stuff - not with my real name, of course, because using real names in the internet can be dangerous and Facebook shouldn't even be allowed to 'demand' real names from their users. Millions of FB users have registered with fake names and encountered no issues. Anyway, all was well with this account until someone disagreed with me in a group discussion and reported me to Facebook as a fake account. So that was that.

Made a new account, which got blocked again after a few days of doing completely normal stuff... joined two FB groups, posted some comments. Nothing unusual and nothing that would violate FB's ToS regarding content. The 'reason' I got was 'we detected unusual activity and locked your account for security reasons'. Bullshit. Anyway, I made yet another account and that one got locked within HOURS. I didn't even have time to join the FB group where I had the disagreement resulting in my first account getting reported as fake. I joined a group I had never joined before, posted two perfectly normal comments. BAM, Facebook asked for phone verification... okay, I let them send me a text, then deleted my phone info from the account. Hours later, they blocked me AGAIN, this time demanding a picture of me. Which I uploaded. They deleted the account anyway.  :o

So... what do I do? I'm absolutely not going to use my real name with facebook. That's out of the question. I've had to deal with stalkers in the past, and I'm running in some, ahem, alternative social circles where it's good to be cautious. Unfortunately the communities I'm interested in are most active in their FB groups, so if I can't use FB I'm missing out.

I'm thinking about asking someone to let me have an older FB account they are no longer using. Maybe I'm getting blocked because the accounts I created were brand new, without friends or a post history to speak of?

I'd really appreciate some help  :'(

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12890
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2018, 11:45:53 AM »
I've heard that FB actually doesn't allow fake/duplicate accounts for people.  They also definitely track activity by IP, so that's how they can see new/duplicate accounts so fast.

Sorry, I don't have any solutions.  I hate FB and wish I could quit, but I'm part of groups that ONLY use FB for communication too.

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1956
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2018, 11:57:28 AM »
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« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 03:29:36 AM by Molten Heart »

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 02:02:51 PM »
Rather than setting up a new personal account, you could try setting up a new page to be used to promote and otherwise generate interest in your new books. While you'd still manage the page through your existing facebook account, your current account should remain invisible and undetectable by outside facebook viewers, They'd see the page as whatever it was set up to look like.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/create/?ref_type=bookmark

I don't get this whole page / account thing. How is a page different from an account? And can I use a name different from the account there, and join groups with it?

I also have the problem that I need someone to accompany me to a Goth festival on the 11th / 12th of May. All my 'regulars' are unavailable for that date, and the only place to find someone would be this FB group for Goths...  :(

God, how I hate having to depend on Facebook at all. I hate it with a passion.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 02:15:40 PM by Akaramu »

The Lonely Hunter

  • Posts: 877
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 02:41:48 PM »
It sounds as if your accounts are being blocked because you are violating the terms of service.

I use Facebook for my business as well. The way to go is setting up a company page for your pen name as a public personality (or something similar). No one ever needs to know who you really are!

"People survive by climbing over anyone who gets in their way, by cheating, stealing, killing, swindling, or otherwise taking advantage of others."
-Ginka

"Don't do this. I can't believe I have to write this post."
-Rathustra

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 02:49:45 PM »
It sounds as if your accounts are being blocked because you are violating the terms of service.

Like literally milions of people...  who get away with it.  :P

Why me and not them? It's a mystery.

How would a company page help me? I can't join these groups with my pen name... no way.

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1956
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 03:16:47 PM »
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« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 03:29:23 AM by Molten Heart »

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7765
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 06:00:18 PM »
Your mistake was in making another account after the first one was blocked. Circumventing a block by making another account is against the rules. Your IP was detected, and that new account was blocked. Then you continued making new accounts, and now really the only way you're going to be able to make a new facebook account is to use a whole other computer, using an SSH tunnel to access the internet, or get a brand new IP address. Using a web proxy won't work.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 06:42:39 PM »
Your mistake was in making another account after the first one was blocked. Circumventing a block by making another account is against the rules.

If I hadn't made a new account, I would have stayed locked out of those groups I need access to. So what was I to do? Use my real name after I've had to deal with stalkers, and send FB a photo ID? No way in hell. I don't trust Facebook security or privacy as far as I can throw it.

The last time a dodgy, untrustworthy company demanded a photo ID from me, my credit card appeared on a list of compromised cards 3 months later. Unfortunately the company making the demand had my credit card info. That was Funcom, btw.

A "page" is much like a personal page (a normal facebook account) except they don't have friends, but instead people like and follow the page. The page can still make posts with comments, add photos, etc
and other things like a personal pages does.

Can it join groups and post comments in them?
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 06:47:32 PM by Akaramu »

Lizzie

  • Posts: 7765
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 07:10:08 PM »
Sorry I just have a problem with "need access" to groups. You want access to groups, but unless you're getting paid to manage those groups, you don't need access to them. Again - you violated the terms of service. You could have appealed the first block but instead, you chose to violate them even further by making new accounts and using fake names. BOTH Of those things are against the rules. So you didn't just violate a rule. You violated more than one, and you did it more than once and you knew you were doing it.

Short of creating a new IP and never using your current devices to access the internet (cookies, and data still present even if you delete them), there's really nothing further you can do without risking the professional page you have up as well.

You're required to use your real name when you set up a facebook account. People who don't use their real name are at risk of having their account terminated. You knew that when you signed up.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 07:18:53 PM »
You're required to use your real name when you set up a facebook account. People who don't use their real name are at risk of having their account terminated. You knew that when you signed up.

50% of people I know on FB don't use their real names for the same reasons I don't. I knew that when I signed up. In fact, I didn't know real names were required when I signed up - because so many people don't use them. My 'crime' was disagreeing with someone and getting reported as a fake account while the hundreds of other fake accounts kept going about business as usual.

So, unless about 50% of literally everyone who uses Facebook gets their accounts terminated, I still don't believe I'm in the wrong.

And EU law actually says what FB is doing is illegal (for data privacy reasons). I just can't be bothered to hire a lawyer over something like this.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1657
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 09:59:27 PM »
You could argue that its illegal, but its really not. You are in no way required to use the service they are providing, and all they ask for in return is your details. (Among other more nefarious things they do with the details)

Its like saying that food place you want to go to wont let you in because you wont put shoes on, the business has every right to refuse service to you for not following their rules. Is it kind of shitty? Sure is. Is it wrong? Nope, it keeps things clean and means you dont have to look at an old dudes gnarly toenails while eating a burger. Which converts, or should, into Facebook requiring you to use real data, it is supposed to mean that you are interacting with the person you think you are.

Edit to add: Which isnt to say you dont deserve privacy, because you do. There should be a way to make it more private without removing the honesty.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 10:06:43 PM by Hauwke »

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 10:08:55 PM »
You could argue that its illegal, but its really not. You are in no way required to use the service they are providing, and all they ask for in return is your details. (Among other more nefarious things they do with the details)

Its like saying that food place you want to go to wont let you in because you wont put shoes on, the business has every right to refuse service to you for not following their rules. Is it kind of shitty? Sure is. Is it wrong? Nope, it keeps things clean and means you dont have to look at an old dudes gnarly toenails while eating a burger. Which converts, or should, into Facebook requiring you to use real data, it is supposed to mean that you are interacting with the person you think you are.

Edit to add: Which isnt to say you dont deserve privacy, because you do. That one is definately on Facebook. One thing they could add, is the ability to hide your name and replace it with an Alias of some sort.

I hate FB and wish I could quit, but I'm part of groups that ONLY use FB for communication too.

You can pick the place you eat at, but when you need to be part of groups that communicate mostly over FB, you don't have the choice. It becomes mandatory. I've even heard of cases where FB is mandatory for certain jobs. It's mandatory for me as an author, too - many other authors in my genre communicate through FB and there is no way around it if I want to do my marketing.

Hauwke

  • Posts: 1657
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2018, 10:19:17 PM »
Its your choice to communicate with them though, its just the only place to eat at in your area is all. Which sucks.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 9908
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2018, 04:54:41 AM »
Very helpful, Hauwke.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 9908
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2018, 04:55:44 AM »
Have you tried communicating with Facebook support, Akaramu?

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2018, 08:56:59 AM »
Have you tried communicating with Facebook support, Akaramu?

That would be pointless as they would insist I need to use my real name, which is a no-go. Internet anonymity is the reason I managed to lead a more or less normal life after decades of mobbing and harassment. I'll defend my right to it to the last breath.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 9908
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2018, 09:49:28 AM »
They might jump at the chance for some good looking band-aid customer support after the beating they've taken lately, you never know.

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11940
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2018, 09:58:12 AM »
Even if you sign up with your real name, you can set your privacy so that no one can find you unless you specifically reach out and friend them. You can even block all of your information from people you do friend. I think you are digging your heels in out of an (understandable) overabundance of caution. You can also change your display name to something different later on if you so desire.

Explain your issues to FB customer support and I can only imagine they will help. The worst that can happen is that you decide not to go through with making an account, which means you'll be where you are now. It's worth a shot. No one here has the power to make Facebook change their policies.
Will they tell your story in the end?
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2018, 10:21:43 AM »
Even if you sign up with your real name, you can set your privacy so that no one can find you unless you specifically reach out and friend them. You can even block all of your information from people you do friend. I think you are digging your heels in out of an (understandable) overabundance of caution. You can also change your display name to something different later on if you so desire.

Explain your issues to FB customer support and I can only imagine they will help. The worst that can happen is that you decide not to go through with making an account, which means you'll be where you are now. It's worth a shot. No one here has the power to make Facebook change their policies.

You forget that Switzerland is small, and my first + last name combination is uncommon enough to find me if they recognize the accent of my home region, which most anyone will. Hell, a stalker recently found my author pen name with ONLY my first name, book genre, and knowing what I look like. That's insane. He must have sifted through literally thousands of google hits. For that reason, I had to delete my author photos on Amazon and Goodreads.

Is changing the display name allowed? And doesn't the original name keep showing up in the site address? Even if not, I'd still have the issue of needing two accounts when only one is allowed. One for my author pen name, and one for personal stuff I keep strictly separate from my author identity.

I know no one here has the power to change FB policies, that's not the kind of help I expected.

To anyone who has similar issues now or in the future: a person from one of those 'alternative' communities (where people know it's SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS to use your real name online, especially as a woman) offered some good advice. Apparently, you can:

google for 'Facebook anonymous' (at least in German, not sure if there is info to be found in English)
google for 'Facebook tracker block'

And apparently Mozilla has an update for Firefox that blocks FB's data collection attempts.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 10:37:55 AM by Akaramu »

Delirium

  • Helper
  • Posts: 11940
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2018, 10:30:22 AM »
If you're having problems with a stalker, you should a) report it to the police and keep as detailed a diary of all attempts/infractions as possible, and collect what proof you can, and b) explain this to FB support so that they can perhaps give you some form of waiver. But you won't know unless you try to communicate. Without the communication it's easy for them to assume you're just making spam accounts, which is in fact an extremely common occurrence.
Will they tell your story in the end?
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Veselka

  • Posts: 742
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2018, 05:15:22 PM »
I had some real weirdness with Facebook recently too -- I was just trying to create a business page, and I kept getting flagged for being a spambot or something. They insisted I upload a photo of myself to continue, and I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, as it wasn't explained anywhere what they were doing with the image, where it was going, how it was being used, or why they needed it. Contacting customer support is nearly impossible (there's a lot of hoops to jump through just to talk to a real person), so I fired a shot across the bow.

Lo and behold, I get contacted by Facebook directly 3 days later, apologized to, and my account was unlocked immediately. They explained that the photo ID was due to a deactivated facebook account I had (under my real name) that was setting off red flags. Understandable, but there was no indication or warning that was the case.

I had a similar snafu with Sprint recently when I changed providers, where they refused to follow through and change my physical address so they could send me my final bill (I narrowly avoided going to collections before with AT&T when they pulled that), so again, BBB. Sprint Administrator called me within three days, apologized profusely, gave me a tracking number for my final bill in 1st class USPS, and voila. Problem solved.

Moments like this where I actually love America.
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.

--Immanuel Kant

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2018, 06:21:05 PM »

Lo and behold, I get contacted by Facebook directly 3 days later, apologized to, and my account was unlocked immediately. They explained that the photo ID was due to a deactivated facebook account I had (under my real name) that was setting off red flags.

Actually, this sounds exactly like what happened to me. I deactivated the account that was revenge-reported as fake because I refused to hand FB my photo ID. That deactivated account is still around and may have set off flags. It wasn't blocked, I deactivated it myself (because the only alternative was to submit my ID).

Thanks for the info, that was helpful to know  :)

Molten Heart

  • Posts: 1956
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2018, 10:56:46 AM »
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« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 03:28:17 AM by Molten Heart »

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6743
Re: HELP! Facebook keeps blocking my accounts
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2018, 11:16:08 AM »
I'd try to contact a human at Facebook and explain to them that you're an author and you want to use a pen name while keeping your real identity confidential. There are many authors that do this. Ask them what you will need to do this. Keep in mind their primary purpose at Facebook is helping people connect.

How do I contact a human at Facebook? I can't find a support email address. And to send an appeal about the blocked account I'd have to upload a photo ID, which as mentioned above, is a no-go.

If anyone knows how to contact them without going through a form that's unavailable to me or demands an ID, I'd appreciate it.

I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, as it wasn't explained anywhere what they were doing with the image, where it was going, how it was being used, or why they needed it. Contacting customer support is nearly impossible (there's a lot of hoops to jump through just to talk to a real person), so I fired a shot across the bow.

I might just try this.