As of late I've used my blog to pretty much post only my podcast (which is on hiatus until 2023) Episodes. However now seems like a good time to write something a little bit different. Facebook has disabled my account for seemingly no reason, and won't re-enable it. There's more to it, but stick with me, something here may help you if this happened to you.
This has been affecting Facebook users for nearly two years, one of the earliest dated incidents from Melissa Blevins who is a content creator that drove most of her content through Facebook and Instagram. Hackers got into her account, posted horrible things, and Facebook disabled it. Reasonable.
What is not reasonable is Facebook’s method for getting accounts back. It’s non-existent.
I was hacked on 11/13 by an IP based out of Vietnam.
Facebook told me via email that they disabled my account and that I could disagree with the decision to appeal. I did so by uploading an image of my ID, which they requested.
Five minutes later, I got a message saying that my account would remain disabled and that decision was final. Further attempts via the site’s methods to appeal are met with a message that reads:
"We Can’t Review the Decision to Disable Your Account. We have fewer reviewers available due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so we can’t review this decision right now."
This is Facebook, one of the largest tech companies in the world. This is unacceptable.
After some further digging, I found the subreddit r/facebookdisabledme (https://www.reddit.com/r/facebookdisabledme/) as well as several other accounts online where users were disabled after a hack. 4k+ members on this Subreddit. Most accounts are of people who completely lost their accounts. The only successes seem to be via contacting the AG of their state, Texas and California, in which Facebook may email them directly and enable the account. (California is most important as this is where Facebook is based)
My comic business/podcast/blog is attached to Facebook. My ad account is attached to Facebook. My college and family memories are stored on Facebook. Even my Instagram, which I also use for business, is inaccessible due to Facebook.
This is Facebook allowing their users to become victims and doing nothing about it.
For more detail, this is a timeline of what happened to me on November 13, 2022
1PM- I overslept and woke up to find that I could not access Facebook
10:07 AM- I realize, after checking my email that I received a FB account recovery code that I did not request that came in at 10:07 AM. This is a hacking attempt.
11:43 AM- I saw that someone tried to increase my ads account billing threshold in an email that was sent at 11:43 AM
11:46 AM- Facebook informs me that someone may have accessed my account, I get the "secure your account" button (which is useless now that they've already disabled my account)
11:48 AM- I get an email that says "this is to let you know your password was just changed... from a location: "Near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam." I live in ATL, GA.
11:58 AM- I get the email that says my facebook account has been suspended.
1:00 PM- As stated above, I woke up
1:11 PM- I change my password and discover that my account's disabled.
1:18 PM - I hit the "disagree" button in my email, upload my ID and immediately get a respond that says they are reviewing.
1:23 PM- They write (a clearly generated message) that says "We’ve determined that you are ineligible to use Facebook," and they say the decision is final. In my opinion this is complete BS for a system with no human interaction, that is clearly flawed because they should be able to see that they themselves reported suspicious activity on my account just over an hour prior.
5:20 PM- I email Meta Quest explaning the situation and that my oculus is attached to the account (this is actually true, I wasn't able to use oculus)
5:35 PM- I wrote a detailed email with times explaining what happened to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and email@example.com
6:32 PM- I messaged Facebook and Meta via Twitter about the issue in detail. I also tweeted them, which gave me a bunch of scammers trying to tell me that they can re-enable my account. I am of course ignoring them (they will take your money and run, don’t do this).
7:31 PM- For some reason, I get another email from FB stating again that they will not reinstate my account, even after the ID was uploaded.
10:12 PM- Oculus emails me back and says they can unlink my oculus from FB so I can use it, but they can't do anything about my FB Account. I email them back detailing the issue and the fact that I haven't spoken to the actual CS at FB.
I was able to download my data and clearly see the Vietnam password change, followed by logins. It’s very clear that this was a hack to any human with eyes. (I would think the A.I. would be smart enough to discern this as well, but maybe it isn’t that good).
I have since contacted the GA and CA Attorney Generals via their websites hoping to get a response back as this has been the only proven means of working, so far.
What I'm asking of those reading this:
Get the word out. Tag Facebook, Tag Meta. Write Articles. Request Articles. They won't stop until this becomes big enough. Let's make it big enough.