Ducky and Godzilla
The Saga of Why our
Facebook Page was Disabled and How it was Restored.
We have had so many inquiries about why our Facebook Page
was disabled for almost a month, that we thought it would be insightful to
provide the sequence of events we experienced.
On Oct. 31, 2022 (ironically Halloween) at 2:17am Meta sent
us the following email:
Your Facebook account was recently logged into using a
confirmation code and the email address ************@*******.net on Monday,
October 31, 2022 at 2:17 AM (EDT).
Operating system: Windows
IP address: 18.104.22.168
If you did this, you can safely disregard this email.
If you didn't do this, please secure your account.
The Facebook Security Team
© Facebook. Meta Platforms, Inc., Attention: Community
Support, 1 Facebook Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Then immediately afterwards, at 2:17am, we received another
email from Meta saying our account was logged into again and they considered
the login “unusual”, and asking us to confirm the login.
At 2:57am we received 3 more emails from Meta notifying us
that 3 videos were ready to be posted.
At 3:02am we received the following email from Meta:
Sonia, you have 30 days to take
Your Facebook account has been suspended. This is because
your account, or activity on it, doesn't follow our Community Standards.
If you think we suspended your account by mistake, you have
30 days to disagree with our decision. If you miss this deadline your account
will be permanently disabled.
You can learn more
about why we suspend accounts by visiting the Community Standards.
The Facebook Team
Keep in mind that all this happened during the middle of the
night while we were sound asleep. We
read the disastrous emails when we got up in the morning. Obviously, someone had duped Meta into giving
them login credentials so they could hack our account. We disagreed with Meta’s determination and
followed their directions to appeal our account suspension. We naively thought that resolution would be
straight forward. As part of the appeal,
we had to send them a copy of Sonia’s driver’s license and received the
Thanks for your report. We'll review the information you
provided and get back to you when we have an update on your report. In the
meantime, you can review our Community Standards to learn more about what is
and isn't allowed on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards?ref=c... We appreciate your patience.
The Facebook Team
Within 4 hours we received the next email from Meta:
We’ve determined that you are ineligible to use Facebook. To
learn more about Facebook’s policies, please review the Facebook Statement of
Rights and Responsibilities:
Unfortunately, for safety and security reasons, we can't
provide additional information as to why your account was disabled. We
appreciate your understanding, as this decision is final.
Needless to say, we were shocked and confused. This erroneous decision was final. All this was determined by Artificial
Intelligence, not real humans. The
hacker had tried to post 3 videos that violated Meta’s Community Standards. We are glad they were blocked since we do not
want to be associated with unsavory posts, but we were expecting that we could
speak with a real person to explain what happened and get our account restored. For over 10 years we have used FB for posting
personal communication and photos with friends and relatives. With many it is the only way to stay in touch.
We used our Sunrise Showers business FB account
to stay connected with our customers and post details about our products and
activities. All posts were very
compliant with Meta’s Community Standards, with nothing even approaching a
violation of their Community Standards.
Instead of explaining why the driver’s license was not
accepted, Meta’s AI referred us to their FAQ page that simply gives some
examples why a driver’s license may not be accepted. We took another photo of the driver’s license
and tried to submit it again. It was
declined outright, case closed!
Later we learned that the hacker rang up $250 in advertising
that was charged to our credit card that Meta had on file for our business advertising.
We spent countless hours (as in “days”) researching how to speak
with a real human at Meta and get our FB accounts restored. In this pursuit, we discovered that there are
1000’s and 1000’s of people and organizations who have had their FB accounts disabled
and deleted by Meta’s AI, after being hacked.
No consolation, but at least we discovered that we were not alone. There are many suggestions on the internet
regarding how to get a disabled FB account restored. Desperate, we tried them all. None worked.
Even some approaches that were just a few months old, were already obsolete
We tried any and all Meta email addresses that we uncovered
and they all went unanswered. Meta lists
a customer service phone number for FB issues.
When we called it, we received a message telling us to use Meta’s online
Customer Service FAQ page. Every thing
we tried just lead us in a never-ending circle of frustration. When we saw the $250 charge on our credit
card statement there was a FB phone number to call. Our expectations rose since we thought we
would finally speak with a real human.
Nope, just another message directing callers to the online Meta Customer
Service FAQ page.
Since we were getting nowhere trying to contact a real
person at Meta, we decided to contact every organization we could think of to
get assistance. Hacking is a federal crime
so we reported our issues, as instructed, to the FBI through their Internet
Crime Complaint Center. Since we are Wisconsin
residents, we filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Consumer Protection Department. Since Meta is headquartered in California, we
filed a complaint with the California Attorney General Office. We filed a complaint with the San Francisco
region of the Better Business Bureau.
With almost 3 billion users, and used by individuals,
businesses, governments, and countless organizations, Facebook has become
almost a quasi-utility. Maybe there
should be some oversight as how Meta handles interaction with their customers,
e.g. requiring real humans in their customer service department. We contacted our US Senator, Tammy Baldwin,
to see if her office could assist in any way.
After contacting all these various entities, on Thanksgiving
Day, we were astonished to receive the following email from Instagram:
Message from Meta
It looks like your account was disabled by mistake. Your
account has been reactivated, and you should now be able to log in. We're sorry
for any inconvenience.
If you have any issues getting back into your account,
please let us know.
The Facebook Team
We have no specific indication how or why our FB accounts
were restored. We are very grateful for the
attention given to this matter by everyone we reached out to. It was a tremendous waste of our time and
very frustrating and infuriating to get this matter resolved. And it was all caused by Meta’s AI being
duped into giving a hacker access to our account in the first place. We are certain it would have been resolved much
more expediently if we could have dealt with a real human at Meta instead of
their AI. It is not in anyone’s best
interest to have all the agencies we contacted spend time and resources acting
as customer service for Meta.
We are very grateful that Ducky won the battle over Godzilla, at least for now.