Written by Timothy E. Lewis (@TimothyELewis) – May 3rd, 2017
#Facebook72Hours was the first hashtag suggestion on Twitter the other day. Does that mean it’s trending? I’m not good at Twitter.
Here’s a few of the numerous complaints:
Here’s what’s happening: Due to an apparent glitch, Facebook is banning some users for 72 hours as a “security precaution.” However, even that lengthy time frame proved inadequate, as users, myself included, have experienced longer bans than the aforementioned.
The number of users who have faced the ban is impossible to estimate with the available information. #Facebook72Hours themed complaints continue to roll in on Twitter but this could be a small fraction of the total populace afflicted. There’s no way of knowing how many Twitter users chose not to use the service to express themselves, or how many did so, but without the hashtag. Additionally, there are those who don’t use Twitter at all; a bunch that would have a hard time making their voices heard. What we do know is that this ban is an international dilemma, thanks to a report by The Sun. I will update this article as more comprehensive data becomes available.
Oddly enough the website requests a photo to prove one’s identity, which they claim to be authenticating during the 72 hour period. Here are two examples of the message I received when attempting to login, both before and after the 72 hour timeframe:
Essentially, Facebook went from saying, “Hold up, we’ll have this fixed in 72 hours” to “We’ve banned you from your account for an indefinite amount of time while we look at pictures of you.”
The primary victims appear to be those using the Marketplace, a service on the website where users buy and sell goods. Other circumstances are being reported as well, some “for no reason,” and others, like myself, for posting a question to the Facebook Support page.
Among those engaged in financial negotiations or reliant of the Marketplace’s services, this is no simple issue of liking and sharing. It’s irresponsible to act as a medium for commerce with such a loophole. Even some who don’t use Marketplace have business pages that rely on the website for networking and publicity purposes.
Additionally, there are a multitude of services a Facebook user might use their Facebook profile to log into. Of these, some may be subscription based (i.e. Spotify). In the latter circumstance, Facebook’s mishap is depriving users of a service they pay for monthly.
Facebook membership has no monetary requirement, but that doesn’t make it free. The social media platform uses your information as a means to deliver targeted advertising. In turn, Facebook receives money from companies wishing to advertise through them. The information used is a combination of your liking/posting history, age, gender, location, and even the cookies on your browser. The bill comes due one way or another.
Considering the mutually beneficial relationship between Facebook and its users, both sides have the right to demand a standard of quality from one another, whether that is Facebook requiring the provision of our information, or a user expecting a reliable social media experience.
Perhaps the most disappointing facet is Facebook’s failure to address the issue while responding to many other questions and troubles through their Twitter page.
As of now, the glitch has received little media publicity, perhaps attributed to the site’s users’ inability to communicate via the platform; a paradoxical and very real possibility.
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