(Although I can't post to the latter fan page, I believe you can still join and post comments to previous posts.)
Suffice it to say that I was quite disappointed upon being told:
Your account has been disabled by an administrator. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page here.
I finally discovered the error of my ways -- my "violation" after carefully reviewing Facebook's Warnings.
I also absorbed such helpful blog posts as "13 Reasons Your Facebook Acount Will be Disabled" from Thor Muller of Get Satisfaction and "Facebook Account Deactivation -- Can It Be Avoided" from Facebook guru Mari Smith.
Apparently, my offense was this: I wrote too quickly to people who'd requested to be my friends before accepting them. At the same time, I did what thought was a smart time-saving move -- I simply cut and pasted innocuous messages such as "Wow! Lots of friends in common. Look forward to your posts."
To put on my playful attitude (you have to in a case like this!), a fun way to describe my Facebook violation is this: I was too friendly too fast for Facebook! That, combined with cutting and pasting messages, was interpreted as being potentially "annoying or abusive."
As best as I can guess, Facebook erroneously assumed that I was a spamming machine instead of a health-oriented, flesh-and-blood lady, who often encourages people to get on the social networking site, which had 250 million followers as of July 15, 2009, according to CEO/founder Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook, I've now learned, limits the number of times a user can send the same message or make the same post. (I've learned my lesson! So much for saving time!)
Clearly, Facebook needs to set limits to protect users from spam, but unfortunately in its zeal to do so, many of us innocents are wrongly tossed out of the site. If you're on Facebook, I would strongly advise reading all of Rights & Responsibilities so you don't suffer similarly. Anyhow, I hope to be back on Facebook soon to connect with you, but in the meantime, here's what I discovered about the unsettling experience of being booted off the social networking place to be.
Every day, about 6,000 people are banned for a variety of reasons, according a site that helps people, whose accounts have been disabled. (The Facebook Disabled site is not affiliated with Facebook.)
Although I can't vouch for these figures (trying to reach a Facebook rep to ask questions for a story), if you get on Google to do a search for "Facebook account disabled," you turn up a whopping 38,100,000 hits (as of today).
Among those who've been disabled are the renowned Internet marketers/social media gurus/authors Robert Scoble (to your left here) and Guy Kawasaki (above left), as well as actress Lindsay Lohan, who vented about her mistaken identity on MySpace.
You also can read about the travails of Jo-Anne Vandermeulen, author of Conquer All Obstacles, and artist Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I'd Rather Be in the Studio, as well as reporter Craig Daitch of Advertising Age.
Meanwhile, you can get enlightened by Computer World, ("Disgruntled Facebook Users Look to Get Disabled Accounts Reactivated"). In addition, you can learn from the articles on TechCrunch "Facebook-Stirring Up Anger for Disabling Accounts") and the Sydney Morning Herald ("Facebook-Giveth, Facebook Taketh Away.")
Moving over to YouTube, you can watch Dark Angel, whose account was shut down twice because he wasn't using his real name, according to Facebook, that is. (He had his name legally changed.) You can even watch a parody from Internet strategist Erin Blaskie. (See video below.)
Despite my challenges of being disabled, I'm still a huge fan of Facebook, which is why I invite you to still be active on it but be careful. Listen now to my radio show about Facebook with the following experts:
- Jesse Stay, CEO of SocialToo.com and co-author, I'm on Facebook--Now What?;
- Mari Smith, dubbed the "Pied Piper" of Facebook by FastCompany.com. Also, the writer of the WhyFacebook.com;
- Greg Atwan, author of The Facebook Book;
- Karel Baloun, author of Inside Facebook: Life, Work and Visions of Greatness;
- Shashi Bellamkonda; social media swami;
- Shama Hyder, founder of Click to Client; and
- Mona Nomura, which readwriteweb.com described as a "big influencer in social media."
Stay tuned for an upcoming Gab With the Gurus Radio Show -- date is being determined -- that will teach you about Facebook's rules and regulations and help you avoid my fate and NOT to be disabled from the site.
But first listen to the fun Facebook radio show with all the experts cited above. Meanwhile, if you're a journalist, here's another great radio show about Facebook with Sree Sreenivasan, Dean of Student Affairs and Columbia University digital media professor.
Now, get entertained by Erin Blaskie's parody, "I was Banned From Facebook -- Game Show Parody."