I feel so alone. I didn’t quite realize how much I used Facebook until it was taken away from me. Between Twitter and Facebook, I had built a nice little social network. Twitter has turned into a nice, strong following that I leverage for professional and social sharing, while Facebook really had become my way to stay connected to the people I actually have or had relationships with. I’d spent a good 3 years building a nice little corner of the ‘net and the Facebook gods have spoken. Why I have no idea.
And there lies my problem. Facebook just shut me down for no reason what so ever. They simply slapped me with a “your account is disabled” and threw me a nice little generic FAQ. No warning, no nothing. Sure, they have an email address where you can submit your argument, but based on what I’ve found online, it will be quite some time before I get a response, if I even get one ever.
Sure, I get it. Facebook has 300+ million users, and it’s a free service. I don’t expect to get the same level of customer service that I would for something I pay for. But I have a real problem with a company that thinks so little of their users to make broad sweeping account shut downs like this. I’ve spent countless hours over the past few years using the service, investing my time and providing my trust to Facebook with a lot of contact and content. I’ve evangelized and certainly contributed to bringing users to the platform. And all of that does not matter one bit.
It’s a good learning experience for me to realize that using social networks like this can be a risky proposition. Especially if you are a business. Imagine investing the same kind of time into building your fan page only to have Facebook give you the smack down with no explanation, or little to no resolution paths. A few months ago I wrote about how a local donut shop has used Facebook to tremendous success. They are up to over 2500 followers and have made Facebook a critical part of their marketing plan. So much so that they haven’t even bothered to create their own website yet. They don’t have to. Can you imagine if Facebook decided to just shut them down? Perhaps they should rethink that whole website thing.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get my account back, which means I’d probably have to start over. I’m not so sure I’d even bother. Regardless, it’s an eye-opener, and if you are a business owner thinking about using social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, always ensure that you combine those efforts with your own home grown web presence. It’s important to have some level of control when the gods decide to wreck havoc.