Save Kadavy: Facebook Disabled My Account

March 07 2009 – 02:08pm

UPDATE: My account is back! Turns out I had test account(s) (as a developer) that weren’t officially “test” accounts by Facebook’s standards. I wish Facebook would have notified me in some manner. They should definitely be more careful with this if they want people to trust them with all of that personal data. This made me think a lot about how much precious “information” (memories) I trust they will keep available to me. Anyway, it is good to be back! Thanks everyone for your support and insights.

save_kadavyFacebook disabled my account, and didn’t tell me why. The other day, as I was trying to comment on a Lifehacker thread using their super-cool Facebook Connect integration, I received this message:

acct_disabled

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HUH?! Disabled? How could my account be disabled? How could they take away from me my main means of communicating with my friends back in San Francisco, and everywhere else? Now I can’t even play Scrabble with my own mother!? Oh, yeah, AND WHY THE FUCK WAS MY ACCOUNT DISABLED?

At first I thought maybe it was this Tweet:

teen_sex

I figured, probably the words “teen sex”, followed by a link, set off some sort of flag when it was syndicated to my status message. One would think they would have a more sophisticated system for screening these things, but whatever. I sent them a message explaining this may have been it.

Then it was pointed out to me that since this tweet started with an “@” it probably wasn’t syndicated to my status message. The mystery continues.

Then I remembered a message I got a few weeks ago, regarding a video I posted that included a song by Spoon.

Hello,

We have removed your video entitled “Proportional Design Technique Time Lapse” uploaded at 8:20pm February 4th, 2009. We did this because we learned that your video might include copyrighted material owned by a third party, such as a video clip or background audio.

If you are the copyright owner, or have permission from the rights holder to upload and distribute this material on Facebook, you may file a counter notice of alleged infringement by following the link below.

Please note that if you re-upload this video without filing a counter notice, or if you upload another video that infringes on the rights of a third party, our system will again remove the content. This could cause your access to the Facebook Video application to be disabled, or your Facebook account to be disabled.

For any other questions, view our Help page.

The Facebook Team

“Okay,” I thought. A little anal, considering the video is only being shared with my friends, but whatever. Typical sort of language for this thing: “this could cause your access to the Facebook Video application to be disabled, or your Facebook account to be disabled.” Surely this language is for flagrant offenders. Anyway. Done deal. I can go on with my life, and spend the rest of my days throwing as many sheep at my friends as I wish.

Well, I guess there was one other video I had up that had a copyrighted song. A little experiment I did with processing.org and a Crystal Castles tune. I uploaded this video well before the Spoon one, so I didn’t think to take it down. Besides, they’ll just take it down and send me another message. Right? Right?

So, I’m left to assume that this was the egregious violation I had committed – putting up a video with a soundtrack that included a copyrighted song. By a group that, incidentally has had some copyright troubles themselves.

It’s been about 48 hours since my account was disabled, and still no comment from Facebook, or response to my inquiry. It’s as if my very existence has just gone into the ether. All those comments from my regular status updates via Twitter – shall be no more. Unless I get my account back.

Oh yeah, and that Facebook application that I spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours developing (which was also just about killed by the new API) what happens to that?

If you’re on Twitter, please tweet this:

Save @kadavy! Facebook disabled his account: http://tr.im/h7Ji Please ReTweet!

Be careful what you trust Facebook with. After this experience, I made this video about it:

Photo by willgame

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This post is filed under Kadavy, Miscellaneous, Social Media, Society, Technology.