Today, nearly a week after a Lulzsec/Lulz Security hack resulted in my Facebook page being hacked by jackasses who sent awful spam to nearly a thousand of my students, friends, and family members before I could get the page blocked, Facebook finally got back to me on my account.
Your account was suspended because one or more photos you uploaded [my emphasis, not theirs] violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This content has been removed from the site. After reviewing your situation, we reactivated your account.
[Some content snipped for being a form e-mail totally irrelevant to my situation]
You may now log in. For technical and security reasons, we cannot provide you with a description or copy of the removed content. Learn more about our policies by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards: www.facebook.com/communitystandards/
We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation going forward.
Thanks for your understanding,
—–Original Message to Facebook—–
From: Holly Lisle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: The Facebook Team
Subject: Re: My Personal Profile was Disabled
Since my site is one of those that was hacked by Lulzsec/Lulz Security, I’m sure you’ll be able to figure out the problem promptly.
So, first…a word to Facebook:
Don’t thank me for being understanding, Cedric. I’m not the least bit understanding about this. My page was HACKED. You’re still blaming me.
But now, what really matters
When I got back into my site, I had one thing, and only one thing, I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to apologize to each and every person who’d received spam from from the Lulzsec/Lulz Security hackers through my account.
I wanted to say “I’m very sorry you were spammed in the worst imaginable way by someone purporting to be me, and I’m very sorry I had no way to contact you when all of this was going on to let you know it was NOT me doing this, and that as it was going on, I was fighting as hard as I could to make it stop.”
What I discovered instead was that all my friends, family members, students, and others were gone. I had no way to contact them to apologize for the awful content they’d received from the hackers.
I was completely alone on my defaced, ruined, still-pornographic page.
Here’s what I discovered about Facebook.
If you’re on Facebook, Facebook owns you. They own your information, they own your contacts, they own your family members, they own your mailbox, they own whatever you create on the site. And in an instant they can take it away, and you cannot get it back. You have no other way to contact friends you connect with through the site but the way they offer you—so all the people you love can disappear out of your reach in an instant’s notice, through no fault of your own.
If you friended me on Facebook, I’m very sorry I could not reach you. I’ll apologize here and hope anyone who knows me from both Facebook and my weblog, mailing list, or Twitter, will pass this along so the people I care about, with whom I have once again lost contact, will at least know where to find me if they want to.
I will not go back to Facebook.
When I realized I could not reach the people I needed to reach to apologize, I immediately requested the page be deleted permanently.
In fourteen days, everything connected to my account will be off Facebook permanently.
I will not be part of anything that exercises that sort of control over people’s information and lives, and that does so in such an irresponsible, cavalier, and incompetent fashion.
If you have people on the site you don’t know how to reach in any other way, fix that today. Exchange phone numbers, exchange real email addresses, set up a place where you can contact each other independently of Facebook’s closed network.
Don’t assume that Facebook will be there for you, that the system will work the way it should, that if you live by their terms of service, Facebook will back you up.
Don’t end up where I am. It’s an ugly place to be.