Facebook Banned Me – Here’s Why

Facebook banned Fiona Broome - and she's not sorry

This is awkward to talk about.

I’ve been banned from Facebook. As I was in the midst of posting about their June 26th privacy opt-out deadline, they stopped me from posting (mid-sentence), and instantly deleted my account.

Here’s what happened

Like a few other activists, I was alarmed by what Facebook was (covertly, in my opinion) planning to do, starting June 27th.

So, I decided to post about it, on Facebook, to warn friends about intent to use all of your posts and photos (and photos you’re in) to “train AI.”

That vague phrase – and the way this was being handled by Facebook – raised many alarms related to privacy.

Facebook saw what I was saying, and banned me, as I was still writing my post.

They did not contact me ahead of time, and there was no warning.

So, I can no longer access the Facebook site at all. After this experience, I’m not sure that I want to, though I will sadly miss contact with so many friends there.

These are the articles I’d linked to

This is from the opening of the latter article:

If you post or interact with chatbots on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, or WhatsApp, Meta can use your data to train its generative AI models beginning June 26, according to its recently updated privacy policy. Even if you don’t use any of Meta’s platforms, it can still scrape data such as photos of you if someone else posts them.

For those who wanted to fact-check our privacy concerns, I also linked to Facebook’s own privacy statement. Read carefully the part about using all of your posts and photos, with a vague allusion to other things connected to your account.  For me, that’s the alarming part… along with how difficult they made it for people to find out about their plans, and opt-out.

Lessons learned

From this, I’ve learned not to devote so much time to platforms where my voice can be muted or silenced altogether.

And, I’ve realized that it’s time for me to focus on being a “category of one,” as I was when I started HollowHill.com, 25 years ago.

For too long, I’ve been trying to make that site (and my YouTube channel)  “all things, for all people,” instead of leaning into what I’m most passionate about.

That will change in the coming weeks.

What’s next?

I can appeal Facebook’s ban, but only if I give them my phone number. I’m weighing the pros & cons of that, and may buy a cheap phone for that purpose.

But, for now, it’s a firm “no.” I don’t like how Facebook handled this. Not at all.

Meanwhile, friends tell me that my Fiona Broome News page is still at Facebook. (I can’t access Facebook at all, so I can’t do anything about that.)

I may launch a Substack account, but I’m more likely to use my time to shift the focus of HollowHill.com, as well as my YouTube channel about ghost hunting.

Be prepared; that shift may seem radical to those who don’t know me well. (Those who’ve been “reading between the lines” in recent months… they will not be surprised.)

Meanwhile, please let friends know what’s happened, and that I’m fine. Irked, but fine.

5 thoughts on “Facebook Banned Me – Here’s Why”

  1. Facebook and Reddit are the largest sites for harvesting data. It’s a different matter if you deliberately fill it with codswallop that may confound the best AI. But to be wary of treacherous places and persons is the best policy.. As Chase said in his 60s novel CADE,treachery has become way of life. If you get inclination, do read CADE, the most realistic book I have ever read.

    1. Great insights, Vivek, thank you!

      Since posting about this, I’m hearing similar experiences described by others.

      Apparently, being de-indexed by Google isn’t as unusual as I’d like: https://www.allsides.com/news/2024-07-02-1029/technology-google-broken-how-algorithm-tweak-cost-livelihoods

      And AI – which was definitely watching my keystrokes as I was posting, hence the ban before the post appeared – is a hungry monster: https://www.allsides.com/news/2024-06-21-1050/media-industry-exclusive-multiple-ai-companies-bypassing-web-standard-scrape

      Re: CADE, I hadn’t heard of that book and looked it up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cade_(novel) It sounds a bit too dark for me, but thanks for mentioning it. It definitely sounds like a cautionary tale.

      Meanwhile, if my Fiona Broome News pages is still at Facebook, can you leave a comment or two, letting people know that I’m fine, but banned?

  2. Fiona, your fb page is not opening in my android phone. However being a luddite and minimalist, I am still using my dirt cheap nokia c1-01 for fb. I have extracted so much from this tiny 2g phone since 12 years,that none of my friends have done with their latest desktops. Anyway I have left a comment on your june 18 post on fb,in my nokia phone with s40 os and opera mini,that’s still opening your page but not the timeline. And you won’t believe, I use my cheap 4g samsung j2, by tethering it via bluetooth,with the same nokia 2g phone. Here in India we have 2g,4g,and 5g service.

  3. Seems your fb account has been restored but since I am only following you,and not in friends list,you may know better.

    1. Thanks, Vivek! Right now, it looks like they’ve restored my personal account, but they still won’t give me access to it, unless I give them more personal information.

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