So, in all my years I have never once been in trouble with the law, apart from that pesky speeding fine…oh and that restraining order (but let’s not mention that!). You can imagine my horror last Saturday morning when I went to share a book review in a book group and a notification popped up advising me that my access to Facebook had been restricted for 6 days due to the number of posts I shared and the possibility that I was in fact spamming!!!!!
It quickly hit home, I had effectively been put in Facebook Jail! Me? Little miss innocent, lover of the books and all things bookish!
Once the shock had worn off, I began to get a little bit pissed off! What was my heinous crime? What assault had I committed against the social media community? How offensive and derogatory had I been? My answer:- I am a book blogger and I write book reviews and cover book events on my blog. I use SOCIAL media as a means to share that book love and I share it on my own Facebook page and in book groups (which I presume are full of book-loving members!). My reviews, I feel, are fair and honest; I’ve never slated anyone or been insulting, so what on earth is it that I have done?
Facebook does give you the right to appeal your sentence but they ignore any appeal you make. There is no explanation as to what you have done wrong or if you have upset anyone. When you go onto their help and support pages you get masses of information about algorithms and bots, none of which made any sense to me! What I did manage to work out is that either one of two things has happened, a. Facebook has regarded my posts as spam as I post in too many groups and/or too often (though I certainly don’t post any more than any other blogger or indeed reviewer) or b. someone has reported my posts for being spam. I am maybe being paranoid but I do worry that the answer is B as it has also happened to a couple of other bloggers I know and none of us post excessively and certainly not in groups which don’t actively seek book reviews.
If the answer is B. then I’m sorry but it hurts and it sucks! Seriously, if you don’t like me, my reviews or the books I read why not just unfollow me, mute me or unfriend me? Why report me for “spam” when all I’m doing, is the same as you and that is sharing the love of books? And if it is this then why is Facebook not taking a closer look at what they are “banning”? In the article I share below, Facebook themselves admit that some pages may be the victims of saboteurs so why are they allowing this to continue! I have reported posts, where there has been hate crime, extreme violence or pornography, incitement to violence, sectarianism, images depicting animal suffering or suffering of another individual and I’ve had the stock reply from Facebook telling me the post “doesn’t violate their community standards” – ok can someone explain why book reviews do?
Anyway by the time you read this, I will be out of jail. I will do my best to adhere to the “confusing” rules of social media and remain out of jail.
For those wishing to remain out of jail and wondering about the ins and outs then this handy little post gives you tips on how to keep your record clean!
Me, I’m off to share my book love and fingers crossed I stay out this time!