When I checked Facebook Thursday morning, a huge, ugly warning had taken over the screen on the app. Thinking it could be glitch, I tried it on a web browser on my MacBook, but I got the same bizarre warning.
Facebook had blocked me from using my personal account — posting, commenting or taking any other actions — for the next three days. Why? The shocking explanation was that I had allegedly been posting content related to “child sexual exploitation.”
I was shocked and angry at such an ugly accusation.
The warning said that the content had been removed, but it would not tell me what the offending content might have been. I could ask for a review of the decision, but it said the review would take something like four or five days. When I pressed the appeal anyway, I found that it was useless, because it wanted me to explain why my offending post didn’t violate Facebook’s rules — even though it wouldn’t tell me what the offending post was.
My Facebook profile is public, so anybody can see what I post. Most of what I post consists of cat and dog photos. I make observations about things I see in the world. I post a few ridiculous jokes. But I’ve never posted anything even vaguely sexual, much less anything related to “child sexual exploitation.”
But because of an automated moderation system that apparently has the intelligence of a rather idiotic earthworm, I finally experienced what friends of mine have experienced before. I’m in “Facebook jail.”