When Facebook and Instagram Deserted Me

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What up, Facebook and Instagram? Where did you go? Don't you want me anymore?
Borrowed photo
 
Day 1 - January 21 - Whilst I tried to access my Instagram on my Iphone, I found that it was asking me for my login details. I thought nothing of it and put my details in. However, it suddenly blocked me and requested that I access Instagram on a "proper" computer and not mobile. Okay. Let me do that then. As I got into the Instagram website. It asked for my full name and birthdate. Looking a bit suspicious, I started to worry but thought to myself, "Hey, this is nothing that they didn't have", so I acquiesced. The next page came up and started requesting a government-issued ID from me (something like a driver's licence or a passport, one that has a photo, date of birth and name, all other information were to be blacked out before submission). This was highly suspect so I checked and checked but could not see for the life of me that the message was not from Instagram unless Instagram was being taken over by hackers at that very moment. Feeling uneasy though, I left the page and thought I'd look it up first.
 
So I went back to my phone and clicked on Facebook and what do you know? Same thing happened. Blocked me and told me to go to a "proper" computer. However, the only difference was that as soon as I logged onto Facebook, providing them with my full name and date of birth, it came up with a message that they will be sending me an email shortly and that I must be patient. Tried logging in a couple of times but no luck. The message kept popping up. So I left it.
 
This all had to happen on a Sunday. Aaargh! This social media people have no heart. Sunday is not even sacred. Where am I gonna find technical/customer support at this time and day?
 
Did not sleep properly that night. Thinking that I've somehow done something wrong and am being punished by the powers that be at Facebook and Instagram. But hey, who needs Facebook and Instagram? I can live without them.
 
Day 2 - Monday came. Email from Facebook came late Monday afternoon to inform me that before they can assist me, they have to ensure that I am the owner of the account and that I must send them a government-issued ID. What the heck was happening in the social media land? What is this sick obsession with government-issued IDs? And am I the only one affected? Am I being hacked?
 
I quickly took preventive measures and changed my password on Facebook. It changed it. Logged onto my husband's Facebook (which was unaffected) and checked my profile, nothing mysterious or funny, I had not posted anything embarassing or started de-friending people (all signs of being hacked). And more importantly, the fact that hubby can see my profile on Facebook meant that I had not been naughty to have been suspended. What was going on?
 
Did not sleep well. Worse than Sunday night. Can't believe I am missing those pictures and status updates. Contemplated whether to send my ID or not. And what ID to send, something that would not incriminate me more???
 
Day 3 - Tuesday - Decided to use Google and see what Facebook and Instagram are up to. Yeah right. The competition will tell me if they've been up to no good. A few articles mention that Instagram was bought by Facebook on Sunday. That could be it, that's why it happened to both. Another few articles talk about being disabled due to misbehavior. I tried to fix it that way but Facebook keeps confirming that I am not delinquent and so should not try to un-disable my account. Found one article where the writer had to give her ID after being disabled. Since I was up the night before, contemplating which ID to use, I decided to use an old passport, way past its expiry. Blocked out all the rest of the info and left 3 holes for my photo, my full name and my date of birth.
 
Submitted it to Instagram. There. Submitted it to Facebook. There. Both says they'll come back to me and I must be patient some more.
 
Slept even less that night. Wondering where my ID would land up? Wondering when the feedback from both would come? Wondering what have my friends been up to?
 
Day 4 - Wednesday - Sleep-deprived and update-deprived, I tweeted Instagram and emailed Facebook demanding them to "at least" acknowledge that they have received my ID. I am worried. And of course, going out of my mind. But we aren't telling them that. And typical of Facebook and Instagram, there was no replies, no feedback, just complete silence. Googled some more about this issue. Found an article that said Facebook was trying to copy Twitter by offering a few of its accounts to submit IDs so they can become "verified". Very much like the "Verified" mark on Twitter. The offer is by invite only.
 
Now I am really flattered, but why would Facebook invite me to verify? I am a puny little account holder with not even close to 5000 friends, why would they single me out? Unless of course, they were thinking I was Kris Aquino, my celebrity look-alike, but that can't be as I'm sure Ms. Aquino has laid claims to her own Facebook account. I am one of her followers, for pete's sake.
 
Got an email from Instagram late that night to inform me that they had suspended my account by mistake. Was a bit happy that I could access it after that again but the Facebook suspension was still bugging me. What was taking them so long to unblock me? Contemplated if I should rather just change identity and say I am Ms. Aquino for now so I can get my account back. Aargh! Double aargh!
 
Day 5 - Thursday - I am showing signs of resignation. I am never getting my bloody connections back. I'd have to re-friend every single one of them...with a new account. Do I really wanna go through that? Waaah!
 
Googled some more and found that some people have started a complaint going on Facebook Community Centre about this issue. Cool! Kindred spirits! So I am not alone. This should keep me in good stead. I can finally vent with all the rest of them. Only issue is, how the heck do I comment on Facebook when my profile is blocked?
 
Well, that was easy. I used hubby's details and logged in as him and complained.

Knowing I wasn't alone kept me sane, I suppose. Learnt from fellow complainants that Facebook seemed to be targeting users randomly for accounts that are held by under-13s. Don't know how they randomly selected me when I don't look a day under 13 years. But hey, I suppose I just look THAT good.

Waited and waited. It was just a matter of time. But I started to think about life without Facebook....

Day 6 - Friday - Oh, what a joyous day! Received the much-awaited Facebook email to tell me that my suspension is lifted and it was all a mistake. It's funny how all the dark, black things I've been thinking of doing to Facebook for the last couple of days disappeared with the sudden realisation that I now have access back.

Logged into Facebook. Oh, how I've missed you. And all was well again. "I had a life but I seemed to have forgotten my password to it" seemed appropriate at the time. LOL.

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