Disabled Facebook accounts highlight how much we rely on social media

After a system issue caused thousands of Facebook accounts to be disabled without warning on Friday, one thing was glaringly obvious – how much we have become reliant on social media in our lives.

Monday, 4th April 2022, 1:45 pm

This happened to me – on Friday morning, a notification advised me that my Facebook account was disabled permanently – with no reason given.

There was an option to appeal, but that merely verified my identity, confirmed that my account had been disabled and informed me that an appeal was not permitted.

I, like many others, use social media for my work, and Twitter quickly erupted with concerned users suddenly unable to access their work pages, retrieve messages and respond to clients.

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The message many Facebook users were greeted with on Friday morning.

The whole debacle really made me think about how most of us have woven social media into our lives, with millions using various platforms as a way of storing photo albums, penning thoughts and documenting their milestones and major events – and how easily all of this could disappear in an instant.

As many of you will have experienced at some point, getting in touch with an actual person at Facebook is difficult – despite a vast wealth of help pages, there is no contact centre to be found.

As more account holders found themselves in the same situation, and small businesses found themselves locked out of their livelihoods, a feeling of mild panic began to creep in, as years of audience-building had disappeared in an instant.

I had fortunately had the foresight to set up a back-up account with administrator rights to my work page, so for me the loss was more personal.

I had photos and videos spanning my 14 years on Facebook of my children and family, messages from some wonderful friends no longer with us, and pictures from celebrations over the years – all of those disappeared in an instant as it had never occurred to me that my account could be closed without my knowledge at any given time.

Fortunately later that evening, after being able to raise a ticket through a work contact, my account was restored, along with the others affected by this system glitch, however Twitter is still full of people whose accounts had been disabled in recent weeks and are still in the dark.

Facebook have been approached for comment.

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