Banned by Facebook

Banned by Facebook

By Chris Bovey

Once in a while, a message appears asking me to relog into Facebook, which tells me I am blocked from using their services for 30 days.

The first few times you get a Facebook ban, it starts at 24 hours, then 3 days, then a week and then 30 days for each alleged infraction, with no comeback.

Virtually every time it has been for something extremely petty, for example, once for posting this image to someone who asked a stupid question about my pro-EU beliefs.

Dumb Question Award

Another for taking the piss out some someone who thought I actually believed what I had written in this satirical article claiming France wanted to annex Devon and Cornwall, the region of Britain where I live.

Another time, someone asked “What three words would you say to Donald Trump?”, I flippantly replied “Go kill yourself.”, which to be fair, even though it was a joke, would be a service to humanity; that landed me 30 days on the Facebook naughty step.

Others for being rude about Peter Reynolds, the looney who unsuccessfully sued me for calling him a racist homophobic prick (which he is).

This morning I picked up my phone to do my ritual deleting of spam emails and read the occasional important one that arrives, as well as click onto the Facebook app to see what’s up. It had logged me out and when I had logged in again, there was this message about a meme I made and shared yesterday afternoon which had in the early hours of this morning achieved over 1.5k shares.

This post goes against our Community Standards.

A joke meme similar to one that had already been shared thousands of times on Facebook landed Chris Bovey with a 30 day Facebook ban.

I was then told I would be banned for 30 days for violating their standards.

I hadn’t. I’ve checked their so-called Community Standards, where it says: “Moreover, at times we will allow content that might otherwise violate our standards if we feel that it is newsworthy, significant, or important to the public interest. We do this only after weighing the public interest value of the content against the risk of real-world harm.

So in other words, public figures are allowed to be mocked, unless Zuckerberg seriously thinks I was suggesting Samuel L. Jackson assassinates the British Prime Minister.

What’s more, it wasn’t even an original joke, similar memes have already been circulated widely on Facebook. I merely remade it with new images and changed the words “strong and stable” to say “will of the British people“. It clearly was popular as it had over 1k shares and hundreds of likes in little over six hours and was nearing 2k shares before they deleted it.

Whilst I totally agree, Facebook has a responsibility to remove abusive content and hate speech, there is no consistency. You might argue it’s a free service and they can do what they like, but it’s not free as they are making a fortune from displaying ads while users post interesting content to share with their friends or a wider audience. That clip where I trolled the idiots who believe in chemtrails with that fuel dump video has had over 3.3 million views and I’ve had several memes with over 10,000 shares, all of which will have no doubt generated advertising revenue for Facebook.

Some Brexit supporting fishermen once published my home address in Devon on Facebook inviting people to ‘pay me a visit’, not that it bothered me, but it did upset my partner and two young children. Unlike Theresa May, I don’t have armed guards and iron gates to protect my property and family.

I’m not the only anti-Brexit activist who has had their Facebook account restricted recently. I don’t know if this is because their algorithm is shit and reported posts are not even seen by a human, or perhaps they don’t like the EU’s forthcoming Tax Directive, which seeks to make tax dodgers like Facebook pay their fair share in tax. I simply do not know.

This is an abuse of their monopoly, I will not be able to use my Facebook account during the Christmas period nor will I be able to respond to messages, which will be massively inconvenient and people will think I’m ignoring them.

There’s also the question of free speech. Facebook has a monopoly and with that comes responsibility, they should, of course, remove genuine hate speech, which they often do not, I’ve reported racist comments in the past only for Facebook to say they reviewed it and considered it didn’t violate their Community Standards. On the other hand, there should be some common sense, they should allow political humour, even if some might find it tasteless. Swearing is allowed on Facebook and they have Optical Character Recognition, so if you turn on the profanity filter, such posts will not appear on your timeline, if you are that easily offended.

That image did not violate any of Facebook’s Community Standards, since it was a joke mocking the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom so it should not have been removed and my account should not be restricted for 30 days.

There’s even a button to press if you think they’ve made a mistake, which always comes up with this unhelpful message.

Facebook: We Could not process your request. Please try again later.

Facebook makes billions from advertising revenue, but doesn’t like to create jobs to employ people to monitor their so-called ‘Community Standards’.

Unfortunately, if you’ve been sent to Facebook gaol, there’s nothing you can do about it. In the past I’ve even sent letters to their Headquarters a couple of times just for the hell of it to explain what a ridiculous ban had been imposed on me, as expected I never got a reply. That’s because Facebook doesn’t care about its users, they only care about making money, as proven by the Cambridge Analtyitica Data Breach and is no doubt why Mark Zuckerberg recently refused to attend a House of Commons committee investigating the illegal sharing of personal data.

Zuckerberg came up with the right idea at the right time in the right place, good on him and his billions. I know a programmer who could have written the original code in an evening.

So you will not be hearing anything from my Facebook Page for 30 days, so I will not be able to gloat when May’s pathetic Brexit deal doesn’t get through Parliament, nor will I be able to respond to friends and family wishing me festive tidings.

I sincerely doubt Mark Zuckerberg reads the Feed The Birds blog, but if he does, I have three words for him “fuck you cunt!”.

I have set the OG tag so the offending image does not appear on Facebook shares and if Samual L. Jackson is reading this, as tempting as it might be, I do not think you should shoot Theresa May, even if she does fucking say “will of the British people” again.

If you wish to stay in touch in the meantime, I can be found on Twiter @_dr_hemp

Oh and if you wish to share the original image on Facebook, here it is, I double dare you motherfucker.

I double dare you Theresa May and Samual L

I double dare you motherfucker to share this meme on Facebook.


Chris Bovey, writer and musician.

Chris Bovey is a businessman, writer, musician and practical joker. He lives in Devon with his partner, two children and cat.

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