I don’t understand Facebook

Try as I might, I just can’t get my head around Facebook.

Now I have discovered that by Facebook account has been disabled, for reasons I cannot guess at.

No warning.  No explanation.  Just disabled.

Anyone have experience with this sort of rubbish?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. AnAmericanMother says:

    They had a bug of some kind a couple weeks ago, a lot of people’s accounts were disabled at random.

    You can contact FB and they should put it right back up.

  2. TC says:

    My wife has had her acct. disabled for adding too many friends in a too short (but unspecified) time.

  3. PomeroyJohn says:

    Strange… (or maybe since it’s facebook, it’s normal?)

    While “your” page isn’t there anymore, there’s some kind of a “Community Page” being started (apparently by facebook) for you as “John Zuhlsdorf”. I signed up to get more info. The “Community Page” has two Canadian seminarians in a discussion on how you have become more balanced and less polarizing over time.


    John from Pomeroy on the Palouse

  4. I know I sent you a “Friends Request” and it basically said NO WAY, FREAK! NOT A CHANCE! And I thought that was very odd for Facebook.

  5. Coffee Catholic: I already had 5000 friends and Facebook wouldn’t let me have more.

    I have tried to figure out the Fan Page thing, but without success. I haven’t tried very hard, on the other hand.

    When I get this present problem resolved, I will look into the other thing again. Apparently fan pages allow many more people to “like” you. It must be nice to be liked!

  6. introibo says:

    Two of my daughters had their accounts suspended at different times recently. One of them (13) made a negative comment on a horseracing page about a certain horse that had won while on a drug legal in some states and illegal in other ones…we’re figuring that’s what got her banned.
    Another daughter (15) kept complaining about the spam and totally nasty things said about one of her favorite performing artists, even complaining about a “fan” page that had a four-letter word in the title. So perhaps this got her account deleted?
    Odd stuff.

  7. marajoy says:

    any of those suggestions seem to be possibilities.
    No one has explicitly said this, but maybe somebody hacked your account, then de-activated it.
    Or, I found this message under one of the help center topics:

    “Some users who have recently signed up for Facebook receive an error message saying their accounts do not exist when they attempt to login. We are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Once this error is resolved, they will be able to access their accounts”

    (for whatever it’s worth, I can’t find you on there anymore either.)

  8. Eoin Suibhne says:

    I hit their “roadblock” yesterday. Facebook detected that I had accessed my account from a different IP address, which was accurate. I had to go through a series of questions (identifying friends in pictures) to prove I was who I said I was. After I did that successfully, my account was restored.

  9. KAS says:

    I know several people got dropped at different times too. One was told it was due to lots of complaints about his postings. As all were orthodox Catholic teachings, my guess is a group hostile to such began complaining.

    Perhaps some group began complaining?

  10. Desertfalcon says:

    I had you “friended”, Father, but you no longer appear. You have been cast in to Facebook’s outer darkness. :(

  11. They just got me just today because I wanted to send a message to about a third of my friends, but did not want to send to the other 2 thirds (so about 200 people – had to be sent in batches of 20). I managed to get all the Facebook message out, but then I had to confirm my account on a new cell phone! Luckily I keep two spares at the house (I live in Italy, so keep them for visitors), and used one of them. But I have had an account for nearly 5 years, use it extensively, and should not set off any of their alarm bells.

  12. Navarricano says:

    Well, you still appear in my “Networked Blpgs” application on Facebook, so all is not yet lost.

    But your profile and fan page do appear to have disappeared. Contact Facebook and ask them what’s going on; I will certainly be contacting them to complain that I can’t find you on my page anymore.

  13. Navarricano says:

    Ooops! That would be “Networked BLOGS” … I’d like to buy a vowel there, Vanna …

  14. Jordanes says:

    It’s probably just a Facebook glitch — though it’s possible that some people maliciously “reported” your account as offensive in some way to get your account deleted.

  15. Rachel Pineda says:

    A couple years ago I started a “Fan Page” for St. Francis of Assisi. I asked a good friend from our parish, a capuchin Monk and a priest to be administrators and help overlook the page and delete any messages that came through that were obscene or disrespectful.
    The page stayed VERY tame the whole time it was open to all of the fanpage administrators monitoring it with control over it’s content.

    The page took almost no time to monitor maybe 5-10 minutes every other day because nobody left any bad messages! Sometimes a protestant might wander in and ask questions but it didn’t get heated. Just people asking for prayer requests or thanking Jesus, Our Lady and the Saint Francis for their help. The page page was only updated with Scripture readings and quotes of the Saints.

    When the fans hit about 30,000+ the “Facebook Team” e-mailed me and said unless I had proof that I was authorized to represent this “entity” they would take away my ability to update the page. After several e-mails back and forth with my explanations about while I am not in fact worthy to represent this “entity,” I will comply with all of the rules in keeping the page clean, and even linking to an official “Franciscan Website” etc. they removed my ability to post updates.

    That was April 1st (April Fool’s Day in America) of this year. Go figure.

    I have read about Fabebook doing this kind of thing a lot. I also find it interesting that at the same time I opened the Saint Francis fanpage I opened St. Clare of Assisi and that page I am still able to update. The more liberal and colorful, ehem, St. Francis fanpages though, are still up and running.

    Here’s the page. You can still become a fan, but no more updates for St. Francis. http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Francis-of-Assisi/21984506643

  16. Peggy R says:

    I don’t understand Facebook either. It strikes me as opportunity for getting oneself in trouble. So many people post TMI, and it comes back to bite them.

    But for “movements” or something less personal, it might make sense.

    A priest friend suggested that perhaps he ought to hold a seminar or adult ed (maybe kids too!) opportunity about using the Internet with wisdom and prudence. I think he’s on to something.

  17. jbas says:

    If you use a religious title, such as “father”, even if you use someting like “Frjohn Smith” ,they will randomly find you and delete your account. It happened to me. I sent a message asking why, and they explained their policy against the use of religious titles. I know many priests and religious do get away with this, and I do not understand how they detect and select offenders.

  18. Mike says:

    I denounce Facebook and all its works. Ok. Well, my wife is addicted to it.

    One can use it well, I know.

    But I think this “virtual” friends stuff is a little like “air families”–not the real deal.

  19. shadowlands says:

    ‘Apparently fan pages allow many more people to “like” you. It must be nice to be liked!’

    Being liked on facebook is a fleeting trend Father. God still loves you and can still see you. He never went to look for you on facebook once, I’ll bet!!

  20. JohnMa says:

    I just said a prayer for the Church in Canada if those seminarians are the future of the Church there.

  21. Alas, Father, you have been disappeared from my FB friends. And there was wailing and gnashing of teeth……

  22. I can’t find your old profile either. Appears to have vanished.

    There is a fan page of you here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fr-Zuhlsdorf/148190355220278?ref=ts
    Not sure if that was created by you or not.

  23. archer says:

    As is my experiences with many sites of that nature, where people are constantly uploading things, it is probably a glitch of some sort. FaceBook is so highly used it gets “gunked up” a great deal, which is a disturbing reality of how many spend their valuable time today. It is like a machine where someone put a wrench in it sometimes, and there are enough “wrenches” in FaceBook to start an entire hardware chain! It has crashed even the most “protected” of computers when someone may innocently download a file. I don’t do FaceBook much, except to promote Catholic evangelical work and the Holy Rosary. I know there are some pages that are useful, but most are useless. Surprisingly enough, I have had no problems with others there who would see my Catholic promotion entries. Most of the public forums today online can be very anti-catholic, but FaceBook seems to practice tolerance to a certain degree–so far. I don’t like the secular aspects of it, but I am not involved enough to really notice much. I think that the idea of it is alright, but some people I know actually spend ALL DAY on it, chatting, gossiping and slamming others. I have had family members lose their marriages over what goes on there (or rather, happened on the site). But in everything in life, there are good and bad points to consider.

    Even if you did not have a FaceBook account in the future, your blog here has enough merit on it’s own and is seemingly very popular\ God Bless You.

  24. youngcatholicstl says:

    Fr. Z:

    I encourage you to contact Facebook to restart your account and/or start a fan page. There was a report out recently (I wish I could remember where I read it, but it was a reputable source) that was talking about the power of Facebook. It stated that sites (it used Nabisco and a few others) should focus more on Facebook. One example it used was Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Apparently, during the campaign, his site was getting something like 2 million hits a day, while his Facebook page was getting in the range of 10 million hits a day. The numbers were even more stark for Nabisco.

    Even if you don’t like it, Facebook reaches more people faster and quicker than just about anything else (except maybe Twitter).

  25. moon1234 says:

    Leave facebook and don’t provide them any more information. They are an extension of the CIA and other intelligence firms. You provide them with extensive information on your friends, personal intrests, etc. When your “message” does not mesh with their corporate intrests they will delete your account.

    I always fail to understand why people will tell the world about all of their friends, including pictures, private details, their personal habits, etc. Then the government calls on the phone wanting to know how many people live at your home and they refuse on privacy grounds.

  26. Geoffrey says:

    If 12am is “the witching hour”, 3am must be the “conspiracy-theory hour”!

  27. Faith says:

    I love FB. I’m closer to my relatives on the opposite coast because of FB. It’s much easier than telephoning and having our message machines communicate. I’ve also reconnected with high school friends and can now follow up on their lives. I’ve never had a bad experience. I have de-friended only two people because of their foul language, but I usually accept all overtures of friendship because its so easy to de-friend. So…so far no problems.

  28. paglia says:

    My son’s account was disabled four days ago. No warning and no explanation. He sent an email simply asking what happened and his account was re-activated. FB claimed a glitch. Perhaps it’s widespread?

  29. RuariJM says:

    Aha! So that’s what happened!

    I noticed I had lost a couple of FB virtual friends a day or so ago and noticed you were one of them.

    I was going to be upset, thinking you had abandoned me! Glad to hear it’s just the ghost in the machine. Look forward to seeing you back, in the fulness of time.

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