Facebook Should Follow Its Own Terms Of Service

Disabled Does Not Equal Deleted

Following is a copy of the email I sent to Facebook, concerning my recent request for deletion of my account.

I requested DELETION of my account in January. (account email:redacted.net)

I followed your rules, even though they were extremely hard to find. But follow them I did, as I had been forewarned that facebook wouldn’t delete my account unless all the rules were followed exactly.

When I go today to check, to make sure my account is deleted, I find that you have my account DISABLED, ostensibly because I abused your features.

Folks, I hardly ever even touched your features – they don’t appeal to me in the least. Which is one of the main reasons I wanted my account DELETED, not disabled. I will not be opening that account back up again, ever. That is a promise.

You people are asses. This was a test to see if you followed your own rules – I now have proof that you do not. I have evidence now that, contrary to your published rules, you try to punish those who are dissatisfied with your services. In your records, I am now officially an abuser of your site, and it was You who shut me down.

Quoted from your site:
“Why was I disabled?
Facebook enforces limits on the site in order to prevent certain actions that can be considered abusive. Your account has been disabled for persistent and rapid use of a certain feature. Unfortunately, for security reasons, we will not be able to further explain these limits.

Unfortunately, Facebook cannot provide any specifics on the rate limits that we enforce. Please know, however, that the speed at which you are acting and the sheer number of actions you have made are both taken into account.”

Security reasons? I call bullicus shitticus on that one. Essentially what you’re saying is that you have rules which you are not going to tell anybody about but when they break them you’re going to disable their account.

And how about that “speed and sheer number of actions”? I’m still wondering about that one. All I can guess is that you’re talking about software bots. Humans can’t possibly possess a speed to generate the ‘sheer number of actions’ required for an automated security script to kick in and disable an account. I am not, and have never used, those kinds of bots. The disabling of my account had nothing to do with any of this.

The truth, of course, is that I saw through you and, not liking what I saw, opted out of that account on my own volition. Login records for that account will show plainly that I logged onto your service sporadically (never actually liking your site) and while there, used your site very minimally over the life of the account. The only “rapid use of a certain feature” was my hurry to log off your site. I never once used any applications or frills you splattered all over my account pages.

In short – you are lying.

I cannot fathom why it would be so important to lie about this. Is your company so fragile that it can’t handle a single person, out of more than 300 million people, not liking what you do?

As a conclusion to this communication, I am demanding that the account in question be deleted from your servers, in accordance with the provisions set out in your terms of service. I complied with those terms. It is time for Facebook to do the same.

Looking forward to the day you all go under,

Jon Knight

So the next time you see that facebook has Even More Users Than Ever – remember that some of those users have tried like hell to delete their accounts but facebook won’t let them, and in fact tries to hurt the reputations of those that don’t like their crappy little site.

The logic is simple: facebook wants to say they have more users than anybody else. Each user they have, even the disabled ones, counts as a plus to their ‘bottom line’. They’re going to keep you on their books forever, if they can. And if your reputation gets ruined in the meantime… well, that’s a small price they don’t really have to pay at all.

We do.

Note to my family and friends: Even though Evan is using only facebook to keep us all informed, after today I will not be using facebook in any fashion whatsoever. I will go through the impossible to complete process of deleting my remaining account there, and after that I will not be logging onto their site at all.

6 Replies to “Facebook Should Follow Its Own Terms Of Service”

  1. The automated response:

    The Facebook Team has received your inquiry. We should get back to you soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to review our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.facebook.com/terms.php) for more information.

    Thanks for contacting Facebook,

    The Facebook Team

    I read the terms. I complied with the terms. I think maybe they are the ones who should review the terms.

  2. I’m confused.

    1) How were you able to post if your account was disabled?
    2) Why’d you join if you read the terms and knew you couldn’t delete the account at some point?

    My understanding is that you requested to be deleted, which you can’t do according to the terms of service. So your account was, instead, disabled.

    The segment of the FAQs you posted seems to point to someone who did NOT request to be deleted/disabled, but who did run bots, viruses, etc..

  3. Yes they do seem straightforward. And yes, this is the exact process I used to attempt to delete my account. That attempt resulted in the disabling of the account and the accusation that I had spammed the facebook site.

    And yes, the FAQs do seem to be directed at that scenario, which is exactly why I am so angry about this. When will their accusation of misconduct on the internet hurt me? I do not know – I only know that now there is a record on the largest site on earth which says I spammed their site. Which I did not do. As you know very well, Melinda, I hardly ever used the thing.

    Your 1st question: There was an account for business use and a separate account for personal use. This is common, especially among IT folks. I deleted the business account in January and have been using the personal account until after today.

    2nd question: The terms of service do not include a clause which says the account holder cannot delete the account. As you found, facebook has provisions for deleting the account through the link you posted. These provisions would not exist if facebook did not allow account deletion.

    I requested the deletion using the tools they provided. I abided by their rules. They did not.

  4. I finally received a reply from Facebook. It shows exactly how much they pay attention to their users:


    Unfortunately, Facebook does not have the ability to restore accounts that have been permanently deleted from the site. We apologize for any inconvenience that this might cause you. If you’d like to continue using the site, please feel free to sign up for a new account with any of your personal email addresses. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

    Thanks for contacting Facebook,

    User Operations

    Dontcha just HATE robot replies?

    Obviously my email was never read by human eyes. I do not ever want any facebook account reactivated, and my email explicitly said as much.

    I love how they published on the web a message accusing me of using scripts – which are simply software robots – and then they use a software script – a software robot – to reply to me.

    Gianna: If you exist, you must the dumbest person on the planet. Did you even bother to read my email? What in there makes you think I want to associate myself with your corporation? I think facebook sucks. I publish this as evidence as to HOW MUCH facebook sucks.

    I mean, really: How stupid can you be?

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