facebook-upside-down-world

Chris Meyer of CM Photographics is what you might call a Facebook fanboy. He has been singing the praises of Facebook to the professional photography community for quite some time now. Meyer’s business is a case study on Facebook’s very own advertising page and he’s even lectured at a DWF convention on the subject of FB marketing for photographers. That means that when Chris Meyer speaks of Facebook danger, we should listen! Chris recounts his own recent experiences which nearly cost him his Facebook account below…

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About 2 weeks ago I received 3 emails at the exact same time from what appeared to be an automated FB email account, saying:

You uploaded a photo that violates our Terms of Use, and this photo has been removed. Facebook does not allow photos that attack an individual or group, or that contain nudity, drug use, violence, or other violations of the Terms of Use. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children who use the site.

If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?topic=wphotos.

The Facebook Team

I immediately emailed back, trying to figure out what photos were offensive or whatever, so that I could then remove anything else that may be viewed in the same light, etc.

After not hearing a response for a few days, I kind of forgot about it… Until Monday evening… when I got an email saying that:

Our systems indicate that you’ve been misusing certain features on the site. This email serves as a warning. Misuse of Facebook’s features or violating Facebook’s terms of use may result in your account being disabled. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

Please refer to http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=421 for further information.

The Facebook Team

At this point, this email was not a warning, because my account had become deactivated already. So once you reach this point, there is basically no chance of recovery.

If you look on the FB site, there really isn’t much of a ‘contact me’ or any sort of helpful conflict resolution for this type of a situation… And looking through the links that they provided did me no good at all. It explained what I already knew… That I had violated the TOU, and that images had been removed, and my account had been deactivated. To this day, I still have no idea what photos were found to be in violation.

Luckily because I am featured on the FB advertising page for small businesses, and because I have worked with FB, and their PR company in the past, I had some people that I could contact directly to help me out with the situation, and was finally able to get reinstated.

Upon getting reinstated I received the following email from one of the User Operations people:

Photo content that you uploaded has been removed for violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Photos containing nudity or other graphic or sexually suggestive content are not allowed. Unfortunately, for technical reasons, we are unable to provide further information about the removed content.

Ultimately I urge everyone to be EXTRA careful of the photos that you upload. The photos that I uploaded that were flagged were pretty mild boudoir pics. Definitely no nudity involved, and not really that suggestive at all. I have seen swimsuit pics that showed more than I did… I personally will no longer be uploading any boudoir photos, and will leave that up to the discression of the clients if they chose to upload them or not. Too much of my business revolves around Facebook to risk something like this again, where the judgement of what is in violation or not seems to be far to arbitrary.

I have asked their team (for whatever it is worth) to re-evaluate their suspension process… because if I didn’t have the contact info that I did, it would be next to impossible to get your account back up and running…

Hope this helps someone to avoid the mistakes and the downtime that I just had.

Chris Meyer – Photographer and Facebook Marketing Expert

DWF members discuss this with Chris

About 2 weeks ago I received 3 emails at the exact same time from what appeared to be an automated FB email account, saying:
‘You uploaded a photo that violates our Terms of Use, and this photo has been removed. Facebook does not allow photos that attack an individual or group, or that contain nudity, drug use, violence, or other violations of the Terms of Use. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children who use the site.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?topic=wphotos.
The Facebook Team’
I immediately emailed back, trying to figure out what photos were offensive or whatever, so that I could then remove anything else that may be viewed in the same light, etc.
After not hearing a response for a few days, I kind of forgot about it… Until Monday evening… when I got an email saying that:
Our systems indicate that you’ve been misusing certain features on the site. This email serves as a warning. Misuse of Facebook’s features or violating Facebook’s terms of use may result in your account being disabled. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
Please refer to http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=421 for further information.
The Facebook Team
At this point, this email was not a warning, because my account had become deactivated already. So once you reach this point, there is basically no chance of recovery.
If you look on the FB site, there really isn’t much of a ‘contact me’ or any sort of helpful conflict resolution for this type of a situation… And looking through the links that they provided did me no good at all. It explained what I already knew… That I had violated the TOU, and that images had been removed, and my account had been deactivated. To this day, I still have no idea what photos were found to be in violation.
Luckily because I am featured on the FB advertising page for small businesses, and because I have worked with FB, and their PR company in the past, I had some people that I could contact directly to help me out with the situation, and was finally able to get reinstated.
Upon getting reinstated I received the following email from one of the User Operations people:
Photo content that you uploaded has been removed for violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Photos containing nudity or other graphic or sexually suggestive content are not allowed. Unfortunately, for technical reasons, we are unable to provide further information about the removed content.
Ultimately I urge everyone to be EXTRA careful of the photos that you upload. The photos that I uploaded that were flagged were pretty mild boudoir pics. Definitely no nudity involved, and not really that suggestive at all. I have seen swimsuit pics that showed more than I did… I personally will no longer be uploading any boudoir photos, and will leave that up to the discression of the clients if they chose to upload them or not. Too much of my business revolves around Facebook to risk something like this again, where the judgement of what is in violation or not seems to be far to arbitrary.
I have asked their team (for whatever it is worth) to re-evaluate their suspension process… because if I didn’t have the contact info that I did, it would be next to impossible to get your account back up and running…
Hope this helps someone to avoid the mistakes and the downtime that I just had.
CM
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