Monday, April 8, 2013

Banned: What Happens When Facebook Doesn’t Like You [Feature]

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Banned: What Happens When Facebook Doesn't Like You [Feature]

by Matthew Hughes
banned on facebook
When I interviewed Mark S. Zuckerberg, I immediately thought that he was a charming, polite guy. When he talked, he did so with a typically Midwestern drawl. He has raised a large family and has a massively successful bankruptcy law practice in Indianapolis, and is widely regarded as an expert in his field. Searching YouTube with the query 'Mark Zuckerberg Indiana' brings up countless media interviews and appearances.
He also has no connection to the Facebook founder, other than his name and his Jewish heritage.
banned on facebook
"I used to speak across the country, and people would say my name and know who I was, and now I've lost my entire identity".
Since the rise of Facebook, and the thrusting of the founder into the public eye, Mark S. Zuckerberg has found him being confused for his socially awkward, sweatshirt donning namesake on a daily basis. He cringes whenever he hears the all-too-familiar phrase 'are you that guy'?
"Whenever I call my credit card company and they ask for my name, they hang up because they think I'm playing a prank... I was taking a flight and I went through security, and I had to show them my ID and the guy looks at me and says 'Oh my God!', he goes 'Are you him?', and I'm like 'Do you think I'd be flying Southwest Airlines if I was him?'"
Mark S. Zuckerberg has completely lost his identity. Tragically, for someone who has built a career upon honesty and integrity, he has seen his last name being turned into a pejorative that describes especially underhanded behaviour, 'Zuckerberging'.

Mark Zuckerberg Couldn't Get A Facebook Account

For Mark, getting a Facebook account was by no means a trivial task. On the basis of him sharing a name with the founder, he had to send off copies of his birth certificate, driver's license and even his Indiana bar association certificate just to even open an account. The process dragged on so long and was so tedious, he even had to go as far as to threaten legal action.
He thought that he was done. He'd jumped through all the hoops, and now was the proud owner of a Facebook account.
The summer of 2011, Mark Zuckerberg found his Facebook account deactivated with no explanation. He'd been banned on Facebook.
"Usually, I'll come into work and I'll log onto my computer and I'll open my Email account and it always tells me how many messages you have. And if you get a message on Facebook, it sends it to your regular email account. Usually I have four or five hundred messages from people thinking I'm the other guy. I only had a couple of messages that day and I thought 'gee, that's kinda odd. There's nothing from Facebook today.'
I tried to log into my Facebook account, and it was deactivated because it said I was an imposter."
Mark, however, had a trick up his sleeve. He happened to share an office building with a major local paper, the Indianapolis Star.
"I said to one of the reporters 'Hey do you want to hear a funny story?', and he wrote an article about it. And soon enough, every single news station in the city was outside my office. Then it went on all the national news websites, and then it went international. And then I was being interviewed all around the country. After three days, they reinstated my account with an apology".
banned facebook
I asked Mark if he felt isolated and disconnected in those three days he was banned from Facebook.
"I think I've only really posted about three things the entire time I've been on Facebook. I only really use it to keep track of my kids."

An All Too Familiar Tale

Fortunately for Mark, his usage of Facebook was so confined to surveiling his children that the impact of being banned on Facebook was limited. That said, his story isn't unusual. Every year, ordinary people find that their social media presence completely excised.

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