The Emotional Journey of Losing Your Online Business

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

Ohhhhh ... my dearest friends and clients. I have been through quite the emotional rollercoaster the past month. If you've been looking for me, I sure hope it didn't take you long to find me. My Facebook account was "permanently disabled" by Facebook in the last week of October 2020. They said I "violated Community Standards."

I thought for sure that this was obviously a mistake. So like most of my friends have suggested, "just call them," "or just write them an e-mail." Well, let me tell you. I tried everything. First, I tried to fill out the form in their Help Center that states you can file an appeal if you think it was a mistake. So I filled out the form and entered my driver's license as they ask. As soon as I hit the enter button, there is an automatic pop-up stating, "This account has been permanently disabled and is irreversible." So this tells me that there is no appeal process at all. It was an instant automation. Next, I tried the e-mail address approach. Every single account I wrote to at Facebook was returned with the message of "This mailbox is full and is no longer accepting additional mail." So I resorted to good old telephone communication. I called several numbers, but they were all the same. "Press 1 for customer service." Great, I thought! FINALLY! The immediate response after pressing 1 is, "There is no phone support at this time." Sigh ...

Now here is the thing. We are in the middle of a pandemic. I get that Facebook may have less employees than usual. HOWEVER - I have been reading in forums that this has been occurring since LAST YEAR - well before we even knew the word COVID. Not to mention that Facebook is a tech giant. The rest of the world is working remotely right now. You mean to tell me that Facebook doesn't have the capacity to employ customer service reps right now? They are the techiest people out there next to Google! I'm calling BS.

The scariest part in all of this personal fiasco is that it continues to go deeper and deeper. Now, I'm not even so sure Facebook is the one that disabled my account at all. I think I was hacked ... and maybe Facebook "thinks" that I violated community standards because my hacker turned off my account for me under those parameters. Or what it a algorithm glitch - which is what many people in the forums are thinking. Because guess what? There are thousands out there in forums going through the same exact thing. We are losing our livlihoods - and with zero remorse. And we are all PISSED. None of us can recall posting anything so disturbing that we would be booted permanently. It makes zero sense.

So my Facebook account was the first thing to go. Then, any account that I had that was tied to the e-mail address I used for my now disabled Facebook account was also hacked a day or two later. My Amazon, Ebay, PayPal, and about five other accounts, were all hacked into. Hell, they even tried to hack my Walmart account. Just when I think it is all finally over, I find another avenue in which they tried to gain access to my personal accounts. This tells me that they hacked my Facebook account first, got my e-mail address and just went to town. There has been zero help from Facebook so far and zero help from the Better Business Bureau of San Francisco, who handles Facebook complaints, but I am told to be patient, that it takes them a good week or two to respond. Okay, I will be patient because I just want my page back. Here is the crazy thing ... did you know that Facebook has a 1.5 star rating on the BBB, yet maintains an "A" status? How can this be? All of this is so confusing. At this point, I have submitted paperwork to the FBI. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I am at the point where I am thinking of getting a new phone and phone number and completely getting a new e-mail as well. I am not the first and I won't be the last. Until then, I have had to shut down every single account that I own that is tied to that e-mail address. I've lost precious amounts of information that was tied to each account and I feel like I am now living in a caveman era existence -- as I am afraid to touch anything electronic at this point.

With that being said, you can imagine the devastation of losing my page, but especially my business page. That was years worth of work. All of my photos from events are gone. All of the access I had to people who came to my events is gone. I had to shut down my Eventbrite page and have zero access to that information for tax purposes, let alone if I want to invite anyone back to my upcoming events. I had gathered wonderful followers from all over the world. Shamans, healers, leaders, visionaries - they won't pop up in my new page under "suggested friends" because they are not directly tied to my high school friends, my college friends or even my local spiritual community. Some of them, I cannot remember their last names. Some of them have their name listed in a unique and funky way and now I can't find them because of that. I miss some of them dearly. One was battling cancer and I have no clue how she is doing now. We make these connections and don't understand how precious they are in the busyness of life.

I lost photos of my deceased dog and deceased father because when I got new phones, I was dumb enough to think, "Oh, I will just put it on my Facebook page - when I need it, I'll know where it is." Back up your photos. NOW!!!! This is the most heartbreaking part about this for me and it puts a lump in my throat every time I think about it. Those memories are off in La La Land and will never be seen again. No one cares about them either. They have made it clear that they are a private company and that your data is not your own. We agreed to it when we signed up for our account. They are completely protected and because they are a private business, they can do what they like. But what is the most awful thing about this experience so far is that there is no human emotion attached and this is where most of us falter in business. What I truly don't think they understand is how their split-second decisions (or lack of empathy in helping) could possibly ruin someone's business, or more importantly, precious memories. My life is drastically changing because of such a small event.