New Milford Woman Put in ‘Facebook Jail’ for Ridiculous Reason
You've heard the term "Facebook Jail" and maybe you've even done a stint in digital jail yourself.
For the uninitiated, "Facebook Jail" simply means you've had your Facebook privileges suspended for a certain time period due to content you posted, that Facebook deems inappropriate.
We all have that outspoken friend who shouts their opinion at the top of their lungs at a dinner party. At times, this friend can make you uncomfortable but you love them even more because they can't help but be themselves.
Those personalities seemed to be the kind of people that would get put in Facebook jail back in the day, but things have changed and people are having their accounts suspended for ridiculous reasons, people like Marissa Bliss.
Marissa is the moderator of the wildly popular New Milford, CT Facebook page and shares the responsibility of running it with an administrator named Kevin David. Recently, I saw her post an announcement that read:
"I'm back from my stint in FB jail. How did everyone fair in the blizzard?"
Marissa's post got my attention because I've seen an uptick in people saying they've been put in FB jail. Another friend of mine, Matt had just had his account suspended for making fun of actor Michael Rappaport. Matt called Rappaport a "talented washed up tool bag" and found himself in Facebook jail.
I wanted to know what it was that got Marissa booted from the almighty bastion of information known as Facebook? I reached out to Marissa to find out more and the answer is as ridiculous as it gets. She told me, she made a comment to Kevin (admin) that read "beat you. slow a--!"
This is what she wrote to me in my direct messages:
"So as I’m sure you’ve seen Kevin and I admin/mod the group for the most part. We talk a lot behind the scenes. I thought with the storm coming it would be a good idea to make and pin a post about all the local plow guys (and gals). Apparently we both thought it was a good idea so I made my post and pinned it and tagged people I know who plow. Kevin did the same. Mine had comments on it already and was pinned so I commented on his the comments you say. Beat you. Slow ass!
I instantly got the warning (screenshot with the yellow outlines). Then I chose to have an admin of the group protest the Facebook decision and Kevin wasn’t able to. I tried to do it and I too was unable to. I then got the two days personally and 6 in groups.
It’s weird though because while on the two day personal profile ban I couldn’t do ANYTHING I would like something forgetting I was in FB jail and I quickly got reminded. Well yesterday evening ish when the personal ban was up I noticed I could like things in groups and comment. So I did. Then this morning I posted the post (a couple actually in different groups) and saw I could actually make posts too."
At what point are we going to decide and recognize that we've allowed this company far too much power to regulate speech? Not only do their decisions seem to arbitrary but they're also inconsistent. As a public person, I've been the target of trolls since Facebook became popular, and I've not been protected from their speech.
Marissa can't needle her friend for not pinning an announcement before her? Matt can't call Michael Rappaport a "washed up tool bag?" I say divisive and provocative things on social media, so I expect to be called out now and again but Rappaport does the same and he can't be called out?
We are meant to believe that Facebook algorithms are so advanced that they can sense the subtlety of everyday conversations but I don't think they can. The last time they threatened to suspend my account I was trading lyrics to an Eminem song with a friend, and you'd think Facebook would be able to recognize that. They did not, instead they seemed to think I wanted to kill her.
I've been in radio going on 23 years and I love what I do, but if there were one thing I could change with the wave of a wand, it would be my industry's reliance on social media, specifically Facebook.
There are things I like about Facebook; endless photo storage, the opportunity to talk football with friends during the game and reminders of my past memories. However, I'd chuck all that out the window and never use it again if it didn't benefit my work.
Have you been unfairly suspended by Facebook? Have you been the target of trolls and thought that you should have been protected? Do you believe that Facebook's guidelines are unfair in general? Share your comments in the Facebook (lol) thread below our article.