Reporting profiles, pages and publications in the most popular social network in the world during the last year has grown to an unprecedented size. This function is taken as a precaution of not only trolls but also as digital arbitrariness with inconvenient people speaking and writing on a topic that the society wouldn’t even want to listen about.
During the last month, a new phenomenon is approaching – thousands of profiles are blocked after they had reported fraudsters online. Victims are sharing almost the same story: they receive a friend request from a relative, colleague or friend who is either deceased or his behavior clearly shows that this is a phantom profile. Right after accepting the friend request a short conversation follows that rapidly gets to a very important topic – asking for money from the victim.
Facebook has provided protection for such types of fraudsters and each user can easily and fastly signalize that the given account is fake and he is being a victim of fraud. This worked until recently, before a bug or deliberate update that lead to the social network blocking not the fraudsters but their victims.
That’s absolutely right – minutes after reporting, victims’ profiles turn out to be blocked for days and even weeks. To contact Facebook and look for some help on the topic, victims have to signalize through their profile to which they have no access. The only chance for unblocking it is uploading a photo of a personal identification document which doesn’t seem that hard to do but only if the system was actually working. All victims reported that the identifying of their personal documents just didn’t work until the end of their penalty.
According to Facebook the reason for this is a mistake that has been already fixed.
The system for reporting fraudsters, violence and hateful comments in the social network is working unilaterally and according to standards that are far from the generally accepted norms. Pranksters, comedians, and people who are freely speaking their minds are often reported.
In 2020 we are expecting Facebook standards to become a target of a strong political influence from the USA since it is supposed that the social network will have a great impact on people’s votes for electing a president. Thus, the fight between the Democrats and Trump may profoundly affect if Bulgarian users will be able to see specific posts of their friends or not.