On 20th March 2018, I received this message from Facebook:
“Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face. We’ll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers”. I could not continue on to Facebook until I uploaded my photo. It was the same whether viewing Facebook on my desktop on via the Facebook app on my mobile or iPad. Yes, I tried all! Fearing that it may be a scam of some sort, I even deleted the Facebook app from my phone and installed it again but when I clicked on Facebook, I received the same message again. So, I had no choice but to upload my photo.
After, I uploaded my photo, I received the following message:
“You can’t use Facebook at the moment. We are reviewing the photo that you sent us on 20 March 2018. We’re always looking out for your security, so until then you won’t be able to use Facebook.”
Oh dear. I wouldn’t have minded very much if just my personal profile was affected as I don’t really post on it very much. However, I have several Facebook pages and I run 4 Facebook groups as admin.
I learned quite a few lessons from this but before I move on to the lessons or tips, I will share how long it took for me to get back my genuine Facebook account. I read that it was supposed to take 72 hours but searching online, I found various answers from 2 days, 6 days to one month even. Some even reported this issue coming back repeatedly. I hope this does not happen to me. I was shutoff from my Facebook account on 20th March 2018. I got back my account on 24 March 2018.
1. I read some comments online about their precious photos being gone when they are locked out of Facebook. That’s true because when you are locked out, you cannot access anything. You simply disappear without a trace. All your photos, posts and even your comments in groups disappears. Poof! Just like that. So, don’t put all your precious memories on Facebook. It may be gone just like that if there are any issues with your account. Always have a backup.
2. The second tip is for persons who run a business page. It is a good idea to appoint a trusted person as a backup admin. When you are locked out of your personal profile, you cannot get into Facebook. This means that you also cannot get to your Facebook Page. Previously I had been locked out of Facebook before when they requested for my photo id (that’s another story), so I had appointed another admin for my Page and therefore I could still access my Page via my friend’s account.
3. The third tip is for persons who run a Facebook group and a Facebook page. When you lose your Facebook account, you also lose your Facebook group since you cannot get into Facebook at all. Now, if you had previously linked your Facebook page to your group, your Facebook page would be an extra admin for your Facebook group and if you had done Tip 2 of appointing someone else as your Page admin, you would still be able to admin your Facebook group as usual by using your friend’s Facebook account temporarily. This is important because if you are the sole admin of a group and you lose your Facebook and access to your group, it will mean that your group has no admin now and anyone can take over as admin. You don’t want that to happen to a group you had spent a lot of time building up.
With all of the above tips in place, I was not too frazzled when I lost my personal Facebook profile. I was still able to run my page and group as usual. The only set back was I had an upcoming event. I had posted details of that event in my FB group using my personal profile. When I lost my profile, my posts disappeared. I didn’t realize that at first because, as a Facebook page admin of my group, I could see my posts, but my members could not! I didn’t know till they sent me screenshots of my missing post.
So, I quickly sent them email notifications instead of private messages and tagging them on FB as I normally do. While at it, I learned how to send emails to all the contacts on my Google Forms with one click. I also learned how to embed Google map in the email. So losing my Facebook profile for a while turned out to be a blessing in disguise as I learned some new skills.
I hope this post helps some of you who may be searching for information on this topic. I was searching too and all I could find were negative posts that made it seem so much worse than it actually turned out to be.
One other thing, just before I got my account back, I got impatient and sent out an email to firstname.lastname@example.org I’m not sure if that helped to get back my account or it was just a matter of time.