Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Friday, May 1, 2020

Facebook thinks Depression Marathon is Abusive??

Try to share one of my posts on Facebook and this is what you get.
Imagine my surprise when I attempted to Facebook message a friend one of my recent posts. Instead of messaging it to her and going along my merry way, I got the above pop-up window from Facebook. In case you can't read the fine print it states: Your message couldn't be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive. WTF??

The particular post I attempted to send was filled with hope and gratitude. Yup, sounds abusive to me. I attempted to send other posts just to see what would happen. I got the same message every time. Apparently my blog has been black-balled by Facebook...because it's abusive! This is so ridiculous! I have never, ever posted anything abusive on this blog. I've posted about difficult subjects like, um...depression, hopelessness and suicide, but abusive?? Never! Not once!

Being a pissed off blog author, I went to Facebook to try to figure out how to remedy this situation. First I read through their incredibly long list of "community standards" to see if my subject content might be to blame. Nope. Nothing there. There are no rules against writing about depression, hopelessness, suicide, running, gratitude, medication, hospitals, family, Mt. Everest, stigma, labral tears, fatigue, goals, disability, ketamine, my dog Jet, discrimination, or employment. Nothing. It's all okay.

There are very specific rules against hate speech, threatening speech, fake news, pictures of dismembered animals, bullying, and pictures of dead people, but nothing remotely related to depression, hopelessness, suicide, running, gratitude... Nothing related to anything I've ever authored on this blog. So how did I get black-balled by Facebook? And if someone complained, don't I have a right to know? Apparently not.

Here's the fun part. After hours of research over the course of two days, I found dozens of links to "report abuse," but not one bit of information on how to remove an erroneous ban on content. Not one! I read through hundreds of frequently asked questions, clicked on dozens of links, and searched endlessly for terms I thought might bring me to a helpful page. Nothing.

Finally, I resorted to clicking on the "Something went wrong" link and sent an email detailing my issue with an included screen shot. That was several days ago. Again, nothing. There is no sign Facebook even received the message I sent, much less read it, researched it, or took any action to resolve it. I'm beyond frustrated and just a bit (okay more than a bit) annoyed.

I'm wondering how long this ban on my content has been in force. I rarely share anything I've written on Facebook. If I want someone to read something, I usually just refer them to my blog. But I wonder if any of you have tried to share any of my posts on Facebook? If so, were you able to share? Please let me know. Or, if you're so inclined, let Facebook know this blog is not abusive and request they remove the ban on sharing its content. I'd provide you with a link as to where to complain, but like I said, I couldn't find one!

I'm pretty fired up about this. I'm angry. I'm also offended, and I feel totally powerless to change the situation. I write this blog to help others. If a reader finds a post they think might help a friend, and they're not allowed to share it? That's a nightmare! That's literally a life that could be saved, education that could help a family cope, or soothing reassurance that an isolated sufferer is not alone. It's a nightmare to think the purpose of my blog has been silenced because of a ridiculously inaccurate ban on content.

How, Facebook, did you determine to ban me? If there was one person who complained about something I wrote is that enough evidence to ban the sharing of all my content? Especially since I have never, ever posted anything abusive about or toward anyone! And again, why wasn't I at least notified and given a chance to respond? If the ban is due to some Facebook algorithm, is it because I write about depression and suicide? And if so, why or how is that abusive? Making a pretty big, uneducated leap there, Facebook! I'll say it again, WTF Facebook? (Wait, is that abusive?)

Any help any of you may provide to remedy this situation would be greatly appreciated. I don't know what else I can do.


Eva said...

I tried. With the share link button here and directly copied the URL. Both didn't work. I did sent them a message through the something went wrong bit. Maybe the people from Facebook over here in Holland will pay attention (don't have much hope). I hope you get this resolved. It's just not fair and plain stupid.

etta said...

@ Eva: Thank you so much! Holland? Oh, I loved, loved, loved my visit to Amsterdam. I need to come back and see more of your beautiful country!

Wendy Love said...

So sorry you are having this trouble. I tried to post your post on my facebook page but they would not let me. My own experience with Facebook when I had difficulties was the same as yours. Impossible. You never get to talk to a person. Just 'frequently asked questions'. It is like you are talking to a computer and all it knows is its algorithms. I sometimes get posts from friends that simple say 'this content is not available right now' and I wonder what that is about. Wish I had something positive to add to the situation! I don't blame you for feeling angry.

Julie Gathman said...

How maddening. I just want you to know I read this entire post...someone hears you (me). I have no solution but I share your frustration.