PLEASE, even if you can't donate or your amused at this story, spread the word by sharing this on your Facebook wall or tweeting it...
I am an aspiring business owner, working on launching my company, DollarScholar.com, which revolves around embracing my dramatic past for a story creating brand. I give speaking engagements at universities & high schools to business & accounting students about the importance of ethical decision making & the consequences of poor judgement in the culture of corporate America. I do this for free right now as I work on writing my book & establishing myself as a legitimate public speaker, author, blogger & sports consultant.
For the past 5 years I have been building a large network on Facebook. Students see me speak at their school & they friend request me, subscribe, or like my Fan page. Strangers read about my story & do the same thing. I had 5,100 friends & nearly 300 subscribers on my personal facebook page, with countless others following it from a bookmarked distance. I had another 850 fans on my like page.
Now without warning or justification, Facebook has disabled my account! I thought I was receiving an unwarranted warning, so when I clicked "I understand I am not allowed to make another account on Facebook" I thought it meant do not make a duplicate account, & that I would be taken to my account. Instead, my account was disabled & I was logged out! Because I was the only administrator of my fan page, that too has seemingly disappeared. An appeal form was submitted under "My Account was disabled by mistake", & now nothing. SILENCE.
Facebook has completely become reckless & automated with no customer service. They need to realize that people have invested countless hours & resources into their platform. As long as Facebook remains relevant in society, I need to use it to promote myself to earn a living.
I post on my wall & my wall alone. I post events about my upcoming speaking engagements, & being an avid news follower I post alot of statuses on news events. The most recent statuses were lively debates about new gun control laws to prevent future tragedies. While it was getting somewhat heated, the debates remained civil & respectful. I open my wall to strangers to like & comment, but now it appears I have become a victim from some negative hateful people who don't wish for me to succeed. My theory is that all it takes to get your account automatically disabled is a few people clicking "report" together. I am a 27 year old - not a high school bully.
I harrassed no one. Their generic displayed message about why my account has been disabled is complete & utter nonsense. I've demanded answers, but received none. Their appeal process is a shame. I am complely upset & depressed over losing what I estimate to be nearly 10,000 followers through Facebook, as well as both sentimental & financial value in the 5+ years of photos, messages, & files on my wall. I had plans to capture some of the inbox fan mail as screen shots for my website, as well as promote that in 2011 I gave away $10,000 to families in need. Countless good will deeds & material for my future re-designed website are documented on my wall - which is now inaccessible as it is disabled. This cannot stand! Enough of their too big to communicate. Customers should not be talking to a wall!
This lawsuit will be be in the news as I am going to make a statement with this issue to generate headlines. You think this man's $500,000 lawsuit against Facebook made quite a buzz? http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/facebook-deprived-man-sues-500k-125348 Well you haven't seen anything yet! His was a frivilous joke, whose account had no monetary value & whom was spouting terrorist propaganda, while mine is an established brand that has been compromised now. Every day that my network is gone is another day that a publisher, agent, or producer can't come across my page & possibly give me my big break. I have a story to promote, & my network is a very powerful tool to convince executives in a pitch. I had planned meetings in 2013 with publishers to discuss a book deal, & point to my 10,000 facebook network of true informed supporters & fans as 10,000 initial book sales. I have lost real value by Facebook's automated actions, & I will be seeking both compensatory & punitive damages. The lawsuit will be seeking $2,000,000 in damages ($2 MILLION). In the very least, I want an opportunity to recover files in my facebook account & to notify my 10,000 supporters where to congregate if Facebook is no longer an option. Facebook may be a free service, but when an individual comes to rely on it there is a mutual understanding of an ongoing relationship that cannot be terminated without due cause & which trumps the endless fine print of their TOS, none of which I violated. There is an expectation of reasonableness from both parties, so I have no idea what their system thinks I did, but they do not have the right to act in an arbitrary & capricious way.
What I Need
$2,000 to pay for the costs associated with suing Facebook which includes:
- $350 for filing the lawsuit against Facebook in federal court in their county, Santa Clara.
- $100 for a process server to serve the lawsuit against Facebook at their headquarters in Palo Alto, CA
- Various costs including gas, ink cartridges for printing the complaint & follow up responses that will be necessary. Copies, Experts, & depositions of possible Facebook employees or those in my network who will testimony I have never done anything wrong in my facebook account & that it is an asset to the facebook community. I'll basically be working for free as an amateur attorney, anticipating spending hundreds of hours, fighting off their likely motions for summary judgements, etc. Yes I am a well versed amateur lawyer, so I do not feel overwhelmed at all. Their high powered attorneys will not intimidate me. I will probably blow through the $2,000 well before discovery phase, let alone trial, but I am anticipating a settlement one way or another once I have called their bluff...
The lawsuit will be filed Tuesday, January 15th & then the battle begins...