(WSVN) – A South Florida business owner wrongly removed from Facebook has her social media accounts back, thanks to 7 Investigates, but it turns out her story is far from unique. Kevin Ozebek has tonight’s 7 Investigates.
Lourdes Milian’s personal Facebook account is gone. She has lost access to her professional event planning page, too.
Lourdes Milian: “I received a notification on my phone that said someone from maybe Dallas, Texas, I think it was, was trying to enter my account. It’s frustrating, ’cause you feel violated, and you just don’t know what’s wrong.”
Fitness guru Tony Twymon runs wellness programs on cruise ships. The problems with his Instagram account started after he received this email asking to verify his age.
Tony says he tried to do that by uploading his driver’s license on the Instagram app.
Tony Twymon: “When I upload it, it just wouldn’t take it. It’s some sort of error.”
Kevin Ozebek: “What’s the status of your account now?”
Tony Twymon: “I cannot find it. It’s ‘poof,’ it’s deleted.”
Chavis Sherrod was suspended from Facebook after getting this notice saying, “Six of your posts go against our standards on child sexual exploitation.”
Chavis Sherrod: “I was like, ‘What the heck? There’s no way.’ I thought it was a mistake.”
All three reached out after seeing our story on Lily Dominguez, a professional baker. She was suspended from Facebook after being wrongly accused of violating standards.
The 7 Investigates team contacted Facebook and got that suspension lifted.
Chavis Sherrod: “When I saw the story I was so excited. I’m like, ‘She got help.’ If Kevin got in touch with them, why can’t we?”
Well, the reason why is because most social media platforms don’t have customer service in the traditional sense.
Here on Facebook, you won’t find the number to a customer service help line or a live chat option.
We reached out to Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram. The company tells us, “… losing access to an account can be a distressing experience and we need to keep improving in this area. … We’ve started testing live chat support for a subset of users who cannot access their accounts.”
Nancy Richmond, social media researcher, Florida International University: “Facebook is flagging more and more posts.”
Nancy Richmond is a social media researcher at FIU. She says the artificial intelligence that flags posts is not perfect, but Meta is trying to stop those who legitimately abuse their platforms.
Nancy Richmond: “They were put in a situation where they had to do something, but maybe they have now gone over the top with it, and so, they have to have some sort of balance.”
For those who have had issues with their accounts, the frustration just grows.
Chavis Sherrod: “Please give me my Facebook back.”
Tony Twymon: “Get better customer service.”
Lourdes Milian: “I just need help.”
But there is now good news. Meta tells us they are now investigating the cases of these three. Chavis’ Facebook account has already reappeared.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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