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Guilty until proven innocent: Limited options when Facebook disables your account

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Guilty until proven innocent: Facebook’s flawed systems and customer support

I didn’t even know it was disabled until a friend reached out (who was helping me set up some campaigns) and said hey is your account disabled again?

I checked my email… nothing. 

I logged into my business manager and saw this message: 

Your Advertising Access is Restricted • You’re no longer allowed to use Facebook Products to advertise. You can’t run ads, manage advertising assets or create new ad or business accounts.

I also had this message: 

Business Account Not Allowed to Advertise • This business account didn’t comply with our Advertising Policies or other standards. Its ad accounts and ads have been disabled. You can request a review if you believe this business shouldn’t be restricted from advertising.

My first thought was oh shoot, not again. This must be a mistake. Let me type up a real quick appeal and hopefully, it will be back up by tomorrow.

Let me back up and explain what happened previously. 

The first time Facebook disabled me

Sometime around December 10th-12th my ad account was shut down. I don’t remember the exact day as December 10th is the anniversary of my son’s death and I tend to become a recluse and just step away from everything work-related and social media related. 

I received a message from one of my team members and knew something must be up because they all knew I was trying to stay away. She alerted me that my ad account was disabled and all ads were shut down. 

I immediately panicked and started asking friends what to do. I am currently running my own ads after an extremely bad experience with a high-profile agency. 

I have never been in trouble with Facebook. I am up-to-date on their community standards and ad policies to the best of my ability because I am in an industry that is heavily scrutinized by FB and constantly included with the MLMs and pyramid schemes, although I am no way related or close to an MLM or network marketing agency. 

My business is NOT an MLM

To be clear I help women start freelance businesses using their current skills and job experience. Through my podcast, free resources, and paid programs the women I work with go on to start virtual assistant businesses, social media manager businesses, copywriting businesses, web design businesses, and other various service-based businesses. 

These are businesses that are very much needed. They are very much needed especially if Facebook wants to continue to thrive and be a powerhouse. Entrepreneurs, start-ups, small businesses, and companies of every shape and size rely on freelance workers to help them. 

My goal is to provide an additional option to moms who want freedom and flexibility AND financial stability but do not want to be another lipstick slinging, oil-selling “hey girl” slip into your DMs MLM seller.

What happened after the first time I was deactivated

I sent in an appeal. I had a strong suspicion I was flagged as an MLM by the bot system as a few of my ads had been disapproved in the past after weeks of successful running for being flagged as an MLM. 

I always appealed the individual ads, 9/10 times they would be reinstated after a manual review and explanation of my business model. 

The few times they weren’t I would make the changes FB reps suggested — being more clear on my landing page and in the ad copy the type of business opportunity I am offering. 

Here’s a screenshot shot of my landing page explicitly stating that I am promoting starting a freelance business:

After about 14 hours from sending my original appeal requesting a manual review to have my ad account reinstated I received this message from Facebook: 

This was the appeal I sent: 

I was extremely relieved when I woke up and assumed all was well moving forward. 

It was December 19th, I was still on a somewhat sabbatical from work as I was still emotionally wrestling with my son’s anniversary and recovering from the flu and mentally trying to get my home and family in the Christmas spirit. 

This is an important detail because I made no changes to my ad account. I started no new campaigns. 

I just took a sigh of relief and turned off my computer.

That period of relief was short lived. 

 The second time I was in trouble with Facebook (I did not realize how serious this was)

This takes me back to the beginning of this blog when I received these notifications in my business manager:

Your Advertising Access is Restricted • You’re no longer allowed to use Facebook Products to advertise. You can’t run ads, manage advertising assets or create new ad or business accounts.

I also had this message: 

Business Account Not Allowed to Advertise • This business account didn’t comply with our Advertising Policies or other standards. Its ad accounts and ads have been disabled. You can request a review if you believe this business shouldn’t be restricted from advertising.

Being ignorant and naive in Facebook’s lingo here, it went completely over my head that my user profile was flagged. Not just my business manager or ad account. Me as a person. 

So what did I do? 

I filed an appeal immediately. That worked last time. Why wouldn’t it this time. Surely this was a glitch with the AI bots and a result of the immense amount of advertising going on around the holidays. I was just manually reviewed and reinstated. 

Here was my appeal and request for a manual review of my user profile: 

I didn’t realize this would be my ONLY opportunity to defend myself. Perhaps I should have taken more time to plead my case. Perhaps I should have had an attorney look it over and write it for me as it seems that was my one chance and a final decision was made. 

This was their response sent 10 minutes after I submitted this appeal:

By the way, this was a Sunday. Fb ad chat support is not available on a Sunday so I have a hard time believing I really received a manual review by a human.

So vague. 

What I did after my appeal to regain advertising access was rejected

I reviewed their policies again.

The one I thought I perhaps was considered to be in violation of is

  1. Multilevel Marketing

Ads promoting income opportunities must fully describe the associated product or business model, and must not promote business models offering quick compensation for little investment, including multilevel marketing opportunities.

Policy copy and pasted directly from Facebook’s site here. 

To me this is an easy fix. I just explain I am not an MLM again and they reinstate me. 

Since it was a Sunday, I started posting in some of the Facebook communities I am a part of for advice. 

I learned I am not alone. This has been happening to others and in most cases gets resolved but it is an enduring test of patience and consistency and can take weeks to months to have an answer. 

If you know me in real life you know I am NOT a sit back and patient kind of gal. I do everything fast, maybe to a fault. I don’t sit back. I decide and I do, so this is an extremely painful situation. 

What I have been instructed to do is appeal daily and get on FB chat daily to plead my case, hope someone takes pity on me and escalates me up the chain. 

I have appealed multiple times. Each time I am rejected in seconds. At this time it appears my ability to appeal has restricted. 

I have been on chat with FB reps multiple times. I’ve chatted with at least 15 reps. 

Some are extremely helpful. Some are extremely dismissive. 

The dismissive ones told me a decision was made and to consider it final… basically screw off, stop talking to us, case is closed. 

I’ve been consulting multiple people who have told me it’s a lie. Keep trying. Don’t give up. 

I didn’t. I haven’t. I won’t.

I was lucky to be in touch with four chat reps that went above and beyond to help me.

 Nico, Chris, Rick, and Linda – thank you from the bottom of my heart for talking with me, listening, and trying to help. 

I truly believe that you wanted to help me, but that your hands are tied. 

I was able to learn a little bit more about what possibly could have triggered the shutdown and flagging of my account. 

One of the reps said I have been flagged for misleading claims. 

I went back through my account with a fine-tooth comb and found the offending ad. 

Am I guilty of misleading people on Facebook?

Here is the copy of my “misleading ad”: 

Ready for a flexible career you can do from anywhere?

Like the coffee shop down the street… or a cute coworking space… or even from your living room!

Good news — I’ve got ya covered!

Four years ago, I was a teacher working 50-60 hours a week & making $2300 a month. Pre-tax. Oh, yea & I was absolutely miserable dropping my baby off at daycare every day.

I was desperate to be a stay at home mom, but the reality of living on one income just wasn’t in the cards for my family. 😭

I was sick of feeling stressed, anxious, and angry about how my life was.

After countless searches on how to earn a legit income from home, I discovered the answer to my prayers…

I became a freelancer.

If you’ve heard the term before (or not!) but aren’t sure what it means: a freelancer is an independent contractor who offers their services to businesses on a project basis or a monthly retainer.

🙌 And I’m offering a FREE workshop that covers everything about building a freelance business. 🙌

Just click this link to go sign-up >>  micalaquinn.com/workshop-fba

“What’s the catch?” No catch.

“There’s always a catch!” Ok…ok- maybe there’s one little catch.

Full disclosure: at the end of this free workshop, I will chat about potential next steps & how my paid program has helped 1000+ and counting women create a life and career on their terms.

Not interested? Don’t want to hear it? Close out of the workshop! I will literally never know. Take all that knowledge from the free training & run with it! Seriously.

But ya never know! My teaching style & the stories of my amazing alumni…just might make you want to stick around!

sign-up for the workshop today! micalaquinn.com/workshop-fba

Image of ad:

For more information on Facebook’s misleading ad’s policy:

If we look at my copy, I am not making claims… I am sharing MY experience. MY story: 

“Four years ago, I was a teacher working 50-60 hours a week & making $2300 a month. Pre-tax. Oh, yea & I was absolutely miserable dropping my baby off at daycare every day.

I was desperate to be a stay at home mom, but the reality of living on one income just wasn’t in the cards for my family. 😭

I was sick of feeling stressed, anxious, and angry about how my life was.

After countless searches on how to earn a legit income from home, I discovered the answer to my prayers…

I became a freelancer.” 

That is all 100% fact. 

And as the copy continues: 

I became a freelancer.

If you’ve heard the term before (or not!) but aren’t sure what it means: a freelancer is an independent contractor who offers their services to businesses on a project basis or a monthly retainer.

I explain the exact opportunity. I am not misleading. I am not using curiosity to get a click. I explicitly state that I became a freelancer, and what a freelancer is. Since it is still such a new term for a lot of people. 

I even go on to explain with 100% transparency that at the end of this workshop I am going to present a paid opportunity: 

🙌 And I’m offering a FREE workshop that covers everything about building a freelance business. 🙌

Just click this link to go sign-up >>  micalaquinn.com/workshop-fba

“What’s the catch?” No catch.

“There’s always a catch!” Ok…ok- maybe there’s one little catch.

Full disclosure: at the end of this free workshop, I will chat about potential next steps & how my paid program has helped 1000+ and counting women create a life and career on their terms.

Not interested? Don’t want to hear it? Close out of the workshop! I will literally never know. Take all that knowledge from the free training & run with it! Seriously.

But ya never know! My teaching style & the stories of my amazing alumni…just might make you want to stick around!

sign-up for the workshop today! micalaquinn.com/workshop-fba

If you read this and can identify how I can be more transparent here in this ad, please help. Perhaps I am too close to this issue that I am blind to my mistakes. 

Here is the landing page again as well: 

 

Perhaps two things that could be construed as misleading are me saying + how you can too… even though I do show women how to do this too in this workshop. 

The other is maybe how I describe what you will learn in the bullets: 

During this FREE workshop you’ll learn:

>> How modern moms are working from the playground and during naptime… earning more money and working less hours. Hint: this is not another lipstick slinging, oil selling, hey girl opportunity. It’s a legit business!

 

>> How to find your secret superpower and turn it into a wildly profitable service, even if you think you don’t have an online skill worth paying for.

>> The surefire fastest way to get your business up and running in 6 months or less without wasting time or money whether you are a SAHM or a working mom this proven process works for both!

Maybe I should not claim you can work less and make more. This is just how it worked out for me and the women in my program. 

And perhaps I should revise the 6 months or less line. 

After talking in detail with one of the helpful reps above, I was told that the issue was possibly a result of feedback from user feedback after interacting with my ad. 

This is soul-crushing. 

I have struggled my entire life with people-pleasing. And am slowly starting to get over that and accept that not everyone is going to like me or understand my intentions. 

If you look at my ad comments, some people can be extremely harsh. 

I’ve been criticized for working and putting my kids in front of the TV and ignoring them. (not true)

I’ve been accused of scamming people… (some people see work from home and assume scam — I always commented and tried to explain more details about freelancing and to clear the air. I don’t delete negative comments as I feel that would be misleading)

I’ve been criticized for charging for my group coaching (lots of entitled people in the world) 

I’ve been criticized for describing teaching as a soul-sucking job (by a non-teacher, because ANY teacher knows the soul-sucking that is a part of teaching… parents, ungrateful kids, administration, standards, meetings, more work, less pay… I could go on and on and add that with my sheer desire to be home with my kids, teaching became soul-sucking. That doesn’t make me a bad person. If anything, it’s admirable that I realized I could no longer give the profession, my students, and school my best. 

But if you go deeper and read the comments and replies to the negative comments you will see the responses from the people I have worked with. 

I do not believe I am misleading

But if it has been viewed that way by someone, I deeply apologize for offending you. And Facebook, I am sorry for misunderstanding your ad policies. This was not a purposeful sneaky trick to try and take advantage of anyone. 

I sincerely want to help the millions of women out there who are looking for a way out of their job, are looking for more freedom and flexibility, and who do not want to join an MLM. 

There is a serious problem, Facebook, with traditional jobs not being supportive of moms or family life. 

>> daycare costs are outrageous compared to some salaries

>> family leave policies are abysmal

>> guilt for taking care of sick kids is disgusting 

>> breastfeeding for new moms and working is nearly impossible

I am not here just trying to make money. I am here to try and make a difference. 

I run an active FB group and have over 11K women in that community. This is a FREE resource for women to come together, build relationships, and learn about freelancing. 

I produce a weekly podcast free of charge. This is not a fluff podcast. I provide real tangible steps and strategies for women to get started. In most cases, my podcast could make my job as a business coach obsolete. The podcast covers how to land clients, how to price your services, how to talk to your husband, how to tackle imposter syndrome, how to serve your clients well, as well as guest interviews with experts and success-stories of real-life women who started their business from zero and have reached and exceeded their goals. 

My podcast is in the top 50 entrepreneur category on iTunes. 

Facebook, if you read this…

I would love to restore my reputation with you and be back in good standing. 

I ask you to reconsider my advertising restriction and allow me to regain access to FB’s advertising features. 

I respect your rules and your policies and I know they are there for a reason. I appreciate your extreme desire to make Facebook a positive experience for all. Facebook has had an immense impact on my life.

When I was a young first-time mom and had no friends who could relate to first-time mom problems or answer my hundreds of questions or who could provide guidance on navigating wifehood and motherhood… I found friendship in support in mom only facebook groups. 

When I was a depressed teacher, desperately looking for a way out of my job, I discovered freelancing through various entrepreneur Facebook groups. 

When I lost my son at 8 months old and five days, I found solidarity and support through Facebook groups for parents who lost a child to SIDS groups. When I questioned my ability to live, my strength to get out of bed, I found real-life moms who were able to do it and who were able to talk to me when not one single person in my real life could. When people who had no idea the pain my husband and I were experiencing said idiotic things like, “God has a plan” or “You’ll get over it” or “Everything will be fine”, I had someone to turn to. I also had thousands of women and men and strangers and families around the world praying for my family because they heard what had happened through our shared online facebook groups. 

Those prayers no doubt had a hand in my husband and I’s strength.

Facebook, you have done so much good for myself and countless others and perhaps in an effort to maintain the positive space FAcebook is, your bots have mistakenly flagged me. I hope that you can review my status, review my appeal and perhaps reinstate me. 

I promise to continue to serve my community to grow my influence and do my best to provide a positive experience for all. 

However, I can’t control if one person is put off by my positivity and hard work. I can’t control if perhaps a competitor decided to report me out of spite. I can’t control if my story and faith, resilience, and belief in myself triggers others. If someone reported me, I deserve to have those details… perhaps there is a logical explanation. 

What kind of world will it be if one single complaint has the power to destroy businesses and people’s lives in an instant, without the courtesy of the person having the decency to know what they did, who they offended, and what the complaint is.

I would love to partner with you to continue to improve the Facebook experience and make a positive impact on the world. 

I can be reached at micalacharls @gmail . com. My name is Micala Quinn on Facebook. 

I would love to invite you to join my groups, both free and paid and the opportunity to truly plead my case if in fact one person’s negative review was what caused me to be shut down. 

What is going to happen? 

I don’t know. I don’t know if anyone will ever read this or care, but I have to try. Since my ability to appeal has been stripped, I have no choice but to humbly ask you, friends, family, strangers, students for your help. 

Can you please share my story? 

Can you please help connect me with someone at Facebook who has any power to help. 

I know this is selfish, but I am humbly asking for your help. 

Sharing this may help get Facebook’s attention. 

Tweeting this post at Facebook on twitter may help. My name is MicalaQuinn on Twitter.

Filling out this feedback form letting know facebook that I am not misleading, scammy, or an MLM may help. One of the helpful reps said Facebook responds and prioritizes based on volume. 

Here is the link to the form: https://m.facebook.com/help/contact/268228883256323

When it asks the feature you are talking about you can select other.

Here is a starter to help you possibly provide feedback to FB. 

In your comment, if you can say something like: I believe a Facebook user profile has been mistakenly disabled and flagged. The person in question is Micala Quinn. 

If you could honestly speak to my character, my integrity, how I have possibly helped you, that would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping, 

Micala 

If this goes nowhere, at least I can rest knowing I have done and thought of everything to get this fixed.


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