My Facebook Horror Story

Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook

My Facebook Horror Story

You’ve been hacked

That sobering realization led to more than a month of intense maneuvering and daily entreaties to regain my identity. The protracted battle involved the state Attorney General, three Federal agencies, and a Superior court.  You can fight Facebook and win. But I’m here to tell you it’s not easy.

When I discovered that my personal Facebook page was hacked my cries for help were initially polite and solicitous. Then, when the hackers bled $250 from the ad budget of our business account, I was angry.  Still, no human response and no help from Facebook.

I learned that hacking Facebook is widespread, and most people simply give up when their online identity is stolen. See Recovering locked Facebook accounts is a nightmare. That’s on purpose. (Wash Post 9/28/2021).

Once money was involved, I resolved to fight.

Rose v. Zuckerberg

I turned to the consumer complaint division of the Washington State Attorney General’s office. They agreed to be my advocate and take the case. They contacted Facebook and they also filed the complaint with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Federal Trade Commission.

That got Facebook’s attention. They escalated the complaint and an actual human, or a bot with a human name responded with a promise to fix it.

Finally, after a month of wrangling, they sent me a code to reset the password on my page after I uploaded identification. Seemed easy enough. However, there was no mention of the money the hackers stole.

Escalation

I decided to force Facebook to pay back the $250 because of their negligence. Before filing Small Claims in San Mateo County Superior Court, it was recommended that I first send a strongly worded Demand Letter. I answered a few questions and the Court website automatically helped craft the Demand Letter. It was immediately effective. The $250 was refunded to my account the next day. Access the Demand Letter and resources to sue Facebook at its headquarters in San Mateo County here.

You’ll need the address: Facebook, 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025. I now realize how ironic that address is.

What I learned

Facebook

is not run by humans. You probably deduced that. Look at the cyborg they send to testify before Congress.

doesn’t care about you. You’re not a paying customer. You’re a couple of eyeballs that could respond to an ad. Facebook has nearly 3 billion active users. That’s almost half the population of the earth. Two eyeballs less won’t hurt them. I was a paying customer. I bought ads for business pages and I still couldn’t get their attention.

is a global moshpit for hackers. Facebook has a huge amount of data on you. Where else would hackers go but 1 Hacker Way?

Facebook is what it is because we, collectively, actively participate.  I no longer buy ads on Facebook but I wouldn’t know if a traffic accident is closing the highway near our home if not for the local Facebook community page. I guess we’re stuck with the Beast we continue to feed.

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Mark Rose
mark@finsquared.com

Founder Finsquared, PR outside the box. Helping companies of all sizes thrive through PR, content marketing, social, digital, growth strategies. Bi-coastal. Seattle/NY.