48 hours after being unceremoniously deactivated in the middle of a conversation, I arrived home to discover messages flying in telling me my pages were back up. A detailed check of my email turned up a message from a Facebook representative with an explanation of what happened. Grateful as I am for the prompt and courteous reply to my request to have my account reactivated, I do have some trouble believing that the issue was the image I had up as a profile picture - especially in light of the fact that this image had been used on and off for a couple of months.
This is the note I received from Facebook. I'm posting it here so that other authors might avoid this sort of incident. Also, this is the actual image that is supposed to have violated their policy - despite it being a great deal more innocuous than some book covers, and many of the profile pictures I've seen others use.
Your account was suspended because you uploaded photo content that violated Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. This content has been removed from the site.
After reviewing your situation, we have reactivated your account. You will now be able to log in. For technical and security reasons, Facebook cannot provide you with a description or copy of the removed content.
Please review the guidelines below to prevent your personal account from being disabled in the future:
• Do not send messages or post photos that contain nudity, graphic or sexually suggestive content.
• Remove any remaining photos of this kind that you have uploaded on the site.
• Do not use the site to harass others or contact people you do not know. You are not allowed to send unwanted friend requests or messages to strangers.
For more information on conduct that is prohibited by Facebook, please read our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which can be accessed by clicking on the "Terms" link at the bottom of any Facebook page.
We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your cooperation going forward.
Thanks for contacting Facebook,
As you can see, there are many, many ways to interpret what is acceptable, and what isn't - and we are pretty much left to the tender mercies of other people's perceptions and sensibilities. At the risk of repeating myself, this report process needs to be revisited and in fact made a proper process, not simply a matter of anyone being able to press a link and have someone else's work summarily dismissed or held hostage until they beg to have it restored.
I also have to take this chance to thank some truly astonishing friends. For those of you who are not familiar with the term Role-Player, let me explain it thus: Online Actor who brings to life the characters from books, some are in fact gifted storytellers themselves who keep the characters in constant motion, alive and breathing - to the great delight of their fans, and the fans of the authors whose works are being portrayed. I have only recently become familiar with this art, and yes in the right hands it is an art.
When I was deactivated so suddenly, the Role Playing community surged to the forefront in support of me, they immediately started investigating what happened and why - and in short time had discovered a great deal of evidence that this was in fact the work of hackers. Motives are varied, ranging from jealousy and envy, to simply being dicks with nothing better to do. Whatever the reason, it brought forth an amazing show of faith and support - something for which I will always be grateful.
To my friends at Black Dagger Eternity - in particular, John Matthew, Qhuinn Longstrong, Phury, and Rehvenge - above and beyond, you are all wonderful.
The Black Dagger BDB group.
The des Quatre-Freres Brothers - Rémy, Matéo, Sébastien, and Aimé
The players at Lords of the Underworld - Lords and Pandora - in particular, Paris Promiscuity - Pandora, and William - The Beloved - Lords
Clan Wolfhaven - in particular Dememtri Wolfhaven, who is one of my most cherished friends, and a brilliant role-player.
You have all rallied for me, and there are no words to thank you for your love, your friendship, and your support. I know I have missed some of the people here, and I apologize. Please know my thanks extend to all of you!! The amazing people at XoXo Publishing were stellar, as well - so special thanks to them, also.
So, to family, and friends - and all those who are both - many, many thanks for all you've given me through this craziness.
To the authors who are reading this - backup your pages with the tool FB provides for that action, and be wary of who you trust. Paranoia is not something I advocate, but after all this, believe me, I'm a lot more aware in a bad way of the lengths people will go to crap all over someone else's work in an effort to exercise the power they feel with their anonymity protected by a computer screen.