As of 12:30-ish pm ET this afternoon, I got back on Facebook… albeit with my account “restricted.”

screenshot of Shonali Burke's Facebook profile restricted

Even if it gets “unrestricted,” I’m not sure I will stay on, long-term.


Let’s rewind.

My Facebook profile was hacked early August.

I was able to get it back, then I was briefly put in Facebook Jail due to “suspicious activity” that was me wishing people “happy birthday” on FB (because I’m nice like that).

I was able to prove that the HBD wishes were actually coming from me… via FB’s “ID verification” process that consists of you sending them a brand-new email address that has never been associated with FB, so that they can send you a code, and you have to send back a selfie holding up said code that is handwritten on a piece of paper or your hand (?!) or whatevs…

And then I lost it again.

And then, no matter how hard I tried, my ID verification efforts were for naught.

I’ve lost count of how many new email addresses I set up simply for FB to send me their selfie verification codes.

Half of which were not replied to, and with replies to the other half essentially saying I was not me.

And one of those even misspelled my name.

Vortex of hell

I’ve also lost count of how many “something went wrong, try again” automated messages I received after trying to upload my ID via the FB app, as the first step to verifying my ID.

And when that didn’t work, I’d try to get actual, human help via the app.


It was a vortex of hell.

Full back story here.

Maybe I’m just bad at Facebook…

If you’re going, “Wow, Shonali, you are really bad at staying on the right side of Facebook,”… you wouldn’t be wrong. 😂

I was lucky enough to connect with folk on the inside (Meta) who sent me password reset links.

And I actually got back on FB about a week ago… only to be shut down again.

I suspect this was because the links they sent me circumnavigated my personal ID verification process.

So, even though I was getting reset links from legit FB employees, the FB tech-o-sphere treated them the same as hackers.

So until I was able to actually prove my ID—via the FB AI-based verification system that has not worked for me for two months—I was #SOL.

How did I finally get back in?

Unwilling to admit defeat, I kept looking online for a solution. And I stumbled upon a video from JayJay Ghatt, which essentially suggested that—perhaps—my IP address was being blocked by FB.

This made sense to me as, if it weren’t, why wasn’t my ID verification process going through?

So, earlier this week, I tried the same ID verification process from the FB app on my phone… but from a different location.

It went through!

And then, this morning, I got a notification from FB thanking me for confirming my ID… and I was able to get back on the platform.

I confess I am relieved to be back on FB.

Not just because it’s never a nice feeling to be put “in jail” for no reason, but because I’m the legacy contact for the memorialized profiles of both my late husband and mother.

And if I can’t log onto FB as myself, I have no way of knowing if their memorialized pages are safe or—heaven forbid—hackers have taken them over.

As of this writing, I’m relieved that all is well on their profiles.

Back… but for how long?

In the less than 12 hours I’ve been back on FB, the  bots have already “restricted” my profile for 17 hours (or, perhaps longer… see screenshot above).

Probably because I’m being me and, you know, how terrible that I’m actually posting and engaging with folk on my own social media profile.


Once this is all resolved…

… I’m honestly not sure how long I’ll stay on.

While not of my own volition, these last couple of months have showed me what a demoralizing time suck social media platforms can be.

Granted, just how much of a DTS they are is up to us… but when the world is going up in flames all around us, is worrying about Facebook how we want to spend the rest of our days?

Not me.

Re: FB, let’s see how the next 17 hours go.

I’ll keep you posted.