Our government has resources to regulate and punish us, but not to protect us or defend our rights.
I filed a civil rights complaint against Facebook on October 18, 2021. The very next day, headlines in the news reported that Facebook had been fined over $14 million for discrimination by the USA Federal Government.
Those who are accountable to no one (except greedy stock holders) should be trusted by no one.
I had been paying Facebook to run an ongoing advertisement (ad) for my soap making business since July 9, 2021. On September 25 or 26 or 27, 2021 (I cannot remember exactly), I edited the ad to lower the daily cost since the ad was not performing well in terms of Return on Investment (ROI). According to the training I received from a Facebook marketing expert, editing my ad in this way should not have caused an interruption in running of the ongoing ad.
On September 27, 2021, I received a Facebook notification that my edited ad was scheduled or running. This usually happens after a brief pause of the ad during which the edits are reviewed and, if okay, the ad is resumed. However, within a few days I went to check on my ad results and realized that my ad account had been deactivated. On September 30, I appealed the deactivation of my ad account since I could not figure out any reason for the deactivation in the first place. My appeal was successful and my account was reactivated. This was the second time my account was deactivated for no reason.
When my ad started running again, I noticed that the ad had been started over instead of resumed. This means that all the likes and comments I had paid for were gone. That should not have happened based on my training with a Facebook marketing expert. So, I contacted Facebook support online, which was a chat. I explained the problem, but the Facebook employee denied what I was seeing, even after I provided the proof they required. What they required was that someone else show what they saw in terms of how many “likes” the ad had. They refused to help me or even let me know why my account had been deactivated. They insisted that I had to wait 48 hours to see if the likes would get repopulated on my ad. But after 48 hours, all the likes and comments I had paid for previously were still gone. The whole point of having an ongoing ad is to accumulate those reactions over time. Then maybe people will try your soap (mine is some of the best, of course, but that fact alone doesn’t sell my soap).
I asked Facebook to be accommodated because I have PTSD and getting treated the way the Facebook employee treated me triggers my PTSD and sends me into life-threatening frustration and massive depression that can last for a while. I asked for a supervisor or someone who could help me or at least explain why my account was deactivated. Facebook’s employee refused to accommodate me and told me I had to wait 48 hours. I have a copy of the entire chat transcript. Even after I said I would file a formal complaint, they said that it was my decision to file what I want. So, I did.
Since the problem was not solved after the 48 hours, I emailed Facebook on October 7, 2021, but my request for help has been ignored. I do not understand why I am being treated this way since I am a paying customer and I have not done anything wrong. I am just trying to advertise my business and Facebook has damaged me and is refusing to even answer to me about this matter, let alone solve the problem or refund my money lost as any honest business would do. I have a witness to all that I have reported here. I also have a copy of the chat transcript.
I filed a complaint with our Federal government on October 18, 2021. Since I have PTSD, I qualify for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act; at least that is what the Act purports to provide. Now let us see how it really works. I submitted a report to the Civil Rights Division online.
Thankfully, I received email confirmation for submitting my report. The “WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT” section promises that specialists will carefully read every report to identify civil rights violations, spot trends, and determine if they have the authority to help. The Specialists then determine the next steps. Sounds great! However, the email also says they may not respond at all. They don’t have the resources to follow up on every letter. Even if they do respond, it can take months.
Then why do they not hire more people when there are so many of us who need a job that pays a living wage? I’m sure this includes lots of lawyers who know all about civil rights laws.
Here is the email rejection I received on November 9, 2021, even though Facebook has been fined over $14 million for discrimination by the USA Federal Government:
Dear Marie Kube,
You contacted the Department of Justice on October 18, 2021. After careful review of what you submitted, we have decided not to take any further action on your complaint.
What we did:
Team members from the Civil Rights Division reviewed the information you submitted. Based on our review, we have decided not to take any further action on your complaint. We receive several thousand reports of civil rights violations each year. We unfortunately do not have the resources to take direct action for every report.
Your report number was _____________.
What you can do:
We are not determining that your report lacks merit. Your issue may still be actionable by others – your state bar association or local legal aid office may be able to help.
To find a local office:
American Bar Association
Legal Service Corporation (or Legal Aid Offices)
How you have helped:
While we don’t have the capacity to take on each individual report, your report can help us find issues affecting multiple people or communities. It also helps us understand emerging trends and topics.
Thank you for taking the time to contact the Department of Justice about your concerns. We regret we are not able to provide more help on this matter.
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Our government does not have enough resources to defend my civil rights, but they have plenty of resources to come to my house and regulate my backyard chickens and my homemade salve and soap that could treat or prevent skin conditions. Even if I tried to sell extra food from my organic garden, I would have to deal with draconian government regulations (while the same government allows food and water to be severely contaminated with carcinogens and other toxic chemicals that have been documented to make people sick). But I cannot get any help or protection to defend my civil rights, which is a much more serious matter than being nitpicked by regulators for no reason when there has never been any issue.
We need to shift priorities. If the government does not have enough resources to protect disabled people, then that same government should not have ample resources to regulate and oppress people. For example, the government that does not have enough resources to protect people from discrimination should not have resources to imprison black men for petty crimes they must commit just to survive because of discrimination. Clearly, our government prioritizes punishing people rather than protecting them, and that government is unapologetic about it as if it is not their responsibility or choice or an indication of their failures. Resources need to be shifted to fix the broken system rather than blaming and prosecuting the victims.
When the colonial governments finally collapse, real leadership will be needed, so please prepare yourselves.
In the meantime, consumer beware (Caveat emptor), my friends!