Facebook user Rachel Sines spent $400 on a headset and tablet to
try and retrieve her account.
Facebook deleted her account after she made a group for people
whose loved ones joined QAnon.
The company told Insider that it "incorrectly disabled" Sines'
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Rachel Sines lost 15 years of memories when Facebook deleted her
account for creating a support group with the word "QAnon" in
After spending more than $400 on an Oculus VR headset and Portal
tablet to speak to customer service, she was still locked out.
Sines tried to contact Facebook for seven months about her
disabled account, but never got a response. She was only logged
back in once Insider contacted Facebook for this article.
Sines, from Florida, told Insider she was setting up a support
group in February for people like herself whose friends and
family had turned to the right-wing conspiracy theory, QAnon.
When she hit "submit," she was locked out of her account.
Facebook notified her that her account was disabled, she said.
"I lost 15 years of data in the blink of an eye... My dating
journey, wedding, honeymoon, videos of our daughter's first
steps and baptism," she said. "It was like I, and any trace of
me, was eerily deleted."
Sines never heard from Facebook
Sines, 42, filed an appeal via Facebook's help center but
received an automated message, seen by Insider, saying the
company couldn't review its decision to disable her account as
it didn't follow the site's Community Standards.
"I still submitted this form several times a day for weeks," she
She sent three emails to Facebook - one to appeals, one to the
press department, and another to 10 Facebook email addresses -
but got no response.
She forwarded Insider her emails to Facebook, Oculus, and
Portal, as well as the receipts of her headset and Portal
Sines resorted to buying an Oculus VR headset for $318
Facebook users, like Sines, have bought Oculus headsets just to
unlock their hacked or deleted Facebook accounts, NPR reported.
Oculus, a virtual-reality company owned by Facebook, requires
users to have a Facebook account to use the headset.
Sines' account started working when she received the headset,
but it was disabled without warning soon afterwards, she said.
Sines contacted Oculus again about the issue, according to
emails seen by Insider. An Oculus employee told her that the
account was disabled due to "previous activity that violated
Facebook's Community Standards."
"Unfortunately, we've already asked Facebook to review your
account and they've decided that the status will remain," the
Oculus employee told Sines in the email.
Sines also spent money on a Portal
The following day, she bought a $90 Portal, a video-calling
tablet made by Facebook.
Insider viewed Sines' email to Portal's customer support team
about help on retrieving her Facebook account to use the tablet.
An employee replied, saying they were unable to assist and
redirected her to Facebook's help center.
"I contacted a few attorneys but they really didn't want to
touch it, well, because 'Facebook,'" she said.
In April, Sines returned the headset and Portal, she said.
Facebook restored her account seven months later
Two days after Insider contacted Facebook about Sines'
situation, her account was reactivated. A Facebook spokesperson
told Insider that Sines' account was "incorrectly disabled" and
"the account was mistakenly caught in one of our checks" for
misinformation and harmful content.
"We do sometimes make mistakes when reviewing content," the
Facebook says users should contact its help centre and fill in a
form if they think their account was mistakenly deleted, the
Although Sines is nervous that her account will get disabled
again, she's happy to be back online.
"It was like losing a limb, I didn't realize how intertwined it
had become in my life," she said.
Read the original article on Business Insider