Apparently, pestering Facebook caused them to eventually explain and correct my problem. Mind you, that doesn’t absolve Facebook from a) being unreachable and unresponsive and b) providing no information on why I was in the situation that I was. Nonetheless, I’m appreciative of their help.
First, here’s the email I finally received from Facebook today:
Your issue that you cannot create comments has been escalated to me.
It looks like your account may have been compromised and used to create spammy comments. Specifically, it appears that the comments published by your account include ads for working from home. I’ve placed additional security measures on your account. Once you’ve cleared these and regained sole ownership of your account, I’d recommend that you change your account password immediately. You may also want to run a malware scan on your computer. I’ve lifted the restriction on your ability to comment, so your account should return to normal once you re-secure your account.
I know this might be troubling to learn. In the future, please be alert when asked to verify your Facebook credentials and always double check the URL of the site you’re accessing. Be wary of low quality sites that ask you to log in to an app in order to view their content and always make sure the app you’re authorizing is one that you trust. Users or apps with misspellings, typos, multiple fonts or oddly placed accents that claim to be associated with Facebook or that offer free goods should raise a red flag. Finally, remember that Facebook will never ask you for your account password or social security number.
If you have any questions, the following Help Center resource might help you better understand what to do if you encounter phishing or malware: https://www.facebook.com/help/217910864998172/.
Bottom line is that someone had compromised my password and instead of changing anything on my page, used my account to post spam on various pages.
You’ve seen the spam:
So poor Sufyan Jhandir has had his account compromised (or it’s a fictitious account used for spam) and this account is being used to post spam into comments at various websites.
I’m guessing someone reported my account and Facebook locked it down from posting comments on third party sites.
And in fact, this is the right thing to do and is okay by me. What should have happened next is that I should have been notified of this problem and given the option to revalidate my security information. How will I know in the future if my account is compromised again? I won’t.
I have since tested my posting ability and it appears to be fine. I replied to the above email with the questions of “how will I know in the future?” and “what is the proper way to get Facebook’s help in the future” and I received this response:
You’ve reached us at a channel that we don’t support. Please visit the Help Center to find answers to many frequently asked questions and up-to-date forms you can use to get in touch with us:
We apologize for the inconvenience.
The Facebook Team
Yep – the reply-to in their email goes nowhere. Good ol’ Facebook.
So for now, my issue is resolved. I’m not sure what caused Facebook to turn their attention to me. Was it the followup to my Facebook contact at Linked In? Was it my email to the marketing group that a friend of mine sent me? Was it my
award-winning blog article on the topic? I don’t know.
If you receive the same comment creation issue, my suggestion is to first try to reset your password and setup a mobile phone number to use for texting you access codes. This may release your account. If that doesn’t work, use Linked In to find a Facebook resource, connect with them, and if they connect back, send them a polite message. In the meantime, I hope Facebook updates the way they handle compromised accounts.