I have a theory. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make what Facebook is doing any less douchey, dangerous, or damaging but it’s a theory…I am not sure what happens when a Facebook account is suspended, but I imagine it’s much like forced deactivation in that the suspended person’s profile is hidden from the rest of the platform for however long.
When you report harassment, probably some low-level pencil pusher receives your report. If it’s just one person accusing another person, the bottom-feeder probably looks at both sides and makes a determination based on general parameters, and either takes action, or doesn’t.
But when someone is reporting a barrage of harassing replies from a slew of offenders, and all of the harassment stems from a single post, and the post seems to be gaining forward momentum — that is, it’s getting a lot of negative attention that doesn’t seem to be slowing down — I’ll bet their thought process goes a lot like this:
“Yeah. I don’t get paid enough to determine whether every comment on this post is actionable, not to mention the comments that haven’t even been posted yet. Plus, every person I have to suspend is going to react with anger or rage or whatever and they’re obviously already pissed off and I definitely don’t want to deal with THAT. I know! I’ll just get rid of the whole damned post, then no one else can comment on it. In three days, the hype will have died down and we can all go on with our lives.”
Thus the OP, who was voicing an actual, real life racial attack, gets silenced. But with her, so do those who were continuing to harass her. (at least on this one post, they do…)
In no way is this a humane way to deal with the situation; it’s absolutely a cop-out in the biggest way. It sends abusers the message that their behavior is tolerable. It’s bullshit. And it’s why I have literally posted three times since my dad died in March and no more. It’s why I uninstalled Facebook from my phone. But how long has it been, really, since Facebook had anything resembling a humane reputation? It’s just like the rest of this country — soulless, and without accountability. No way to track the “person” who actually suspended her account…no one to account for doing anything at all.
It’s shameful. But it wouldn’t surprise me if this is why it was done.