Happy Monday!!! I hope that your week is off to a great start and, those who are new on here, WELCOME!!!
Since some of you on here have followed me on social media I just wanted to make everyone aware that as of last Sunday (10/17/22) FB has permanently disabled both my personal (Randy LeBaron) and ministry (Go Scatter Ministries, Refill with Randy) accounts along with my Instagram (Refill with Randy) and Messenger.
Let me start by answering some of the questions I have been getting since then?
WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
To be honest, I don’t know. I have theories but what I can tell you for certain is that I have not presently or in the past violated FB’s Community Standards. I take it as an affirmation of this that people asked WHY this happened and not WHAT did I do. The reality is that I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I don’t make political posts, I don’t harass people, and I definitely do not use derogatory or vulgar language. My personal mission is to make FB a better place by encouraging others and posting about coffee, my kids, my cats, and Christ. If I were to guess it is the last one that got me in trouble.
On the day in question I had posted a prayer, shared a video of myself preaching at Albion First Baptist, posted a pic from Shiloh’s service when the pastor pulled me onstage to sing and dance, shared a stat about The Buffalo Bills, and put up a notice that I was going to be taking a week off of social media since I had been so busy lately doing funerals and because I had more in the coming week including attending my sister-in-law’s. Little did I know that that would be my final post and that instead of taking off a week I would be taken off of FB, Instagram, and Messenger completely.
DID YOU APPEAL?
Yes! I appealed immediately since I assumed it was a mistake and would be a quick fix.
I have never been banned or had my account questioned before but I did have an issue in the past where FB took down a post of mine on Market Place saying that I was “selling sexualized material”. Below is the actual pic from my post…
As you can see this is a DVD set of the 1980’s tv series “The Incredible Hulk” with lenticular covers. After explaining this to FB they immediately put my listing back up so I figured the same thing would happen regarding this latest misunderstanding. I. WAS. WRONG.
After filling out FB’s form, including an explanation (though I wasn’t told what I had done wrong) and proof of identity, I waited. In the meantime I noticed that Meta, who FB uses to oversee this, had removed $ from my PayPal account without reason. I had not paid for an Ad since 2021 so this was very unusual and I quickly disabled the link so that it couldn’t happen again. It was then that I received a response to my appeal saying that my FB page would be permanently disabled.
FB MUST HAVE GIVEN YOU A REASON? YOU MUST BE ABLE TO FIGHT THIS?
You would think that after 14 yrs. without ever so much as being put in FB jail, as a number of other users have had happen, that there must be a good explanation as to why this has happened and someone who I could speak to further before this extreme action was taken against me but you would be wrong. I quickly found out that FB is judge, jury, and executioner and that they can act with impunity and without accountability. Below is the response I received from them…
This was definitely a gut punch. All I could think of was how this was going to impact my online ministry since FB is how I have reached thousands over 34 countries with my blogs and Refill with Randy videos, it is one of the easiest ways to connect with my supporters (including fundraising), and it is how I market myself to receive speaking jobs such as guest preaching or Camp Evangelist.
On the personal side of things FB is the easiest way to stay in contact with friends and family both in my community and on the other side of the country. Since my sister-in-law’s funeral was in Utah this past Tuesday the only way I could attend was via FB Live which proved challenging since I couldn’t log in. 😔 I also have tons of posts where I shared things my kids said when they were little of posts on my wall from those who are no longer here like my mother. FB has said that I could download my info. but after a dozen plus failed attempts it is beginning to feel futile.
I also thought about the fact that without notification people might assume that I unfriended or blocked them when they tried to go on my page so I texted or e-mailed those who I had contact info. for, but that was a fraction of those who friended and/or followed me. In fact, if you would please share this on FB or with others that you know we’re friends with me I would really appreciate getting the word out.
WHY DON’T YOU JUST SET UP A NEW ACCOUNT?
That may eventually happen but right now I don’t see it happening for a number of reasons including:
- It was a lot of work to create content and build a base over the years and that can’t be duplicated over night.
- If I did create new content and go through the trouble of setting everything up what would keep FB from doing the same thing again for no reason?
- I am not sure that I want to continue on with an organization that treats its customers and/or Christians this way especially when I see people post horrible content day and day out without a problem simply because they fit FB;s narrative.
- I am still making numerous attempts to appeal (though every time the message I get is that they have too few people to review my appeal at this time).
- It’s still pretty raw.
SO WHAT NOW?
Well, it’s not like I’m not staying busy offline. Between being an Evangelist for the Genesis Conference FMC, President at Go Scatter Ministries, Spiritual Care & Bereavement Coordinator at Supportive Care of Orleans (Hospice), Interim-Pastor at Albion First Baptist Church, Adjunct Professor at Robert’s Wesleyan University, Counselor at Care-Net of Greater Orleans, Volunteer Chaplain at Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, Helper at Hands 4 Hope, and a Core Leader at P.A.C.T. and a few other things I don’t stay idle for long. And if I have free time then there are plenty of sporting events that my wife and I go to to watch our kids.
If I when I return to FB in another form or simply start using a different social media platform
Seriously, I am mourning the relationships and connection far more than anything but I hope for now that many will stay connected by following this blog, subscribing to my “Refill with Randy” YouTube Channel, and staying updated on my website goscatterministries.org
If I start a new account on FB or try another social media format I will be sure to let you know but, for now, thanks for sticking with me here and please reach out anytime by replying to a blog post or simply e-mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if anyone ever feels led to help support my ministry you can do so by giving via PayPal (@GoScatterMinistries or @RandyLeBaron), Venmo (@GoScatterMinistries or @RandyLeBaron) or GoScatterMinistries.org