37 votes

Facebook account banned within ten minutes of linking Oculus account; decision reviewed and cannot be reversed. All prior purchases are lost. Oculus Quest is unusable.

30 comments

  1. [12]
    Micycle_the_Bichael
    Link
    A couple quotes that ring true to me that I found in the comments section here: If I were to take a stab in the dark I would guess glacialthinker nailed it. People are willing to put up with a lot...

    A couple quotes that ring true to me that I found in the comments section here:

    There seem to be a whole lot of blindspots with the company, like they never had any in-house QA sessions in regards to how the store works, how people expect things like new releases to be spotlight in the store the moment they release - the pointlessness of the wishlist system (why have one if it doesn't notify me when a game is out?) multiple user accounts have been a total fumble that should've been fixed before this system launched etc. - tons of little things that have become clear misses by the company over the past couple years that well, have numbed me to the point that this kind of thing isn't very surprising. Before any of this, i heard loads of horror stories about their support too regards automation enforcement of rules at fb - the only difference now is that people have potentially a whole lot to lose. I hope it changes without too much damage. - phylum_sinter

    Yeah, I think part of the problem is that Facebook has never had an actual product which people pay for and expect to work. Their whole culture and set of priorities are counter to this. - glacialthinker

    If I were to take a stab in the dark I would guess glacialthinker nailed it. People are willing to put up with a lot of shit from Facebook because

    1. They view it as a free product (please don't crucify me for this. I know we know the value and power personal data and tracking have, but that is still far from common knowledge. At least that is the case in the US)
    2. Facebook has become the defacto-place for event planning/event invites, still widely used as a messenger service, photo album, and obviously a lot of people still value it as a social network.

    Because of the combination of viewing it as free and getting a "reasonable" value (that's an opinion left to each individual to make) people put up with Facebook's... issues.

    However, now they are entering a world where people have paid somewhere between a lot (looks like Quest 2 retails for $300 on amazon) to HOLY SHIT A LOT (depending on the size of their game library) there is going to be a significantly higher rate of people not accepting Facebook's normal customer support quality. I expect as VR gets more and more available and mainstream that this is going to become a huge PR stink and/or lawsuit (though I am certainly far from a lawyer, I reached out to a lawyer friend for his thoughts and have yet to hear back)

    20 votes
    1. [11]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I think that’s a lot to infer from one data point. We typically don’t hear about the other side of the story, because companies have privacy policies and don’t talk about individual users. So, I’m...

      I think that’s a lot to infer from one data point. We typically don’t hear about the other side of the story, because companies have privacy policies and don’t talk about individual users. So, I’m not going to say the person who posted this is lying about why their account was closed (the timing is really weird), but on the other hand they could be lying and we would never know.

      We should be a bit skeptical that we understand what’s going on. Part of the problem is that at scale, all sorts of crazy stuff happens all the time, and we only get biased glimpses of it, so it’s hard to tell what’s up as a casual observer.

      In general, as companies tie more and more stuff to a single account, that makes closing the account a more high-stakes decision. This is something that creeps up on people; at the beginning they might treat the account as a throwaway, but as the years go buy it becomes more and more important to them. There is convenience to trying accounts together, but it’s a risk.

      4 votes
      1. [8]
        joplin
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure I can agree with what you're saying here. I mean, in terms of closing the person's account, yeah it could have been anything. But that's only one part of the issue. The other part is...

        I'm not sure I can agree with what you're saying here. I mean, in terms of closing the person's account, yeah it could have been anything. But that's only one part of the issue. The other part is that this person spent money on hardware and games and now can't play them even if they're single-player games they want to play by themselves on their own system unconnected to the internet. The fact that Facebook is able to disable the product in this way is an issue that should be discussed regardless of whether this person is lying about (or misunderstanding) why their account was closed.

        12 votes
        1. [2]
          tindall
          Link Parent
          This is a larger issue in the tech industry, not at all limited to Facebook. Because the end user owns nothing, there is essentially no legal recourse for situations like this. Consider, for...

          This is a larger issue in the tech industry, not at all limited to Facebook. Because the end user owns nothing, there is essentially no legal recourse for situations like this. Consider, for instance, the difference between watching a movie on Netflix and owning file of the movie. Netflix can simply decide that you are no longer allowed to watch the movie. This is also the experience of using any computer that doesn't run a free software operating system; Windows 10, for instance, sometimes removes software without user consent, as does iOS.

          7 votes
          1. joplin
            Link Parent
            The case of Netflix and similar companies is quite different. Users understand explicitly that they are renting the content for a short period of time, similar to how they would rent a video from...

            The case of Netflix and similar companies is quite different. Users understand explicitly that they are renting the content for a short period of time, similar to how they would rent a video from Blockbuster and be required to return it in the old days. I don't have any problem with that, since it's a well-understood business model. Most users understand they have a choice between purchasing a DVD or Blu-Ray or even a digital download for ~$10-60 vs. renting a show for $1-3 or paying a low monthly subscription for unlimited a la carte rental selection.

            That's very different from buying a piece of hardware and having the manufacturer decide you're no longer allowed to use it. It's a physical device that is my property and is in my house. I can't think of any other pre-internet real-world scenario where a manufacturer could have disabled a physical device you previously paid for and have in your custody. That's a very recent development. (And agreed, Facebook is not the only one who does this.)

            4 votes
        2. [5]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          It seems like if someone's account is cancelled, they should get a refund on the hardware and any other content they bought, and this might encourage such services to be more careful about...

          It seems like if someone's account is cancelled, they should get a refund on the hardware and any other content they bought, and this might encourage such services to be more careful about cancelling accounts, or alternately, make sure that hardware is useful standalone so they're not on the hook for this.

          But paying for hardware is only one way of raising the stakes. There are others that are hard to put a monetary value on. Like, if you somehow end up with all your photos on a cloud service and lose the account, and you don't have backups, you're screwed, and those photos can't be replaced at any price.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            Greg
            Link Parent
            The latter would make for a nice, logical addendum to the section of GDPR that already mandates data portability: upon closing any account, the company must send the user a final snapshot of all...

            The latter would make for a nice, logical addendum to the section of GDPR that already mandates data portability: upon closing any account, the company must send the user a final snapshot of all the data held.

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              It's a bit tricky though. Where do they send it? What about the severe privacy risk of sending all of someone's data to the wrong person?

              It's a bit tricky though. Where do they send it? What about the severe privacy risk of sending all of someone's data to the wrong person?

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                Greg
                Link Parent
                A very reasonable concern - perhaps "send" wasn't the right wording. Maybe a notification to the registered email address (if there is one), and then the ability to keep using the existing login...

                A very reasonable concern - perhaps "send" wasn't the right wording. Maybe a notification to the registered email address (if there is one), and then the ability to keep using the existing login credentials for, say, 30 days to access a download page for the final snapshot?

                2 votes
                1. joplin
                  Link Parent
                  Oh yeah, I like that last idea. Like the next time you login, they just show you a screen that says something to the extent of: "Your account is no longer valid. You may download all of your data...

                  Oh yeah, I like that last idea. Like the next time you login, they just show you a screen that says something to the extent of: "Your account is no longer valid. You may download all of your data by clicking here. You have until <some date> to retrieve your data. After that your data will be deleted." That seems imminently reasonable to me for things like a photo sharing service or single-player games you paid for to go with the hardware you purchased.

                  2 votes
      2. [2]
        Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        This is true. I especially agree with the second paragraph. That's an issue that extends far beyond this situation. I still have gmail account only because of how many things it is tied to. I'd...

        This is true. I especially agree with the second paragraph. That's an issue that extends far beyond this situation. I still have gmail account only because of how many things it is tied to. I'd have to either make a new user or update the email of probably 40 services and I'm not spending the time to do that. It is also why it took me so long to delete my facebook (and the only reason my partner still has one). Both of our spotify accounts are linked to our FB accounts for login. So if we delete our FB, we lose access to our spotify. For me, that was fine because I listen to artists and albums, for them it was a blocker because they almost exclusively use playlists and have dozens of playlists that are hundreds of songs long, plus hundreds of songs they only know because they have liked them on Spotify so they got added to their playlist. I'm not really sure what a "better" solution looks like though. All of them have their own trade-offs. But you're certainly right that over time there has been a monumental power creep of singular accounts (mainly email and facebook)

        2 votes
        1. Greg
          Link Parent
          Owning a domain name is a huge step in the right direction. They're treated like real personal property, so you're pretty much guaranteed to retain it for as long as you like (rather than as long...

          Owning a domain name is a huge step in the right direction.

          They're treated like real personal property, so you're pretty much guaranteed to retain it for as long as you like (rather than as long as a given company decides). The underlying email hosting can be changed out as you see fit, and while the accounts you sign up to on other sites using that personal email address are still held at the whims of the respective providers, there should be far less potential for a ripple effect even if one does shut down.

          Sadly, none of this helps with the issue that kicked this whole thread off, because there we're talking about Oculus hardware and Facebook accounts, both of which are totally proprietary. In this case, I think the only real option is to wait for the legislation to catch up.

          4 votes
  2. [4]
    nothis
    Link
    Just a heads up that facebook's PR will notice this. They'll have the individual user's access restored and will apologize (maybe he'll even get sent a big swag bag to post on twitter,...

    Just a heads up that facebook's PR will notice this. They'll have the individual user's access restored and will apologize (maybe he'll even get sent a big swag bag to post on twitter, #awesome!!!). However, if that person never posted a rant on reddit, that would never have happened. It will not be an indication of real policy changes (even if policies will be "reviewed").

    This is absolutely the reason people were upset about facebook purchasing Oculus in 2104. It's just comical how much they're playing out all the worst case scenarios, one by one. Nobody can say they haven't been warned, not after purchasing a product from them after 2014.

    16 votes
    1. Greg
      Link Parent
      It just seems like such a fucking weird decision on Facebook's part, too. They already own Oculus, including all the data and accounts associated with those headsets. They can trivially draw a...

      It just seems like such a fucking weird decision on Facebook's part, too. They already own Oculus, including all the data and accounts associated with those headsets. They can trivially draw a dotted line between FB accounts and Oculus accounts in the database for marketing purposes, and allow users to link them as a "feature". What do they gain by mandating it?

      5 votes
    2. [2]
      Icarus
      Link Parent
      The crazy thing is that by my estimates in the social VR world, Facebook is king. Most people I talk to in VR are using a version of an Oculus headset. Hell, I was talking to one this past Monday...

      This is absolutely the reason people were upset about facebook purchasing Oculus in 2104. It's just comical how much they're playing out all the worst case scenarios, one by one. Nobody can say they haven't been warned, not after purchasing a product from them after 2014.

      The crazy thing is that by my estimates in the social VR world, Facebook is king. Most people I talk to in VR are using a version of an Oculus headset. Hell, I was talking to one this past Monday about The Social Dilemma documentary and how bad Facebook is, and he was like, "Yeah, I can't wait for my Quest 2 to arrive in the mail!"

      I just don't understand people. They know how bad Facebook is, but they handwave it away because of a pretty piece of hardware that is cheap. I go into the SteamVR subreddit and encounter Oculus fanboys who poo-poo anything not Oculus hardware. It's bizarre.

      4 votes
      1. Akir
        Link Parent
        As someone who owns an Oculus headset, I can tell you that until the announcement that Facebook integration would be required, I was satisfied enough that that they said they would never force...

        As someone who owns an Oculus headset, I can tell you that until the announcement that Facebook integration would be required, I was satisfied enough that that they said they would never force that to happen. Oculus was still a legally distinct entity even though they were owned by Facebook. But part of that announcement was that they were going to be folding them back into Facebook Inc.

        But yeah, Oculus fanboys, like all other cheerleaders, do not make much sense to me either. I mean, really, the biggest appeal of Oculus is not their quality; it's the price.

        4 votes
  3. [4]
    Good_Apollo
    Link
    I don’t want to be that guy (and I whole heartedly believe in consumer rights, this guy is owed customer service and compensation or resolution) but...it’s Facebook. Like why in 2020 would you get...

    I don’t want to be that guy (and I whole heartedly believe in consumer rights, this guy is owed customer service and compensation or resolution) but...it’s Facebook. Like why in 2020 would you get involved in any part of what they’re selling?

    The second Oculus joined Facebook I wrote it off as junk, I don’t care how good the VR set is there are other options that don’t involve that shit company.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      RNG
      Link Parent
      I agree with not doing business w/FB, however I don't see utility in blaming consumers for doing business with a consumer hostile market leader. This sometimes unintentionally has the effect of...

      I agree with not doing business w/FB, however I don't see utility in blaming consumers for doing business with a consumer hostile market leader. This sometimes unintentionally has the effect of shifting the blame from the business to the consumer for consumer hostile business practices (a sort of "blaming the victim.") This shift happens largely due to neoliberal ideology, as to suggest it is the consumer's responsibility to do business and support companies that behave in more consumer friendly, ethical ways.

      To take from a comment on HN:

      Folks often overestimate the power consumers have in meaningfully shaping a market. Consumer protections are rarely gained by simply refusing to do business with market leaders who behave in consumer hostile ways.

      Boycotting Amazon won't stop Rekognition, nor will it stop them from abusing their employees. Buying a Tesla won't stop Climate Change. This is firmly the responsibility of the state, not individual consumers. We need strong public policy in place to protect consumers of digital goods.

      15 votes
      1. Good_Apollo
        Link Parent
        That’s why I put in my caveat. Dismissing it as victim blaming is too simplistic. Take this example: someone buying into the Kickstarter Squadron 42 campaign for Star Citizen in the year 2020 and...

        That’s why I put in my caveat. Dismissing it as victim blaming is too simplistic.

        Take this example: someone buying into the Kickstarter Squadron 42 campaign for Star Citizen in the year 2020 and complaining about how long it’s taking. Do the developers owe these people a finished product? Of course. You have to ask though knowing the 8 year now development run why you’d buy into it and expect a timely finish.

        Facebook is one of the most crooked companies out there, why would you buy into their ecosystem knowing this?

        I blame the company and the people who keep giving them money. It’s both, and yes the government should get involved.

        3 votes
      2. Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        Hard agree with both you and the OP of the quoted comment. For the rest of this comment I am discussing consumers in the US at large, and this is not specifically relating to this situation with...

        Hard agree with both you and the OP of the quoted comment. For the rest of this comment I am discussing consumers in the US at large, and this is not specifically relating to this situation with FB. I don't want to say users have no power, because we've seen you can get companies to change their stance w/ threat of lost $$$. However, I think it is common in the US to overestimate how power consumers have. Not to be that guy, but I think a lot of it comes down to class. Not just in the mega-millionaires vs everyone else. I think people really don't understand how in poorer/more rural areas of the US there really is no consumer choice. Areas where the only grocery store is a Dollar General. Areas where you depend on the USPS to deliver packages because UPS and FedEx KNOW they lose money delivering to these areas because they're so far out of the way. People in those areas have EVEN LESS buying power than most. I don't have a much larger point to make. I just really want to drive home that consumer power is not only much weaker than I think most people believe (at least on an individual level), but how much power you have is heavily influenced by where you live and what resources are available to you. Consumer power will never come even remotely close to covering the gaps left by a lack of consumer protections (both in the online space, and in the US). I'm US based so I don't feel comfortable speaking for outside the US but I would imagine its very similar.

        3 votes
  4. [9]
    RNG
    Link
    I strongly dislike the level of cross-posting from Hacker News [1] that goes on, but this is a discussion that really ties into the discourse here on Tildes, and will likely gain traction and be...

    I strongly dislike the level of cross-posting from Hacker News [1] that goes on, but this is a discussion that really ties into the discourse here on Tildes, and will likely gain traction and be discussed in angles unique from the tired, boring discourse regarding social media found on HN.

    [1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24776748

    3 votes
    1. [8]
      Adys
      Link Parent
      … why?

      I strongly dislike the level of cross-posting from Hacker News [1] that goes on

      … why?

      6 votes
      1. [6]
        RNG
        Link Parent
        I probably worded that a bit too strongly. I think I'm most disappointed on Tildes when I logon and it's a mirror of the current frontpage of HN. I don't really have a well thought out reason on why.

        I probably worded that a bit too strongly. I think I'm most disappointed on Tildes when I logon and it's a mirror of the current frontpage of HN. I don't really have a well thought out reason on why.

        6 votes
        1. [2]
          Micycle_the_Bichael
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          How much time do you spend reading articles on sites vs in the comments section? Part of the reason I ebb and flow with Tildes so much is because I'm not the most active in comments sections. So...

          How much time do you spend reading articles on sites vs in the comments section? Part of the reason I ebb and flow with Tildes so much is because I'm not the most active in comments sections. So the more things are cross-posted from sites I already frequent, the less enjoyable I find Tildes because I find I've already read most of what already feels like a puddle of content that interests me here. If what draws you more is the posts rather than the comments section it could help explain why.

          Quick Clarification for any future readers: I don't think cross-posting from HN should be banned or anything. I think its is normal and fine, there's a lot of people who frequent Tildes and don't frequent HN, and so anything posted on Tildes from HN is new content for all those people. Just explaining why it can detract from my personal experience when done in excess and to help put words to RNG's feelings.

          8 votes
          1. RNG
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I think this articulates my feelings about the situation. I can't speak for time spent, but the primary reason I go to HN or Tildes is the unique content I find linked there, and the discourse on...

            So the more things are cross-posted from sites I already frequent, the less enjoyable I find Tildes because I find I've already read most of what already feels like a puddle of content that interests me here.

            I think this articulates my feelings about the situation.

            I can't speak for time spent, but the primary reason I go to HN or Tildes is the unique content I find linked there, and the discourse on that content is always secondary for me. I'd still go to HN or Tildes if comments were disabled (not that I'd prefer that.)


            EDIT:

            I don't think cross-posting from HN should be banned or anything.

            Nor do I. The irony of the fact that this discussion is happening on my post which I originally discovered on HN (which is a cross-post from Reddit) is not lost on me.

            3 votes
        2. [3]
          skybrian
          Link Parent
          I agree that we should try to avoid duplicating Hacker News too much and that means being selective. But we are going to find links somewhere and HN is one of those places. I usually copy links...

          I agree that we should try to avoid duplicating Hacker News too much and that means being selective. But we are going to find links somewhere and HN is one of those places. I usually copy links that are overlooked or unusually in-depth, or that I think people should know about, and avoid links that are getting a lot of attention there. But it’s not particularly well-thought-out criteria and people are going to disagree.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            RNG
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I mean, the links come from somewhere, usually from where an individual poster's work, hobbies, or life experience intersect with a news story or other resource that they think will be interesting...

            I mean, the links come from somewhere, usually from where an individual poster's work, hobbies, or life experience intersect with a news story or other resource that they think will be interesting to a larger audience (whether that be Reddit, HN, Tildes, etc.) I especially like this style of posting on Tildes, as it introduces me to unique, niche material I'd otherwise have no exposure to.

            I wouldn't really like Tildes to simply be an aggregator of the top links from other aggregators.

            2 votes
            1. skybrian
              Link Parent
              I think one way to avoid that is to search a little harder. Instead of sharing a link, to do a search and see what else is written about that subject and go down the rabbit-hole a bit, so maybe...

              I think one way to avoid that is to search a little harder. Instead of sharing a link, to do a search and see what else is written about that subject and go down the rabbit-hole a bit, so maybe you find a better link. This is easier to do when you're actually interested in learning more and have the time to do it.

              2 votes
      2. rish
        Link Parent
        Honestly I want Tildes to be the discussion point not discussing the discussion joint.

        Honestly I want Tildes to be the discussion point not discussing the discussion joint.

        4 votes
  5. RapidEyeMovement
    (edited )
    Link
    Facebook is currently involved in a global cybersecurity and (mis)information war with multiple state actors. There are going to be casualties. To fight this war, Facebook has created models of...

    Facebook is currently involved in a global cybersecurity and (mis)information war with multiple state actors. There are going to be casualties.

    To fight this war, Facebook has created models of 'normal' new user behavior. Anything not fitting normal is killed. (I'm guessing no humans are in these loops, not even in review requests).

    Not in this 'normal' new user behavior is anything Oculus related. So a person who creates a profile and doesn't connect it to anyone or other non-'normal' new user behavior is 'tagged and bagged' so to speak.

    This is a problem wholly of Facebook own making and Facebook usually does not want to create exceptions, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    3 votes