After waking up one day to find that her popular Facebook page had been taken down by Facebook, and after getting no reply to her messages, a young girl from Belgium eventually got on a plane to San Francisco to confront Facebook about the issue in person.
23-year-old Jamilla Baidou is somewhat of a celebrity in Belgium. She was a contender on the Belgian version of The Voice, in 2014, when she managed to impress both the judges and the nationwide audience with her musical talent. People wanted to see more of her even after she was eliminated from the popular TV show, so she kept them up to date with her projects on social media networks like Facebook and YouTube. Up until December 2016, she had amassed more than 157,000 fans and many of the videos she posted had over one million times. Vlogging had become her profession, and her Facebook page was the most important platform, but one day disaster struck – her page suddenly disappeared.
“There was a problem with someone else’s Facebook page, someone I don’t even know. They were posting offensive things about me, but I managed to ignore everything for about six months,” Jamilla, of Antwerp, Belgium, told Nieuwsbald. “Then, one day I finally responded and we got into an argument. I reported them to Facebook, they reported me, and ultimately both pages were taken down.”
Jamilla had lost all her videos and Facebook fans overnight, but she was determined to get them back. She first appealed to Facebook Belgium to hopefully have her page restored, but that didn’t work out the way she had hoped. “It was impossible for me to get in touch with an actual person about this issue, even with the help of my friends and connections in the media,” she said. “And the automatic messages I was getting from them were driving me crazy.”
Then, one night,while texting a friend, the Belgian singer came up with a better plan. “One evening, I was in bed texting a friend about how I better go to America and ask Mark Zuckerberg himself to give me back my Facebook page,” Baidou recalls. “Then, a week later, that joke turned into reality and I booked my flight to Los Angeles.”
Jamilla is documenting her epic quest to reclaim her disabled Facebook page on Facebook, where else! She set up a new page that currently has around 40,000 fans, where she posts videos of her adventure in the United States. She landed in Los Angeles yesterday, and her latest video shows her taking a cab to her hotel. This is where things will start to get really interesting, as the singer prepares to visit the Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley, and possibly Mark Zuckerberg himself.
“I know the chances of getting my page reactivated at the Facebook headquarters are slim,” Jamilla Baidou said. “But I also learned that things can sometimes take an unexpected turn. That’s why I’m doing this.”
Keep an eye on Jamilla’s new Facebook page to find out the outcome of her story.