I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore!

Dancing the rumba with the long-suffering and charming Simon Gilboy. Photo: Shot By Rob

Dancing the rumba with the long-suffering and charming Simon Gilboy. Photo: Shot By Rob - Credit: Archant

The memorable and meaningful line from the lips of Oscar-winning Peter Finch in the film Network: “Well, I’m mad as Hell but sadly like everyone else we probably have to suck it up.”

Last November, I took part in ‘Dancing Stars’ in aid of the Rowcroft Hospice, a charity which is very dear to my heart.

It was enormous fun and I raised a couple of thousand for the charity at the same time.

The problem was, unknowingly I broke Facebook rules by promoting the Just Giving page for the charity. I was astonished when they took my post down, and still am. Apparently it is against their T&Cs to promote a Just Giving page.

Since then I have been banned from advertising on Facebook – and believe me I have appealed a zillion times and the algorithm says I can’t appeal again.

This has created very serious problems for my business because I can’t integrate my website with my business Facebook pages or my business Instagram account.

You can imagine how detrimental this has been to revenue.

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On the rare occasion that I have managed to get a response from a human at Facebook to my plea to unblock my accounts, they have agreed that my case should be reviewed in my favour but they have to pass it on up the line to a higher body, which turns out to be an algorithm – in other words a brick wall.

I have begged, pleaded and offered to wear sack cloth and ashes but to no avail.

So, if there is someone out there, maybe Mark Zuckerberg, please explain why I can’t promote raising money for a hospice when seriously dubious information is available and promoted freely on Facebook?

Banks and utility companies also use the same methods to avoid talking to customers. I can’t count the times that I have had my private bank account blocked because the algorithm has decided that a payment I am making is not something that fits with their programming.

It certainly makes me mad as hell when I can’t get access to my own money – it is outrageous.

It has been a bad week in general though.

While trying to unload and load garments from my car, I parked in the loading bay outside my shop. As I had my disabled husband with me, I also displayed his disabled sign on my dashboard so that he could go into my shop for a few minutes.

A parking attendant ‘observed’ my car from 11.43 to 11.49 and gave me a ticket. Even though I was so quick and was back with my car before he had attached the ticket to my windscreen – I had been ‘done’.

I understand the council is strapped for cash so have begrudgingly paid the fine – but in all seriousness, how on earth are retailers supposed to operate if you can’t load or unload in loading bays? Isn’t the clue in the name?

All retailers are already bleeding money without tying our hands behind our backs.

The world has gone mad and Big Brother is not watching, he has taken over in the form of an algorithm.