The moral of the story here is that you shouldn't invest your time and emotional energy into things that actually belong to other people.
You didn't own a website here. You didn't write code, you didn't set up servers, and you didn't sit around worrying about whether you were monetizing well enough to keep the site from imploding under its own popularity. You volunteered to be the curator of an entry in a database owned by a multi-billion-dollar company, you took an abnormal amount of pride in your work, and after a few years they decided your services were no longer needed.
You are owed nothing. Be more careful with how you invest your time from now on.
I actually came to write that the big takeaway for me was to care about things that actually exist. Pouring your life into a fan site that can one day disappear seems incredibly depressing. In that time others have built companies, relationships and a happy life and you have built: a collection of fan art for an obscure tv show.
Wow. Not only is this totally insensitive, and completely fucking rude.. it's also widely naive.
He obviously built value for a lot of people. In addition I'm sure developed some very portable skills. Helping to curate a site that brings that many people joy? We should all be so lucky.
The idea that the rug could be pulled out is indeed a significant lesson, but it's frankly one that both sides of the coin need to learn. Platform sites that encourage users to invest in and create content for will suffer if that content isn't taken good care of, in the long haul.
Accepting that everything has an end and nothing can't be taken away from you is fine, but this doesn't mean you should not focus more on things that can't be taken away from you easily (i.e. until you die).
The same argument could be flipped on you! I believe you post a lot on Hacker News, but you don't own the code, servers, etc. You are a volunteer commenter. What if someone blocked and deleted all of your comments? Wouldn't you feel the slightest bit of loss?
Actually, that is one of the things I rather like about HN. The "loss" is built in: after a couple of days, nobody is going to read or respond to any of my comments. Everything I write here will effectively disappear several days from now. And that, somehow, is very refreshing: I don't have to worry about posterity or the future.
HN is my way of indulging in the present. No plans, no worries, no future. Very relaxing.
It's also a way of tricking myself to write. In high school, I never liked writing much and, consequently, was never much of a writer. Now I like it more; hopefully my writing improves correspondingly. HN is obviously no way to become a writer, but that is not my goal: I just want to be able to write clearly, nothing more, nothing less.
If I was doing something more lasting, I would not want to trust a single entity. This is why all my code on GitHub is also backed up at home with the most important projects also backed up on my school account: losing that would actually be painful. Losing my comment history here? Trivial.
I would feel freedom. At that moment, my involvement in HN would come to an end, and I would find another way to use the 2 hours or so a day I spend on it. Think about what I could do with 700 hours/year.
That's like telling an alcoholic they don't have to drink. There's a reason why I've _never_ even glanced at Reddit. And I also took the plunge and deleted my Facebook Account. I lost three months of my life to Tribal Wars. I keep my time on HN to a couple hours a day - and it is my principal news source (No Techcrunch/engadge/verge/gizmodo - unless they are linked) - but if a moderator came and said "Deleted, return never again!." - I would embrace it. Not saying that's true for anyone else. I am implying that someone who spent the better part of two years managing a sherlock fan site, only to have it go "poof!" - shouldn't feel bad whatsoever.
I hate not to sound empathetic but, this is a very good point. You basically just built a sand castle on somebody else's private beach for 2 years and are now crying that it's gone. It's sad & I'm sure it's depressing, but... you owned absolutely nothing you were creating.
The funny thing is that this reminded me instantly of the Twitter API cutdowns. It's the extreme case where really, at the end of the day, the site decides what goes where, a business version of "the government has a monopoly on the use of force."
I feel the exact opposite. The trend in SV seems to be building communities around your product. This is an example of a product that did it very well...someone was so entrenched in the community that it became a huge part of their life. To take that away seems to go against the idea of community.
I remember in the very early days of Facebook Pages, as soon as they came out I created "Honda" and "Subaru", both with a substantial number of Likes (they were called fans back then, I think?)
I kept my posts on those pages strictly factual, and really just parroted emails from the two companies and occasionally asked for the audience's opinion.
After about a year both of them were shut down by the respective real car companies, and I tried to email their PR about how if they can be reactivated I could just hand them over, since the fanbase was relatively large at the time, but neither ever responded to me. Oh well.
> Why does the other page have the original likes?
Because Facebook doesn't know how to deal with changes to pages. Seriously.
Facebook has unilaterally changed my affiliations on me at least twice. There are probably others that have changed, like things I've 'liked', but two really stand out for me.
First, they decided I didn't actually go to the Canadian college that I'm quite sure I attended. They decided instead that I had gone to a similarly-named university in the United States. I'm not sure what happened to the old page/affiliation, but Facebook couldn't handle it.
Recently, I discovered that one of my former employers had been acquired and changed/lost their Facebook page. Now, Facebook is trying to convince me that I actually worked for a band with a similar name to the former name of the company I had worked for.
In neither case was I informed of the change. Several of my friends are still considered to have gone to the American university. I assume some former co-workers are similarly affiliated with the band, but I haven't gone to the trouble to check.
Similarly, I was apart of a fraternity that was local to my school. But then a female sorority with a few more people came on Facebook, took/stole/transferred the likes, and now I have a pink flower where a black and white crest once was, and no way to reclaim all the old posts or pictures. It's very weird.
Most likely your page and its fans have been appropriated by the content owner. This is a feature YouTube & others now offer content owners as a way to steal a ready-constructed online fan base from real fans who invested their own time building a community around the brand. There's a moral to this story: industrial production of culture is not beneficial to its consumers.
He ruled that out (though not intirely) by the fact that a previous page was appropriated and Facebook notified him. Also, if that were the case it would have probably been redirected/converted to an official page.
I don't see how you can draw the conclusion that companies shouldn't produce TV shows (I assume that's what you mean by industrial production of culture).
Edit: They have now emailed him, but I doubt it was the same kind of email he was sent before, since it doesn't mention a company.
My name is Fred Wolens, and I work for Facebook’s Policy Communications Team. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience caused by the migration of the Page’s content and Likes. We have already restored the Page, and there shouldn’t be any remaining issues.
Unfortunately, the Sherlock Page was not the official BBC fan Page for the show; this caused the Page to be flagged as a violation of our terms and we mistakenly removed instead of migrated the Page. After we found out about the problem, we renamed the Sherlock Page to Fans of Sherlock to comply with our policies and migrated the fans + content. We’re sorry for the trouble caused and we’re constantly iterating on our processes to improve the accuracy of our reporting system.
There is: it is called a "community page". This person flagrantly violated this mechanism, against Facebook's terms of service, in order to capitalize on the fame of a television show he did not create and was not involved in.
Don't stop with this post. I think the girl with blog of the school lunches in Scotland showed a modern method to solve any similar customer service issue. Start a blog and continually update it with whatever your issue is in a factual non-opinionated way. Wait for them to try to shut you down, then go to the media and social avenues so that it becomes hot topic, and they'll fix it. Then they may screw you again and you'll have to go to the media again and then they'll fix it again. Perfect solution.