META no longer lets you delete your account !! ??

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META no longer lets you delete your account !! ??

Post by Downunder35m »

A few months ago Meta again landed in court over their handling of user data and privacy concerns.
In a short form the concern was that Meta did not offer any way for a user to delete their personal data - like when they decide they no longer want their services.

Meta promised to act and got away without any fine or actual checks they follow the court order.
Nothing new, I know...
What was new though were the changes Meta applied to how users can access their information and handle their accounts.

Imagine you decide to fully leave the Metaverse behind you....
In the old days of just Facebook this was made hard enough already.
First you had to delete all you profile content - a nightmare as there was (is) no option to delete it all to get a clean profile.
Then you had to replace you Email address and if doubt phone number with fake ones.
Only after all this you had a slim chance your data would eventually disappear from FB servers - which then often took months to happen.

Today though users are faced a new hurdle - being unable to delete their content and unable to delete their account.
I found out the hard way when selling my VR headset.
Doing a factory reset for the headset, according to Meta support pages shall be done over the phone app.
But their updated app no longer allows to do so.
A more refined search for the problem to find most recent support pages only found stuff at least half a year old.
There Meta states a user has to use a browser to log into their authentication centre.
Mind you that the official website where you also find your purchases and the Meta shop won't allow you get there.
From there things get funny indeed.
Once you finally found the privacy setting stating that THERE you can delete you data and account a click provides an empty popup with no options to go further.

I contacted Meta's support team and they replied promptly just 8 days later.
They thanked me for my detailed explanation of the problem and said they will forward my info to the developers so the issue can be addressed.
I replied that in the meantime it would be nice if they would delete my account and all corresponding data as I no longer have the headset.
No problem they said and two days later my Facebook account was gone while my Meta account for the headset was still active...
Ever tried to get your FB account back once the login claims you don't exist ? ROFL

Never mind....
No option on their websites or FB app....
No help from the support other than stating I asked for the deletion.
Once escalated a few times they finally agreed that all I ever asked for was to delete my Meta account linked to the no longer existing headset.
And then you hear that you were lucky they did not delete your stuff already LOL
Now three weeks further and the Meta account is still active....
Still no working options to delete it or the linked data....
Still no answers from the Meta support.
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
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Re: META no longer lets you delete your account !! ??

Post by Downunder35m »

Update !

The plot thickens and if you struggle with your Meta account of using Paypal with it keep reading...

The majority of users unable to delete their Meta accounts seem to have created at least one additional Meta account at some point.
Further complicated by the branding issues and resulting account changes.
Some users went from Oculus over Facebook to end up with their current Meta account.
For starters the ways how you can add users to your device changed.
The result was that far too many simply created several accounts, like one for them, one for the kids, one to show friends what the thing can do.
With the recent change to Meta the terms and conditions also got a massive change.
Now users have the problem that several accounts of various types are linked to one IP address - which Meta makes good use of to keep things safe and secure.

Being unable to delete accounts you no longer want or need is bad enough, but once these accounts affect what you can do with the one you actually need things turn ugly.
Like by the Meta support forum requiring you to log in with your Meta account - no other option to make a reply if you seek help.
Thing is that not even clearing your browser history and cache will help to make this forum select the right account.
No option to actually select one either - you can only log out but not change the account.
Quite a bummer if you then finally managed to log into the forum with the right account....
Clicking on any reply or post button re-directs you to a page asking you cancel or log in with your Meta account.
Never mind you logged in to find the topic you want to reply to.
Click on cancel and you get logged out and land on the main page with the forum topic lost.
Click on the blue Meta button and both buttons spin to result in the same - no way to ever make a reply.

Unable to buy apps and games is bad enough, unable to use the community forum adds insult to injury.
But then you go and bit the bullet, do a factory reset on the headset and start over from scratch.
Funny enough though the pairing info in the app does not change.
Probably because Meta removed the option in the app to do a factory reset....
Checking the account in a brwoser also shows the now ownerless headset ....
Unpairing the headset first WAS once and option but this option does not exist in the current Oculus app.
All you ever find is warnings that whatever you are about to do will result in your data AND purchases to be lost - go figure.

To my utter surprise the Meta support in India works on weekends.
I got an Email from their support that they still struggle to fix my account and Paypal issues a few days ago.
They also provided a link to their online chat which I used.
The goal as stated in the Email was that they can check their end while I give them the details of what I see on my screen, rather than sending a ton of Emails with screenshots back and forth.
After the initial checks on Wednesday the poor guy got rather confused.
For some unexplainable reason none of the account they have match and of the accounts as I sue them.
Like my current account showing ME the username I created while on the Meta systems this account is linked to the username of the previous account.
On top of that Meta has several account profiles marked as active while none of my accounts show THESE profiles, mine either show no profile or a totally different one.
The official suggestion was that I do a factory reset and then delete any profiles I might have in my accounts - while Meta removed all profiles in my accounts on their end.
Since this takes a bit of time we continued the next day to find out I am unable to remove account profiles and unable to delete accounts.
We also found out that on Meta's end these profiles keep re-appearing after they deleted them.
Apparently this indicates these accounts are in active use.
Active while not having any devices linked to them and having no other access in the logs then my IP address ?
Anyways, I was promised to hear back from them.
In the meantime I started with the post above....

This morning the chat was requested once more and I went ahead.
Imagine my surprise when I was told to check my Paypal account for LINKED Oculus, Facebook or Meta payments.
Suspected nothing good but was quite sure it isn't a scam as a scammer wouldn't be able to fake the Email and chat.
I found THREE Meta links despite only ever having linked Paypal for the most recent attempt to buy some content.
In the chat it was explained that the purchase of a headset, controller or such would automatically create a corresponding account.
Be it you just purchasing a new device using Paypal or making any other purchase.
With the change to Meta and the requirement to set Paypal as a default payment option for all Meta failed to remove those old ties with Paypal.
All the user frustration is not a matter of Paypal accounts not being up to specs or Meta/Paypal accounts not being properly verified....
It is simply Meta falling back to some random Paypal account instead of sticking to one in the current user profile.
The suggested 'fix' was for me to delete the entire Metaverse from my Paypal account.
With the warning that this will result in me having to re-authorise payments the next time I use Paypal with any Meta brand.
After this I was meant to also delete all Paypal references from all my Meta accounts - which I did.
Since this again takes some time to trickle through all servers we are meant to continue on Monday.

Now clue how to reach the support on Monday though unless their link won't require me to use my login credentials like in the past.
Because after doing all this I am now unable to log into my Meta ccounts, not from the browser and not from the app.
And after all the troubles of getting my FB account back I am locked out of it once more as well now.
So much for being forced to link it all or to break their T's and C's by using fake accounts.
Without creating another account now I won't be able to log into their chat and am back to citing my support ticket numbers ROFL
Who would have thought that something as simple as wanting to delete an account or buying something could be made so complicated by Meta - or shall I say impossible ?
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Re: META no longer lets you delete your account !! ??

Post by Downunder35m »

With frustration and insanity levels rising I decided to did through those T's and C's for a bit....
If you ever tried to do this you know that it requires some good music and strong coffee (or other drinks to keep you awake).

Can't be too sure but I think I might have found the actual culprit behind all the issues users currently face with account issues and Paypal.
Meta claims to provide the most secure platform.
This however, so far, seems limited to their VR products.
Facebook and their other brands are still free from these forcefully applied privacy and usage right changes.

A Meta account shall be a fully verified one and a fully secured one!
Means you need a VALID Email address that is also VERIFIED.
Freemailers with no real requirement to verify your full identity are rejected by Meta without any official note in their T's and C's and without banning them from use in the Metaverse.
Same for phone numbers used.
The only requirement is that you can get the confirmation working and when required a code to the account authentication.
Not a big deal for FB users....
But in the VR world it can result in you having an account that Meta does not considered as trustworthy.
Since people seem to prefer to buy directly from Oculus because retailers still struggle to provide provide the same level of support....
What do you do if you get an account automatically when you use Paypal for the first time in the Metaverse - you don't even know it happened....
What do you do if later it turns out the Email you used to order and had linked to Paypal is NOT the once YOU used to create your Meta account - again you won't know you already an account.
What do you do if you transferred your account from Oculus or FB to Meta and ended up with multiple accounts with the same details ?

The Meta support seems to be out of answers and out of working solutions...
With neither user nor meta able to actually delete accounts for good it seems to be an endless circle.
Can't give on an update from Paypal as so far I only got automated replies to my support requests.
The thing that seems clear is that Mata's refusal to offer and normal Paypal checkout options and apart from that only credit cards is not helping any user.
Especially not if now more and more users report that their forced change to a linked credit card resulted in Meta taking their money while not completing the app or game purchase.
What a bummer if used managed to find those now rare pre-paid credit cards as you won't be able to make any claim on the lost money.
To top it off those incomplete purchases won't show up in Meta's systems - there they show up as cancelled....

What's real deal here then?
As said it sounds it seems Meta just continues where FB got punished for in courts all over the globe - hoarding and linking user data for their own benefits.
If we check Reddit and other social media place we find people stating that Zuckerberg is too hungry for power and control over his user base.
This is only further fuelled by the ongoing changes in the Metaverse when it comes to how and where users can access or change their profile and privacy settings.
Whenever their official support pages finally provided the required way to get where you needed to go they changed it.
But at no point where those old pages taken down so users won't fall for totally outdated information.
Of course Meta never provided the required information about those changes on their help pages until forced so by courts.
Facebook, Threads, Whatsapp and quite some other things are owned by Meta.
They all provide Meta with often rather personal information, like a user's phone number thanks to two-factor authentication and other things requiring you to have a mobile phone number linked.
Having a VERIFIED account was made a most vital thing by Meta and government around the world agreed for some reason.
You might have seemingly different user names and accounts, maybe even with different Email addresses but once verified to a phone number or fixed IP address Meta knows it all...
The future is in Mixed Reality and more integration - or so Zuckerberg says.
And of course all vital Meta services are long present in the VR world....
Little by little though Meta weeds out all those with multiple or unverified accounts....
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Is the plot exposed or is it just a matter or many coincidences?

Post by Downunder35m »

How do you get into the VIRTUAL Metaverse ?
On the Oculus app you need an account....
On the browser you get there using a FB, Google or Email account.
Coincidence that the Metaverse is now ad supported and uses Google services for this ? ;)
Coincidence that you enter the VITRUAL Metaverse on the web using FB or Google accounts ?
Both FB an Google benefit here as chances are people have at least one of these accounts already verified.
With that both get their Emails and other personal details about users updated - to provide a better experience and better ads they say....
All those with fake FB accounts not showing their real name and such are linked automatically through purchases and their IP.
And so far all suggested fixes by Meta to solve this long standing issues resulted in people 'freely' providing even the last bits of their personal details to Google and Meta.
Oh! You created another Meta account with a different Email address?
Oh! You have multiple users/accounts in your home using the same IP and Wifi?
Oh! You struggle using your FB or Google login and get rejected? - is your account verified? ;)
Oh! You sold you old headset to a friend or gifted a new one and struggle to play things together? - how nice of you to provide us all the account details and serial numbers from the devices so we can verify your connections to friends and such....

No one ever seems to wonder how any of their questions and 'fixes' aim to expose whatever other Meta, Email or banking options you might use....
By continually making it impossible for users to actually take control of their accounts and data we can only hope that some court will step in one day to end this nonsense.
FB and Google combining their databases and user data including all linked accounts is an almighty force....
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
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It's all about those T's and C's....

Post by Downunder35m »

It just does not seem to be wise to start digging once something fails to work as expected and the support is not helpful.

No one ever reads those T's & C's as otherwise most people would say no thanks.
If people would not just bother to read them but also be able to actually understand them our online world would look rather void of people.
all those with privacy concerns would disappear.
No surprise then that we also see how the virtual world keeps creeping into our real world.
We want to do things together, especially playing games and watching things while being too far apart for any real world meeting.
Steam, Rift, Microsoft, HTC, Bigscreen, even 'independent VR providers with desktop solutions - they all slowly combine into one large pool.

Deals are made almost on a daily base these days to allow things like cross-platform use of titles or porting them to other systems.
Being exclusive and providing exclusive content is out, combining forces is in.
You have a powerful gaming PC but no VR headset?
No problem, you can join and team up with friends already for many things and games.
While they might use different VR headsets everyone is on the same platform....
You have an account for just PC use, you mate one for his Rift and your teenage kid might enjoy things in VR using a Playstation.
And everyone has some verified details in their accounts and are now happily linked in the virtual world and the companies get more links to complete.

WHO is actually protected by these measures to increase account security?
Weeding out fake accounts seems logical in today's times of seeded misinformation.
Sadly though even those well known to provide false and misleading information have verified accounts.
And despite years of ongoing claims neither Google nor Meta so far tried to actually remove those unwanted accounts.
They just provide far too much advertising money to get rid of them - even user with a ban uses the platform and gets ads ROFL
On the other hand all those who intentionally created fake accounts to protect their privacy are now fully exposed with all their data.

Meta promises for weeks now to fix the issue of users being unable to delete their accounts and data.
They won't provide any details on the issues causing it, won't provide any updates.
The Paypal issue actually goes back to 2019 for the first reported cases and 2022 for the start of ongoing complaints.
Of course there IS some info from Paypal one can find...
Like how affected user accounts never got a request for a payment from Meta, while Meta claims it is a Paypal issue.
Or my favourite:
Paypal stating to affected users who had their money taken but did not get the purchase showing in their Oculus account that it went to a different account that is linked.
Funny enough there is even Quest and still GO user's posts you can find stating that they 'found' their missing purchases after a factory reset and pairing the headset to an obsolete account they gave up using....

So why is this about the T's & C's then you ask...
Well, in there you find out that it is YOUR obligation to make sure your details ARE correct and that you WON'T have any other Meta accounts.
In reality Meta can leave VR users hang high and dry forever or until the user fixes their multiple and/or unverified accounts.
The impossibility to actually do so is also covered by their T's and C's.
Simply by stating that Meta does keep user data for an UNSPECIFIED amount of time to allow users to restore their accounts if required.
And for legal reasons of course.
Imagine something not really that uncommon:
A person with a fake/unverified Gmail account, a similar FB account, using Whatsapp and owning a Meta VR headset...
Even without the last you see the issue already by combining their forces.
If you use Google services for serious things like banking or paying for thing through Google Pay you already provided far more details than what you should have.
Standalone GPS systems such because you prefer using your phone or Android based head unit ?
Isn't great how Google let's you navigate to your friends, doctor, holiday destination and even preferred dining destinations ? ;)
You stay connected on your devices using FB and other Meta apps ?
Well, what do think are the details your phone provides to make a connection happen ?
And to save on mobile data you use your home Wifi to provide even the last bit of info required to keep tracking you and to confirm your last few personal details you actually never wanted to see exposed...
Ever uploaded or attached some picture or video you took with your phone ?
Did you know that during the processing not only your device details are known but also all info embedded in the file(s) you upload?
Like the timestamp and location data....
The T's & C's the two giants provide even regulated how this data is used...
Like by using it to provide you with location based info that is linked for your followers.
A nice pic of you in front of some shrine in Japan ? How nice that you friends and other followers can get additional info on it when hovering over the image or or using a little button...
You can even create new albums from your pics and videos based on their location or how you previously shared them.
While this convenience is explained nicely the mechanisms making it possible are not included and same for how this STORED data is used by Google and Meta.
You got the idea, especially if you have a 3D or VR camera and like using it..

No imagine said person decides to make purchases - not to hard considering what Google and Meta offer...
But while Google still lets you enjoy your fake privacy Meta wants you to only have one account for all - a SINGLE, VERIFIED account that is.
No one realised that they already agreed to all of it by clicking away the notice about the updated T's and C's so many times.
Yes, I admit I should have done my homework BEFORE and not after....
Like so many other's though I only knew about outdated T's and C's for the obvious reasons LOL
What might be the end of this long going disaster ?

So far only those who had all their things back in line with Meta's T's and C's got EVERYTHING working fine again.
For the rest it was only temp fixes that never lasted for more than a few weeks - or until they created another not officially linked account in the virtual world.
Imagine having to give up you social media account free of personal details just because you want to buy something or are forced to verify a formerly unrelated account.
Meta DOES NOT provide an option to link your accounts into one!
This got painfully obvious and created a lot of (unansered and unfixed) issues for families who had multiple Oculus GO devices.
In order to play games together they had two options.
Everyone has a different account and BUYS the game.
Or everyone uses the same account so that the game is available on all headsets with a single purchase.
Needless to say that this issue was fixed by a firmware update resulting in people being unable to 'share' games this way.
The options for things like family passes to get a reduced prices all vanished over time.
You can still cheat though by linking all your devices to a single account while making sure they all get individual user names during the setup.
But I am sure Meta already works on an update to close this door as well.

A PC or console game you often can play with multiple players on the same device.
In the virtual world though this way is not really possible.
Everyone needs their own headset to make it work.
Content that is actually free is getting rare these days.
Instead we get 'free to use' and 'free to play' alternatives aimed to drain your hip pocket at an ongoing base.
Never wondered why gift cards seem to be the only currency that keeps working (mostly) ? ;)
Or why for more and more apps and games those 'in app purchase' happen outside the official stores?

Meta has to do far better very soon or be forced to do as otherwise the last bits of privacy for users go down the drain.
Thing is that for a while now they update their T's & C's before any user or law firm can make a claim and by the users automatically clicking on agree the case is closed.
You buy an entertainment device but are unable to use it unless you link it to a phone and account.
Not even an option for something like local or local network use only.
In order to use any Google powered device fully you also require a corresponding account and like with Meta you confirm things as soon as you activate two-factor-authentication or make any purchases using a REAL payment option linked to your person.
Coincidence that there are claimed rumours Meta will soon strike a deal with Google to combine their VR and real world applications and devices ?
And those rumours already saw confirmation by other services and providers integrating Google street view and additional image data to provide guidance in airports, a museum or expedition...
With mixed reality now on the front we already see the first applications in the beta and development stages.
Like using your VR headset on the go to share your current location in 3D and with added info thanks to the build in camera and AI systems at the core.
Look how nice my hotel room is !
And while your friends enjoy your view flat or in 3D on a VR device they and you can activate and see popups and other highlights for additional content.
Like one letting you know the history of this church you see from your hotel window...
And already those beta testers click away all privacy concerns to make it happen...
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
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Gift cards to the rescue ?

Post by Downunder35m »

Ok, we know the goals and what might be ahead sooner, rather than later.
How can we avoid it?

So far both Google and Meta let you create accounts using disposable- or freemailer Email addresses.
In theory you could create a fake account for either provider or both to get your headset going.
Sadly this 'privacy enabling' backdoor was closed now by Meta by making purchases for their devices in the forms of apps and games near impossible.
For some strange reason you can still all what you like to your new headset during the checkout and will get all those added apps and games once you linked the headset to your phone and made sure the Oculus app uses the same account used for the purchase.
You are doomed if you bought it all using a Paypal account or credit card to then use a different Email address to set up the phone app.
Your purchased games will then only appear after lengthy fights with their support team....
Mind you that Meta DOES KEEP ANY payment details you ever linked even after you removed them from your account.
Made obvious by users reporting how they are unable to use a new account with payment options that were previously linked to a different account.
I say PREVIOUSLY as in being already removed from this other account by the user...

The only still working option to keep at least some privacy alive is by doing all purchases using gift cards, starting with the VR headset itself.
Since Meta won't allow ANY options to ship other than a street address it really helps if your boss allows to have this one shipped to the company under a bogus name you and your boss agrees to.
Or buy from some retailer/online shop.
Game and app purchases using gift cars still work fine, where they are supported in the store....
The option to directly gift from one account to another though no longer really works, so don't try workaround offered on the web as it might end up in you loosing your money and having to make a support claim to get it back.
Some say it is best to have multiple gift cards in small amounts to reduce the risk of losses, others say using up highly valued gift cards makes no difference.
Again the devil is in the detail....
You have two options as it seems hard to buy these cards in a physical form in shops.
1. Buy online and have it sent to the friend's Email address you specify - or your own.
2. Have them come in the form of a code to use directly.
The second one is made tricky by Target being the only retailer I can find to offer physical cards with a code and that only in select stores also having their hardware.
After clicking on Redeem Gift you can enter the code(s) to make the purchase.

There is downsides of this privacy approach though.
The Metaverse is quickly growing together and Google will join sooner rather than later.
If you ever want to or need to link your headset to your real name and real details you will find a very unsupportive support team on the other end of the transfer request.
Especially if you were careful not to use any phone number or other meaningful verification.
Moving things from one unverified account to a verified one is made hard enough, going to another unverified one made impossible.
Meta DOES NOT provide any option to transfer or gift your purchases!
Selling or gifting your headset with your paid library to someone means giving them your account and breaching T's and C's....
With a factory reset the only option to link the headset to a new account all purchases disappear.
imagine you sold your Gameboy or such handheld device with your game cartridges and they stopped working for the new owner...
EVERYTHING is only in your account and you actually only get usage rights but no real ownership for apps and games.
If you are aware of this and can accept it you won't have too many issues until Meta further restricts for what titles gift cards can be used.

Gift cards also provide a way to allow you totally breach all T's & C's if you decide to show your disgust to this control and use of private data.
But it is slightly more costly in some cases as you need additional hardware.
What hardware you wonder if the headset already struggles to support game controllers ?
Of course a mobile phone with a working Sim card, the later preferably in the form of a second hand pre-paid type.
There still is plenty of more or less dodgy providers of used and new pre-paid cards that won't really require you to give any personal details.
If you still have it you can even pay in cash.
Any dirt cheap phone that is running on a not too outdated Android system will do fine here.
How does it work ?
Imagine you like VR but might want to switch some other manufacturer in the future.
Or you have a supporting family and friends.
So far Meta still allows multiple devices on one account, even an unverified one.
By having a 'disposable' but usable phone linked to the account you keep the option open for the soon to be enforced two-factor authentication.
Simply set up a freemailer or disposable one on the phone and make sure the sim card won't be deactivated while still in credit.
There is expiries on most these days but not all and if in doubt you can always use the phone as a backup....
You can even give it all to someone once you really had enough or moved on to something else.
Only problem is that already we see how developers follow the Meta guidelines when it comes to using multiple devices.
Within your own home network things still work (mostly) fine as long as the devices come with different user names.
But trying it from different locations (IP addresses) might not always work out as planned.
And the error messages you get won't really make sense either.
Of course users of both 'gifted' and real accounts contacted Meta and asked for a fix.
After all: YOU being away from home on a business trip should not result in you being locked out of experiences or apps/games shared with other devices you own.
Sadly Meta refers people to the developers of the app or game in question stating Meta only provides the shared platform while the developer has to ensure it works.
If you manage to get meaningful support from the developer team you usually get to hear how their app or game does not care about accounts settings or locations of the devices linked to an account - go figure.

For now using gift cards and a disposable sim card or at least phone is your best option to avoid tracking and privacy issues.
The times of 'sharing' or 'gifting' app and game purchases might soon end though.
At least for accounts still not verified buy any real details.
Meta claims it is all about preventing fraud in the form of people selling their devices with their full app library and of course protecting the user.
Quite funny considering your device is useless without an account and that purchases you made only give you usage rights but no right to actually (physically or otherwise) OWN what you paid for.
Needless to say that Meta copied this approach from their best friend Google.
Not so long ago most Android apps you purchased kept working just fine if you sold your device and left them on there.
But silently Google changed this ....
First by deleting all game progress if you registered the device with a different Google account.
Then by more and more apps refusing to work fully without Google services and changing the account resulted in those apps no longer working.
Switching back to the original Google account and a restart though made them work just fine again.
In the latest round Google made sure that paid apps and games CAN be transferred to a new device using their cloud services ONLY.
In the past you could use options, either free or by the phone manufacturer to transfer ALL things, including accounts and purchases from one device to another.
Now though Google renders all paid apps and games on the old device useless after a few days, two weeks tops.
If you don't go online some keep working for a bit longer.
The exact same 'protection' measures used by Google to prevent paid things from being used on multiple devices without paying for all devices are now used by Meta - surprise... NOT....

Meta argues that a legit, fully verified account with only 'home use' is the only acceptable way.
At a first glance it makes sense, not just in terms of users ending with financial issues due to using personal details no bank would accept.
Especially now that users can create PAID content in many VR worlds out there.
On the other hand Meta provides business solutions free from all these limitations....
Imagine having full control over which of your headset can be used....
What apps or games show up on them and what websites can reached or which rooms in social or business 'chat rooms' can be accessed...
Or just streaming whatever local or online content you want to any of your headset no matter where in your network or the world they might be in real time.
All and more possible in the business edition of the Metaverse - go figure.
Of course this level of freedom and control comes at a price a company or organisation has to pay.
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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Location: Australia

Re: META no longer lets you delete your account !! ??

Post by Downunder35m »

What about the support issue then ?
Seeing your getting old device loose the official support in the form of firmware and security patches is bad enough.
But at least you were able to keep using ALL you free and purchased apps and games.
As we now know from Oculus Go users and users of other now vintage VR headsets official support isn't what it once was either.

Developers who provides exclusive content for the GO either stopped their support when Meta dumped the support or ported their work to the Quest.
This SHOULD not have had any affect on existing GO users though.
After all their app no longer got updates and was left stuck.
But the new version either had all existing support for the GO removed or if online based simply used a different server, or just a different port on the same server.
Meta enforced this by allowing developers to keep the support for the GO alive or by porting exclusively to the newer models.
Problem for the developer was and still is now with the Quest one that the required SDK's and development environment like Unity no longer provide support for the old models.
They keep the support up for a bit longer than Meta but after one or two 'updates' the old devices disappear.
Needless to say that using an older SDK or development environment won't help either as the firmware updates Meta provides remove the support for the older SDK's LOL
The exact same thing is now happening to the Quest 2 while the original Quest is already voided of many things that once worked just infe and keept people using their headsets.
Forced to upgrade one way or another...

The official Meta support of course if full of reason and excuses trying but failing to explain certain things.
Like why apps and games that worked just fine stop working, especially when it is paid content.
Or simply why there is no backwards compatibility allowing users to keep using their old apps and games on a new device.
First there is while the next model comes because many titles that provide good money are ported.
Then the updates come and the support winds down to render it all useless on older models.
Meanwhile there is claims trying to result in class action law suits that Meta made people loose a combined 20 billion+ by Making it impossible to keep using paid apps once the official support was culled.....

Imagine your PAID apps or games on your PC or laptop would stop working just because you upgraded the hardware.
In the 2D world this only happens for rather vintage and no longer available apps and games.
And of course of things like games worked server based and the company pulled the plug.
A developer or the company he/she works for has to keep making money.
If you keep you app or game game active while the VR hardware keeps seeing upgrades and new models you start to loose real money real fast.
While there is always new people trying VR it is the existing users upgrading that lower the profit margins.
Take Skybox, formerly free and basically included in the original GO.
With the Quest the offer for former GO users to get a free version for their Quest quickly disappeared.
Even those who signed up as beta testers on the GO and then on the Quest missed out if they waited too long.
So far they allowed people to keep Skybox working on their new headset and thankfully they abandoned their initial plan to make the Quest 3 version an exclusive thing existing users had to pay for again.
This was planned as as paid upgrade to include mixed reality options and scenes ....
A cheaper price for the upgrade while new users who never had a previous Quest model were meant to pay full price.
Anyone surprised to hear that Quest1 users already struggle to make things work after the Skybox app got updated?
And mind you their app did not get any of the fancy upgrades like the Quest 2 and 3 got....

Some users who remembered being stung by Meta with their GO tried the unsupported way to ensure their apps and games keep working.
But enabling the developer mode and using file managers or PC based programs to manually back up their apps and games.
Literally like what some people do as a whole to ensure they can always revert to a fully working system without loosing too much recent data and changes.
For some reason Meta has not (yet) closed this backdoor to create backups from most apps and games on your headset.
What they did do however was to change the rights a developer account allows for through PC programs (ADB) or local file managers.
If you get creative enough you can restore things and get the required rights and settings for the folders in order as well.
What you can't do is to create the required symlinks and other shortcuts in the UI this way.
First a firmware update made sure that the system won't create the required links by disabling the folder check in favour of an account- devices comparison.
People were still able to access these restored things either by going through the unofficial/unsupported section of their library or by using and AndroidTV based homescreen provide through homebrew and sideloading.
Another firmware update ensured that things appearing on the device without having gone through the Meta system first won't work.
In more recent times users tried to make Android based backup solutions work with their headset and the developer mode active.
Having a working developer mode on a Meta headset neither means having access to all required developer options nor being able to use anything requiring root level access.
Some things on root level you can see, some even read but you can't create files or change permissions in certain areas.

Is it legal to make proper backups impossible ?
Well, check the other players out there....
In case you now suddenly dropped your phone or jumped out of you chair :
Correct! Unless you have a PC/Laptop making a real, physical backup of all things on your device is getting harder every month - or every firmware/OS update..
The CLOUD is your new best friend for all your backup needs and it allows you access over a multitude of devices.
Why bother trying to restore things manually or through some up if the cloud makes it sooo easy...
And if you are now a strongly disagreeing computer user: Please relax!
Microsoft and Apple made sure that a simple swap of the hard drive or SSD holding the operating system and plugging it into a different computer won't work.
The OS no longer tries to change and address the hardware claiming it could be a fraudulent attempt to gain access by someone how stole the drive.
And the OS now linked to hardware based security, encryption and DRM solutions it takes decent software to still make a working backup you, the legit user can successfully restore on a new PC.
Like it or not but we already slipped into a digital world where the user has no real rights and control over their data and privacy.

Once the official support fails to provide help to keep the things you paid real money for working we have to wonder...
Who has the right to decide when hardware becomes obsolete?
Is it the user or the company and WHO these days is the actual owner ? ;)
Imagine your car no longer getting any service or spare parts from the official dealerships a few months after the new model is out....
Unthinkable I know but exactly this is happening in our digital and virtual world these days.
Only that for your car it would mean things like the spare wheel, a window, door handle or the in the end steering wheel will vanish....
Welcome to the future of your (virtual) life....
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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Location: Australia

Re: META no longer lets you delete your account !! ??

Post by Downunder35m »

And so the story continues.....

Imagine my surprise in today's round of badly trained people in India providing support for Meta when I got to hear that they fixed it!
Apparently the new purchase somehow blocked the store from accepting payments until the new device is actually paired with my account.
And since they did not want me to go through all the hoops again their suggestion was to just unpack the thing and to set it up.
Once completed I shall contact them through their chat and state my ticket number to get the right person.

What can I say?
Whatever Meta did actually worked to provide no difference at all.
Still unable to use Paypal, browser, app, headset, no different and the same error message followed by Papal Emails stating Meta cancelled the payment.
After about 20 of waiting in the chat I got the guy who sent the Email and told him how so really nothing changed and how I now kindly want to return the new headset as it is basically useless without being able to get apps and games.
How would you react when you then get to hear that because you already used and paired it Meta won't allow a refund because they don't cover for 'change of mind' ....
My problems is now escalated on two levels - or so they claim.
First the ongoing Paypal issue and secondly my refund request with a free return postage label based on Meta being unable to provide a usable device.

I found a Reddit post from some unfortunate Quest 3 user.
The exact same issues, including the un-supportive support.
Only that his problems started months ago through the pre-order special Meta had going.
Since the purchase of his new Quest 3 his Paypal account is unusable in the ENTIRE Metaverse, not for for Oculus.
He however gave up on the support and uses gift cards, which HE can buy in lots of stores in his county and online with no issues.
One reason for doing so was based on the Meta joke of adding a credit card as payment method.
He managed to get a pre-paid card, after some attempts, that was not rejected by Meta.
Not only want's Meta ALL your personal details and that in a verified form - they also block most pre-paid credit cards by default.
NOT for purchases from their shop, ONLY for purchases in their app store.
The poor guy decided to buy some $80 title and got the confirmation that it is not available in his library - but it did not show.
Meta supported asked for a screenshot showing that the app was purchased and added to the library LOOOOL
Without that the next blow was hearing that Meta can't search for credit card numbers, only for account related purchases.
The money gone, no game and help - and not alone....

Nice... While typing this I got a replay from the Meta support....
Now I am not sure whether to laugh or to try to find the Meta boss for a long, non verbal chat....
I was just informed that on my FB account there is a restriction originating from some ban in regards to post I made - 2 years ago...
Because of this and the merge into Meta the FB ban got transferred to my Meta account - how nice is this ?
Unfortunately Meta can NOT remove the restrictions from my Meta account without "AFFECTING" my FB account.
The solution provided by the support team after reviewing my case (or so they say):
Create a NEW account just for the use with the headset.
Link the Paypal account to this new account after a factory reset of new pairing of the headset.
Since a NEW account comes without any restriction my Paypal purchase shall work just fine.
And that's it from their end....

As you might expect I now have a few issues with this....
Their T's & C's clearly state that I can NOT have multiple accounts linked to the same phone app and headset.
Enforced by making sure that any account change requires a factory reset of the headset.
If I create a new account then my Paypal account is still linked to my old headset.
And Meta does not offer any option, let alone support to transfer you paid content and backups from one account to another.
Means I either loose all my paid content or have to get a second phone and sim card as otherwise I can't verify the new account.
Something also tells me that a Paypal account linked to a 'banned' Meta account won't work for a new account either, not even after removing it from the old account first.
I mean: If the same Email won't work, than certainly Meta used similar restrictions for payment methods to keep bad users out of their system.
But let's say I somehow get around the issues of creating a new account.
No way to get the paid titles and no way to get my screen manes for the apps and games as they are linked to the old account and device, so no progress no nothing and starting fresh even if the game could be copied over using ADB backups or such.
I have never dealt with a support less competent than this....
Imagine someone takes their crap Email literal.
You might get things working on the new account but if you want to use anything you previously purchased you need a factory reset and pair with the old account.
Install all games, wait for the data to sync and by the time that is done you no longer want to play anyway as dinner is getting ready...
I replied in kind and after that kindly asked to first CONFIRM an writing and a binding form that my ALL content and progress from my old Meta account will be merged with my new and once I confirmed that all IS working Meta can delete old one - without killing my FB account again.
Let's see what they reply - or if they ignore the reply again so I have to do a new ticket...
If the thing wouldn't be so expensive it would be a hilarious joke already ROFL
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
Posts: 1356
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Re: META no longer lets you delete your account !! ??

Post by Downunder35m »

Well, as they said in the Apollo mission: Houston we got a problem....

After a rather insulting Email reply from the support again only telling me shall try to link a credit card to make purchases I requested another chat ticket to speed the conversation up.
But I did not get a link to get to the chat and no corresponding number either.
Instead their support replied by Email and that in record time.

It was explained to me that my well over 15 year old Paypal account can't be accepted by Meta because (only in the Metaverse) it is not verified.
The only option to fix this would be to add a VERIFIED payments method to my Meta account or Paypal account.
Of course again the support refused to answer why their system was happy to take my Paypal money until I purchased the damn Quest 3....
Never mind that all vital online shops like Ebay and even Paypal state my Paypal account is fully verified, also that is allows for instant payments.
The same refusal happened to my THIRD request to provide me with a fully paid return postage label and refund.

I included screenshots in the last reply from Ebay and Paypal clearly showing that my Paypal account is verified, also a text copy of the Paypal support stating the same.
Funny enough Meta claims that this does not mean my account is actually verified - Whiskey Tango Foxtrott !!?
In a last ditch attempt I wanted to know what, for Meta IS a fully verified Paypal account.
The answer might surprise you, especially if you are facing the same Meta problems since purchasing a Quest 3.
ONLY Paypal accounts with a VERIFIED credit card from a SUPPORTED issuer will be accepted.
Unfortunately Meta does not have any list of support credit cards, same for a list of rejected ones.
But they at least stated that any internationally accepted credit card issued by your bank SHOULD work.

As you can imagine their last set of insults made me wonder - wonder if there IS really that many people facing this issue....
After refining my search strings to become about as long as a short story I started to hit more and more pay dirt.
The first posts I found date back to 2021 and the complaints always start the same way....
Unable to make purchases using my linked PAYPAL account.
Reddit, Youtbe, Tiktok, wherever people can leave a rant you find Oculus/Meta and Paypal issues Meta REFUSES to fix.
So what do they have in common that might allow us to hone in on the real issue?

1. The Paypal account works just fine for everything OUTSIDE the Metaverse.
2. In almost all cases the Paypal account is fully verified for a long time.
3. In ALL cases Meta ACCEPTED the paypal payments for everything in their online shops so the user could buy a new device.
4. In most cases users had their Paypal account working just fine inside the Metaverse for their old devices or other services until trying to make VR purchases.
5. In all cases users either gave up or reverted to using gift cards as Meta REFUSES to allow Paypal payments like any other company in the world.

What else is in those posts or videos?
How about how Meta REFUSES to take the unused headsets back for a full refund?
In the rare cases a user did get a refund they had to pay INUSURED EXPRESS postage using costly courier service META specified.
Usually costing around 20 to 30 bucks more than the standard options Meta uses to ship their devices to customers and of course NON-REFUNDABLE!
In some cases, as you expect people did not see a point in wasting another 50 to 60 bucks to ship the thing back and sold it at online market places instead with a loss.
What Meta also fails to let their customers know is that Meta actually only supports a few select countries for their WORKING support options.
One dead give away is being in a country where Meta still refuses to provide physical gift cards.
Something far more concerning is how Meta handles what they claim to be privacy and security.
With the Quest 3 came the fact that Meta links whatever how might use in the Metaverse to your Meta account.
Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, threads and quite a few other services.
They all send vital device informations back to Meta allowing them to link you even if you use different account names and using their apps on your phone is like giving them all access to everything.
A fully verified Paypal account comes with a problem for Meta - Paypal refuses to provide any account info relating to bank accounts or residential addresses.
This part of Paypal's protection features to keep their users safe from data hoarders and companies with a bad handling of personal data.
Now, what ACTUALLY happens if you satisfy Meta by adding a credit card they accept - considering they won't even accept debit card that you can use around the globe as a payment method....
Let's start with what happens if you add one to your Paypal account Meta does NOT support....

An unsupported credit card will be rejected either when you try to link it or once you actually try to use it for a purchase.
Meta will then first attempt to make a zero deduction from the card.
A method to verify if a card is still active and valid but one basically all pre-paid and gift-credit card issuers won't support.
In case your card makes it through they then try the reverse - depositing a few cents to then cancel the payment.
Again, fully support by 'real' credit cards that cost you a small furtune to have but nothing the 'free' options support.
If fails because one can only make a refund or 'top up' if authorised in the credit card's account, with no payment from it into the SAME Meta bank account....
Let's assume all is good because you have a have a proper credit card that Meta will accept...
That means whoever provided you with it has your real address, your real details, your real bank account's, your real everything.
And if that MATCHES what you had to provide to get your new headset shipped and stated in your account setup you are golden and good to go.
In return you provided Meta with a full verification of all you accounts and activity in the Metaverse - unless of course you bothered to get phone only for the use with with your headset ROFL
If we then waste enough time to go through their refund policies, which constantly change....
.... to be refunded into the linked credit card....
Nothing in their current refund policies actually allows a refund into your paypal account, let alone bank account....

If YOUR privacy and the protection of it is so vital for Meta that they go through all these lengths then WHY do you have to give up everything in relation to your privacy first so you can use your new headset ? ;)
Wikileaks isn't what it once was but there is other places in the web where one can find more or less reliable 'insider info'.
Some call those providing it whistle blowers for a reason.....
Some of you might have noticed how Meta is under more and more fire in regards to their useless and fully bot based 'community protection programs'.
All their platforms are filled with scammers and fraudsters that Meta refuses to deal with while everyday users like you or me get banned for using the wrong wording and see no chance to contact Meta about a removal of this ban if they 'forget' to lift it as specified.
As part of a new Meta initiative to get ahead of looming class action law suits in several countries they now go hardcore on account verification.
Like by pushing for two-factor authentication for everything vital.
In reality just an attempt to get more of the Email accounts and mobile phone numbers you might use.
With the Google merger came not only a better digital and voice activated assistant but also the Google tracking features as well.
Or did you really not wonder who their 'in testing' add support to reduce costs results in ads far to similar to your recent Google searches and other activities ? ;)
Now think about how it all started for a Moment....

We had fun stuff like Google Cardboard and Samsung VR - dirt cheap solution for people wanting to get a glimpse at 3D movies and games.
All this was abandoned by the companies eventually to end up for sale - and Meta bought it all.
Needless to say that with the end for the GO all support for those free Google and Samsung solutions got dropped.
In all fairness though : Microsoft and Sony steer in very similar directions....
Only that they will never reach the coverage that is now combined in Meta and Google.
We also saw how an awful lot of things and features disappeared from their headsets, requiring users to get thing to make it work from the Oculus store - as paid content of course.
Any cheap phone can access your personal media server at home - good luck on a naked Quest....
Looking further into the app sections we also see how developers are in a constant fight with Meta.
In their developer channels we then see how it is all about how Meta requires full control over everything - unless the developer pays a fortune to do things like running things over their own servers without Meta access.

Why is all this so concerning ?
Well, YOU need to strip down for Meta if you want an easy payment method instead of getting gift cards - which Meta soon will limit even further for app purchases and that won't be accepted for their new, preferred way of in-app purchases.
And who does not want to play with friends and family or watch some nice home videos together while half the world separates you....
YOU are fully verified and same for all your linked friends and family members.
Of course this then also include your FB, Whatsapp and so on and whoever you have in your address books there.
Now you also exchange this in both directions with Google ROFL
The one thing god know how many laws and regulations around the globe tried to stop since day one already happened with no one reacting to it LOOOL

BT pairing worked just fine without any need for GPS tracking, still does for a ton of devices.
Never wondered why this changed and Google and Apple now claim without this BT pairing can't work ? ;)
Never wonder WHY it requires your location to pair ? ;)
It is tiny little changes, only too often claimed to improve security and privacy that resulted in us loosing all our privacy to global corporations like Google and Meta with billions of users combined.
Every few months we get a list of apps in their stores that ruin things for you - malware of the worst kind.
They all passed their top of the line checks and were declared SAFE to download and use by the companies.
Despite this and the billions lost by affected users neither company was ever made liable for these failures that are happening now for over 2 decades in a row.
Because all this data these apps steal also lands on the google and apple servers ROFL
Of course they have no interest to stop this if it means getting even more vital data about their users.
No one though wonders why neither company, especially Meta still won't get active on the billions of fake and unverified accounts - officially unverified accounts I shall say.
FB bans you based on words you post, often totally out of context.
But banning every account and IP used for the same scam texts for YEARS is not possible ?
I stopped wondering about all this though once I found some most vital clue.....
In the US companies have the options to work or not work in line and corporation with their secret and official agencies.
And for this cooperation there is of course different levels.
Like providing requested information freely and unaltered.
Meaning, if for example the FBI would ask if a company has anything about John Doe in their systems they could do just that.
A bit higher up is the support for database requests.
Here a company is asked to provide a recent copy of their relating database(s) UPON REQUEST.
On the highest level a company does the easy option by allowing full remote access through an automated request system to verify how is asking.
Google and Meta ARE on this level while Microsoft (so far) only allows database requests.
Suddenly it is no longer a surprise why all those whistle blowers get ignored in US courts and by US law firms....

What about the often much stricter EU courts that crippled Google and Apple so often already ?
Meta is out here thanks to a nifty legal loop hole.
By having legally independent company head offices in SUPPORTED countries EU ruling won't have any affect on their other markets, especially the US market.
What's made impossible in the EU still works fine in the US an all other markets.
The time it would take for EU courts to make a meaningful ruling on these latest violations means by then the Quest 4 or 5 is already out.
In the meantime Google and Meta created the world's largest VERIFIED user database where every user is fully trackable in real time if need be.
And even if a court ruling would one day state that this is not right - the data is already collected and the harm done.
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2020 5:32 am
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Buyer beware....

Post by Downunder35m »

If you want to start with VR then stay away from Meta and their products.
If you already own one of their headset and want to upgrade consider the alternatives first and whether or not you accept the privacy strip down and tracking.
Yes, I know you can fake you GPS position and use a disposable phone - but who wants that just to enjoy VR ???

You can try your luck with gift cards while it lasts but you already have a hard time getting a new headset going without giving up vital parts of your privacy by being forced to create a Meta account to do anything.
You actually don't own your headset, nor any title you bought....
And their sneaky ways by taking your Paypal money just fine to buy a new device while after that refusing it should have been stopped by courts a long time ago.
By also removing basically all prepaid and otherwise privacy friendly credit card options it should be obvious that the company is up to no good.

Trying to get support is a nightmare - literally.
Reaching their chat is these made almost impossible and their Email support more than questionable as it seems clear their preferred demand is to verify your identity in ALL details at all times.
They are happy to help you with almost anything, just nothing at all when it comes to your money and privacy.
To add insult to injury Meta does not provide any option to call them for free or at an affordable price from Australia.
Despite that their support just refuses to even specify if AU customers are actually covered by their support.
Their T's and C's say no, so what do you think ?
Contact them because your face cover failed prematurely and they are happy to send you a new one for free quickly if the case seems genuine.
Same story if one of your controllers keep playing up...
Quite a selective support system indeed...

What about their forum then ?
Funny you ask LOL
According to some Reddit users their is a system behind all their hard work in their forum to address these Paypal issues - for almost 3 years now....
Whenever a users fails to find an existing post to add to it a new thread is created.
Needless to say that even a refined Googled search fails to provide meaningful results - coincidence considering how well this works in other forums, including this one ?
With a bit of luck someone else finds it and if that happens a few times there shall be a support person jumping in for the rescue.
They then state that are working hard to fix these issues and that the developers and support team will get things fixed ASAP.
And shortly after you see how the affected users state that despite many support tickets their issues are still standing - then nothing from them anymore.
According to reddit Meta just makes it impossible for users to long into their chat once they escalated Paylpal or other payment issues that did not result in a quick refund.
Explains nicely why using a proxy or work computer gets me one step further while at home or on mobile data I get just kick back directly to the main page, unable to reply to anything or create a new threat.
Go ahead and check those users who complained too much or too long and try to find forum posts from later dates with their username...

Will Meta ban your Paypal account even if you did not buy a quest 3 ?
They do...
And the more they claim to deal with fake and scam accounts on their other platforms the more users are being affected.
Ever watched those fun movies with a totally paranoid main character?
How many of them end with the conclusion that it wasn't paranoia at all? LOL
Let's recap....

Google and Meta combined their forces - tick
All vital US agencies have full access to their user databases - tick
Thanks to mostly US based demand from their government and agencies both now start to go though on all those users who value their privacy - TICK
The EU is soon joining this fight with even more detailed demands - TICK AGAIN....
Anyone who already has a fully verified Meta or Google account also linked ALL of their other apps and activities linked to these companies - including ALL accounts and their linked Email addresses and phone numbers - TICK TICK TICK LOL
Shall I keep going or did you get the general idea already ?
I just assume the later....

Imagine a dream finally come true....
After wasting literally billions the US government 'services' no longer have to bother with their own sneaky tracking and linking attempts only to realise they neither have the computing nor the man power to make sense of the hoarded data.
Now they know which person in the Google- and Metaverse has additional accounts and usernames, know their bank- credit card- and all other vital personal information.
And how often in recent years 'improved' our level of international cooperation to fight crime ? ;)
Funny how we could already stop over 90% of these crimes before they do serious damage but won't do so as it would mean exposing those spy games too early.
More and more countries join the US directly or through programs run by US allies and they all provide full access to their crime related databases as well those government run ones dealing with your residential status and such.

Like movies?
What about movies like Contagion with Mat Damon ?
How can it be that a story turns into a movie only to repeated in real life - with almost all details and ALL failures and shortcomings exposed in the movie ? ;)
Just saying - or AM I ?
For a bit over a decade various attempts have been made to get a 'documentary' of sorts out there with (back then) Facebook at the centre.
Meta not only refused all cooperation unless Meta is given full access to all recordings and allowed to modify the final cut - they also actively remove all related content from the web and major streaming services.
Netflix for example had Meta content in their preview pages many times - with almost all them removed a few days later.
Not so money hungry streaming services that you can reach over the web or through apps like Kodi keep providing face the same problem.
Whenever there is 'interesting' Meta content popping up you literally only have hours until the links are dead.
Sometimes you get lucky and also find the video uploaded on some file hoster - to disappear there quickly as well.
On the other hand Meta is rumoured to work on their own documentary to highlight how it all started and what it became - totally unbiased of course LOOL
Exploring the works of the old inventors, mixng them up with a modern touch.
To tinker and create means to be alive.
Bringing the long lost back means history comes alive again.
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