Does Facebook Enable or Encourage Criminals?

Addison Smith
5 min readFeb 19, 2021

Some definitions before the story:


  1. to make able; give power, means, competence, or ability to:
  2. to make possible or easy:


  1. to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence:
  2. to stimulate by assistance, approval, etc.:

Enable is more passive. In the case of online criminality, it would be merely providing the platform that makes crime possible. Encourage is active. Here it would be assisting the criminals, thus stimulating their activity.

Now the story:

Yesterday morning, I received a friend request from who I thought was a current Facebook friend, Maevyn Stone. It happens, especially when the person is a working musician. Occasionally changing or adding profiles helps with marketing, so I didn’t think anything of it. I accepted the request thinking that I was helping my friend.

A few minutes later, I received this message through the messenger app. Now, you’ll notice, as I finally did, that the message is not from Maevyn Stone but Maevyn-stone; however, that is her picture. I’ve known Maevyn for over 15 years now, approaching 20. I knew that this message didn’t sound like something that she would send to a friend, and I knew that she wouldn’t ask me to go to a third-party site to enter a contest. That’s just not her.

So, I informed them that I didn’t believe them, and they sent back this rather terse command to do as they say and fill out the form, “correctly.” I found this rather rude, and they were obviously not paying attention to what I was saying, so I decided to mess with them a bit.

I told them that their site wasn’t working and when they asked me to send my issue, I sent a link to the Internet Crime Complaint Center ( and informed them that they are idiots. I then reported them to Facebook and blocked them from communicating with me.

I figured that would be it. The government would . . . probably do nothing but put the website in a database, but Facebook would be sure to take down such blatant fraud since they would have put me in Facebook jail for calling them idiots. Or so I thought.

Addison Smith

I’m an LGBTQ+ DEI educator, activist, and writer living in the Midwest with my cat. Call me Addi. They/She. Booking and more info at