What was supposed to be a great week leading to the premiere of her new documentary, Never Ending Emotions, was a moment of despair for Kimberly Kamara, owner of the NEEM (short for “Never Ending Emotions”) Facebook group. NEEM is an online support group for those grieving the loss of a loved one. On August 16, Kamara logged onto one of her accounts linked to the NEEM private support group. Surprisingly, Facebook locked her out of the account.
Kamara says that Facebook said that she violated the community standards policy. “One thing they said was that my name was fake, which I understood because the account is under Kupcakekk Kamara. But, I just know that I don’t post anything negative. ” The NEEM creator emphasizes that she only shares what is going on in Philadelphia and family photos in response to Facebook’s accusations that she violated community standards.
At first, Kamara turned to her second account, connected to the Never Ending Emotions LLC Facebook group, which is public. She says, “I really wasn’t worried about it because I still had my Kimberly Kamara page that Never Ending Emotions LLC was attached to, so I continued to post on those pages.” Shockingly, the next day Facebook locked her out of that personal account too.
Facebook’s community standards are made up of five parts that include violence & criminal behavior, safety, objectionable content, respecting intellectual property, and content-related requests and decisions. Kamara says that she carefully limits her opinions on the things she shares because she doesn’t want to misrepresent a community she has built to avoid these penalties, so she remains unsure of the reason.
“I felt defeated,” said Kamara, as she reflected on losing the progress of a passion project birthed from the shooting-and-death of her son, Niam Kairi Johnson-Tate.
Kamara says that it wasn’t “just a Facebook group;” it was a community she had created to help others grieve without judgment. But while losing these accounts was overwhelming, it’s the people within those groups that she worries about the most. “I was devastated and began to think about the people I made connections with as well as the people I was helping. I didn’t want them to think I’ve abandoned them,” Kamara asserts.
Of course, the lockout has also affected her on a personal level. “Friends and coworkers that I’ve made over the years won’t accept my [new page] request because they think it’s a hoax or a fake page,” she says. “Some even ask me questions about situations that happened like 15 years ago to prove it’s me and I’m just like… I just don’t remember things that happened 20 years ago.”
While she hasn’t regained access to those accounts, even after sending Facebook proof of identification, she has created a new account. The new public support group page, Never Ending EMotions LLC aka NEEM, is linked to that account. She plans to continue this work with the encouragement of her mother and loved ones, who remind her “[she] has a purpose.” Kamara premiered the Never Ending Emotions documentary, which follows the journeys of other families who have lost loved ones to violence and activists aiding them on those journeys, in August, at The Philadelphia Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square. She hopes that it will air on broadcast television to reach other folks who need it.
Kamara also hopes to regain access to her old accounts and has reached out to Facebook about this matter. Facebook has not responded.