Welcome to the 21st Century on Facebook, where images that weren’t even considered pornographic in the Cold War Era are now being effectively suppressed by the American Taliban. I’m opening this up for public discussion as I ponder, at the bare minimum, the degree of incompetence of a company that has such a complete track record of nearly every aspect of my life, and yet could so easily be misled into taking what I believe many of you will agree with is a customer service social faux paux of the highest possible order. They didn’t just ban the picture, they banned me from any posting on Facebook over an illusory violation of a breach in their “terms of service”!
For fuck’s sake they’ve never so much as lobbed a first warning at me in response to any of the umm…more colorful language I use on Facebook with enthusiastic reckless abandon. I’d at least have a bit more sympathy for Facebook, but no more respect, if that was the issue under consideration.
Keep in mind I ignored their first warning to remove the photo after reading that if I didn’t remove it immediately it would be put under a higher level of scrutiny, which I naturally assumed would involve some actual person at Facebook Central Command laughing his ass off while deleting the “complaint” that spawned the banning. A complaint lodged by what I suspect was some militantly pissed off rightwing goober offended by my liberal politics or lack of proper respect to the memories of their imaginary Jeebus.
Before you take the trouble of wasting your time trying to explain to me how it’s all automated, I’m going to respond that it hardly matters to me from my perspective. If they are willing to pass off this decision to artificial logic, they need to do a much better job of programming, and I’m willing to make an example out of myself in the greater interest of maintaining free speech on the internet.
Facebook may well be a private company, but they are operating in the public space on infrastructure built and maintained at great taxpayer expense and have a certain responsibility in regard to that position which is totally independent from their ham-handed customer service policies. And let’s be clear, that’s what is ultimately at stake here unless we’re willing to push back against the religious trolls intent on defining pornography down to a level where a picture of a naked Barbie doll gets you banned from all social media for life. Slippery slope and all.
In any event, I think it’s highly ironic that at a time where tech, mainstream and financial news headlines are filled with stories of youth fleeing Facebook in droves, they are willing to risk offending someone of my advanced age (and online spending habits) by willy nilly banning me over the aforementioned “pornography”.
What rights of mine have been violated, if any? Have I not been recklessly slandered by someone that Facebook could easily identify to me (under court order e.g.) so that I may seek compensation for damages in a court of law against this defamation (I’ve essentially been accused of being a public pornographer). If there’s an eager young lawyer out there looking for a pro bono case to make a name for himself (win, lose or draw), I’m easy to get ahold of.
It’s “only” a 24 hour ban right now, and a minor perturbation in terms of access to Facebook, but in the overall picture of which social media service I intend to give the bulk of my data (and hence their income stream), you can bet that unless I get some type of feedback from Facebook in the form of an apology (at a minimum), I’m going to be moving off their service (like so many others have lately) and will share my marketing information with a data management service that has the competency to judge my character more judicially based on the weight of a hundred thousand web postings I’ve already shared with them against the baseless complaint of one lunatic pearl-clutching prude intent upon helping them ruin their market share. In the meantime I encourage those of you who support or sympathize with me on this issue to help spread this blogpost as far and wide as possible. All it takes for evil to take over is the lack of action by a few good men.