I’ve had a few friends on Facebook lately complaining about being banned by Facebook, or sent to ‘Facebook jail,’ whatever that means because, of course, if I weren’t seeing their posts, I wouldn’t know there was any problem at all. On the one hand, it concerns me, because all censorship is bad. On the other hand, I sort of support Facebook’s right to have such a thing as ‘community standards.’ I don’t know that I’d draw them as tightly, or as arbitrarily, as they seem to. Back to the first hand, I’m glad it hasn’t happened to me, at least for a long time. When I first signed up, I was adding every friend request that came my way, and a couple of times I had temporary bans against adding new people. I don’t really get the point. Why should Facebook care how many people I add or how fast I add them? If I was Mark Zuckerberg I would want the system to grow just as fast as possible, with the greatest possible number of interconnections, new synapses in the hive mind. Then again, if I was Mark Zuckerberg, I’d have invented Facebook but I’m not, so I didn’t. On the other hand, I’m a little bit envious of those friends who’ve been ‘banned.’ At least their work is being noticed. It’s what Abbie Hoffman once referred to as ‘subpoenas envy.’
The main thing, though, and the topic of tonight’s blog, is the ‘why?’. Well, one of the friends having problems is a prolific (and brilliant) writer who often writes and posts photos about the people of the South Pacific (Melanesia, not Polynesia) among whom he has lived and for whom he has a great affection. The Facebook charge was ‘pornography’ which was absurd. There might have been a bare breast or two, I never noticed, but there was never anything erotic. It was clearly ethnography and not pornography.
Another one, however, let slip a comment which may have exposed the true reason. “I post in over 100 poetry groups,” he wrote. Damn, I post in 2 or 3.
It not only explains why Facebook put a block on him posting in groups, it might also explain why nobody pays any attention to my poetry.