I was not one of the original members of Facebook back in 2004. I'm too old and I went to Lehigh, not to Harvard.
However, I have been a member--an extremely active member--since January of 2008.
- I use Facebook for both personal and business reasons.
- I have started and am the administrator for more than a dozen Facebook groups dealing with a wide range of subjects. I have a personal page, a page for my dog, plus groups for publishing, telecommunications, politics, religion, food, humor and other topics. Membership in my groups ranges from under a dozen people to more than 700. Some of the groups are very serious, some are just for fun, and some are for community service.
- I use Facebook to share news, fun, opinions and information with "friends" and "followers." I've known some of these people since 1949 in the 'real world.' Some are much-more-recent online acquaintances.
Many complaints to Facebook are dealt with by robots, and a robot is often an unresponsive judge, jury and executioner. Serious problems are allowed to fester and hurt victims for a month or more, yet people who cause no real harm are punished immediately and severely, with no opportunity to appeal.
1. Back in 2010 Facebook published libelous and threatening posts about me.
|(left-click to enlarge for easy reading)|
There was a phony and dangerous petition aimed at having me put on the Connecticut registry of sex offenders. The petition was signed by a non-existent Mike Josephs and signed by seven non-existent supporters, and several real human beings who were scammed into supporting the cause.
'People' signing the petition called for my caging, castration and killing; and my Facebook friends were notified of the petition.
I complained to Facebook immediately, and frequently, pointing out that false identities were used in violation of Facebook policy, and the attack page had copyright violation, libel, lies and calls for violence.
In 2010 Facebook took more than a month to remove the false statements about me--but Facebook's reaction last August for words I did not write was instantaneous.
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2. Most members of my groups are very well-behaved, but sometimes there are trouble-making trolls who must be ejected.
I did exactly that on August 13th, 2015. Group members supported my decision and the troll soon disappeared--not just from my group, but from all of Facebook. I thought that was the end of it, but no.
On August 15th I was unable to use Facebook and I got a series of useless and infuriating messages. The posting quoted below was NOT posted by me. It is NOT written in my writing style. It was apparently written in response to my post about ejecting a troll from the group.
Then came the trouble. I was blocked from all access to Facebook for 24 hours, and then blocked from posting for 24 more hours.
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Apparently, somewhere in Facebook, Thomas Moore said "fuck you" to me. I responded with an appropriate (but mild) "fuck you, too."
The "f-bomb" is common in nearly every 21st-century medium, except maybe in the newsletters of religious institutions.
I did not commit libel. I did not threaten anyone. I did not show nude pictures or pictures of violence. I did not offer to sell drugs, brag about a bank robbery or advocate mayhem or the violent overthrow of anything.
I questioned my punishment and got a meaningless robotic reply:
- In the challenge to my exile I pointed out to Facebook that that my wife recently had a traumatic brain injury, is in the hospital with pneumonia, is awaiting throat surgery and I was recently diagnosed with heart trouble. Relatives and friends expect medical reports from me via Facebook and get very concerned when I am incommunicado.
- I use Facebook to communicate with a doctor.
- As a group administrator, one of my duties is to remove abusive content, but if I'm locked out, I can't do it.
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4. On January 8th of this year a man, disguised as a woman, posted a lengthy, racist, pornographic excerpt from a book he wrote, in a group I operate for authors. He violated an important rule of the group (don't promote your own books).
I criticized him for violating the rule and for being a lousy writer, using language milder than what he used.
- "Lmfao you nothing but a fucking white hater that's cool bye"
- "All this bullshit just because one violation to a virtual group wow grow the fuck up its only Facebook"
- "I think its just that you don't have no self confidence so putting others down and acting like a kid with all this bullshit name calling makes you feel more like a man than so be it."
- "kindly just stat up off my statuses." [I have no idea what that means, and he refused to translate it.]
He complained about my criticism and I was kicked out of Facebook for a week.
I think this is unjust, unproductive, unkind, damaging and silly.
F-bomb cartoon from http://www.turfshowtimes.com.
Terminator image from FanPop.com
Thanks to all.
The story of my Facebook attack is in this book: