OK, obviously that’s not the real article title. But what makes the Happiest Place On Earth the doubleplusgoodest place for everyone ever? Well, before actual humans with opinions showed up, Facebook was a happy place. They had flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed…OK I totally stole that from “Team America,” but apropos, right?
So my first thought was, the deletion of my Puppet Kim was an automated process; how else could I have been blocked for “nudity” on the basis of this picture:
Nope! From the Times article:
“Facebook will still rely on users to report violations of the standards. Ms. Bickert said that the company had review teams working at all hours of the day around the globe, and that every report was examined by one of them before a decision was made.”
OK. So some actual person at Facebook decided this picture was “Nudity”?
But the damn thing is, you can’t fight City Hall. Facebook is it, right? Get banned on there as a writer and You Are Fucked. We need a new term for Facebook, or Amazon. People bitch about the censorship at both places…but they don’t leave. So while they’re not legally speaking “monopolies” in that you’re “free to choose” to go elsewhere, they are “monopolies of mass.” You can try and sell a book banned on Amazon on some other sites, but nobody will buy it (as I found out with Stepfuckers #2 while it was banned on the ‘zon, and Luke and Slader provide a mere trickle of pennies on other sites).
And Facebook? Well, all your friends are there, right? All your fans, if you’re a writer. New social networks pop up like Tsu, and I tried, I really tried, to manage both Facebook and Tsu…but social networking is hard work. So the sheer gravitational pull of Facebook, like a black hole, is like the Mafia, in the words of Michael Corleone – you try to get out, but they keep pulling you back in.
I’m probably now on the “watch list” at Facebook, since I’ve had a picture “flagged for nudity.” So I won’t post any more pix of any cocks, even in secret groups. It’s all flowers and rainbows and chocolate rivers once more, in the Happiest Place On Earth, where anything that anyone ever might possibly find hurtful or “triggering” or offensive Will Not Stand.
The funny thing is, they won’t care what I say. I can sit here and criticize Facebook all the live long day with no consequence. I vividly remember the day that mass public protest became meaningless. It was when Iraq War II was about to start, and the same old tired protests went on – giant paper mache heads, drum circles, banners, “what do we want? fill in the blank!” But yeah, it was like millions of people in the streets, so there was that… Then someone interviewed W. about it, asked him, does this impact you or your decision? And he just smirked, and shrugged, as if to say, “So what? Let ’em.”
Facebook doesn’t care about criticism of censorship for one single reason. Giant corporations are INSANELY TERRIFIED of a single holy rolling bluenose who threatens a Million Mom Boycott because she friended a photographer who then put up a picture of a butt. But no spear carrier against censorship can inspire the same amount of terror.
Giant media corporations will always choose absence over presence – that is, they will delete anything and everything that might offend anyone ever, because by creating absence, they can say they are “complying with community standards,” and leave that as vague as Amazon’s “what we block is pretty much what you’d expect” guidelines. By allowing presence, they are taking a stand, and corporations that take stands risk shareholder backlashes, holy roller fulminations and boycotts, and “harm to our brand.” Until the day comes that these deliberate absences becomes more disgusting to the majority than the presence of free speech and free expression…well, boys and girls, that’s the way it is.