I'm becoming accustomed to the way it works, Facebook. When I try to check the app on my iPhone and am suddenly forced to login, I know there's a fun little judgement from the Facebook gods waiting for me on the other side of that login button. I've been dealing with the tyranny of the cyberbullies who've been flagging my posts as well as the subsequent punishments from Facebook's "reviewers" for the last few months, and because I have not received replies to my "support" messages or have no other means to communicate with a human being as I'm being reviewed, judged, and sentenced, I'm writing about it on the internet. I really hope *someone* at Facebook reads this, but for now, I'm just trying to express my disappointment, disgust, and frustration LIKE A 21ST CENTURY WOMAN! So, I blog...
*clicks login button*
It starts with the photo that has already been removed by one of your interns.
"We removed content you posted."
"We removed something you posted."
"Your post was flagged and removed for nudity."
Then it goes to the next screen to "educate" me about my infractions. None of the infractions listed apply to the photo that was already removed. I read them anyway. I see that I'm in compliance. I see that the reason stated for removing the photo is erroneous. I check to be sure that mine or my children's genitals are not accidentally hanging out somewhere in the photo. Nope. Good there. I see that the educational book we are reading in one of the offending photos is suitable for ages 4 and up, and I know Facebook requires that its users be at least 14 years old. No harm there.
Next, I am forced to review my other photos and click a box that affirms my review and confirms that they do not *also* contain nudity or violate "community standards".
And, then it comes.
The Facebook Jail Sentence.
After clicking through everything, I get to the final judgement:
YOU ARE BANNED FROM USING FACEBOOK FOR 1DAY/3DAYS/7DAYS...
and if you don't straighten up your act...
YOUR ACCOUNT COULD BE PERMANENTLY DISABLED!
And just like that, I'm found guilty and sentenced without any defend-ability at all to say "LOOK AT THE PHOTO! LOOK AT THE FUCKING PHOTO! Just LOOK at it! PLEASE!"
Every single photo you have removed from my account DOES NOT CONTAIN NUDITY, and they DO NOT VIOLATE COMMUNITY STANDARDS. You even have an exception for educational, satirical or humorous purposes, and removing my photos when you have this as an exception is an absolute slap in my face. My photos are educational, satirical AND humorous, and it upsets me that your interns and staff are missing this very important piece of my work. How do they even have jobs? Seriously, I'm at a loss.
So, here's the thing, Facebook. You are one of the bullies. These people-- whoever they are--are flagging my posts because they are offended that my kids are lighting maxipads on fire or that we're reading educational books about sexual health *gasp* or that we are swimming in the river. These people are getting the go-ahead, wink and nod approval from you, Facebook. You are telling them that it's okay to silently attack a woman by anonymously flagging her posts and that you will punish her.
You are helping the terrorists win.
By terrorists, I mean the people flagging my photos--the students that didn't do well in my classes or my former in-laws or any of the horny drunk people that I've declined when they wanted to take me home for sex.
It could be anyone. Basically, I have no idea who could possibly be flagging my photos because there's a variety of reasons that someone could get a bee in their bonnet about me.
Since much of my FB profile is public, it could be anyone. I actually think it's fun to assume that there's a team of Westboro Baptist Church members that believe they are doing the Lord's work by going through social media sites and flagging anything they might find offensive. When people ask me who I think it is that's doing this, I usually respond with "It could be anyone," and I drift off into a visual image of a large woman with bad skin scrolling through Facebook accounts, eating cheese-whiz covered Totino's pizza rolls from a bowl that sits on top of her "God Hates Fags" poster board while she listens to "Oh Victory in Jesus" on her record player. Okay, I guess it's easier for me to think that is some unknown crazy person that's flagging me than to think that--heaven forbid--someone is out to get ME!
But either way, Facebook. Whether it's someone who's trying to hurt me or teach me a lesson or it's someone trying to protect the world from the evils of my humor, either way, MY PHOTOS DO NOT CONTAIN NUDITY AND DO NOT VIOLATE COMMUNITY STANDARDS!
The latest photo--the one you just gave me a 7-day Facebook Jail sentence for--is at the top of this blog. It's me holding my 8-year old son on my shoulders as we prepare to play "chicken fight" in the river. (The photo of us doing said chicken fight was posted at the same time as the photo in question.) Much like all of the other boys at the river that day, he was wearing swim trunks. Much like all of the other boys at the river that day, he was not covering his nipples. Unlike many of the other boys, he has long hair. Sometimes, people think that maybe he's a girl because he has long hair. Your "Community Standards Intern" must've thought the same thing about my photo. People even dismissed your removal of this photo as "oh, Facebook probably just thought he was a shirtless girl".
Don't even get me started on EQUALITY and all that stuff I believe in.
*****************Because, seriously FREE THE FUCKING NIPPLE!****************
But, c'mon! It's an 8-year old boy in a swimsuit on my shoulders.
What standard is that violating?! Facebook, are you uncomfortable that my son is so beautiful? Does that make you feel perverse? Is that why you removed my photo? Are you really banning me for 7 days because I went swimming with my son and shared a photo of that on your social media site? Are you kidding me?!!!
By removing my photos and punishing me, you are facilitating cyberbullying and not holding people accountable for making false claims. You are also acting as one of the bullies. I really don't think that anyone actually flagged the photo of me and my son. I think you guys just "caught" that one...whew! Right?! You actually removed it on my birthday which left me with no profile pic. I figured it was a mistake or a glitch in the system, so I reposted it since my pic was simply missing. Then, you notified me THREE DAYS LATER that you'd removed it. There was no recourse. No way for me to communicate with you about it it. Nothing. Then today, you removed it again and banned me for 7 days. Not only did you ban me, but you made me send a picture of my ID to prove I'm a real person. I'm not even allowed to log-in until you review my drivers license. I'm being punished and having to jump through hoops while you are allowing other people to bully me because you are unable to LOOK AT THE FUCKING PICTURE!
Can you please go back and look at my account? I'm really funny. I make great posts. At least, I do now! Thank you for letting me see how bad I was at making status updates back in 2009 when I was dripping in babies and could apparently only post in the third person about what I was eating. Those statuses were bad. *shudder* But I've gotten better at this social media thing. I think I use it really well for image crafting and information sharing, and this helps me get booked for shows and speaking engagements. Often, bookers contact me through Facebook, and it's extremely difficult to communicate when I cannot access messenger to respond to messages. I'm sure you know this already, Facebook, and that's why you know how much your punishments can hurt.
This hurts on a lot of levels, and it's unfair. When a punishment fits a crime, fine. But I have committed no crime. Seriously, LOOK AT THE PICTURE!
Can you please stop allowing me to be picked on and will you please stop picking on me, Facebook? I'm just trying to be educational, humorous and satirical, and I'm just trying to communicate and share like everyone else. Please look at my pics for real this time. And please let me know the name of that lady from the Westboro Baptist Church that I need to block.