Facebook’s Fumble

Social media is tremendously important and Facebook is an awful primary platform.  Friendster gave way to MySpace, MySpace lost dominance to Facebook and then …

Facebook Fail

i am quick to confess i want Facebook to fail.  Not just because of their terrible privacy policies, not just because they are mining personal data to sell to all manner of annoying corporations and government agencies, not just because Facebook uses it’s users are lab rats in social experiments, not just because it bans images of mothers breastfeeding but permits images of misogynist violence, not just because Facebook enables identity theft, though these things certainly encourage my upset and frustration with the giant of social media.

The reason i want Facebook to fail is that i want popular, powerful, alternative social networking solutions which will be institutionally supportive of efforts to use social media as a positive transformative technology, rather than just another capitalist cog.

You dont want to piss these gals off, trust me.

You dont want to piss these gals off, trust me.

So i was extra pleased when i saw that Facebook undid all the positive media it had earned by including 56 gender identifications after having had just two since it’s founding. It did this by deciding everyone on Facebook had to have profiles with their legal names on them.  And then taking complaints from people who saw FB users using fictitious names, FB has taken down hundreds of drag performers’ pages and has given them the option to change their profile name or lose their profile completely.

This policy has hit drag performers especially hard.  In part because many user names are obviously not birth names, in part because someone has apparently been reporting lots of drag performers, and in part because there are lots of good reasons to not be forced to reveal your birth name if you dont want to.

Drag performers are also often cutting edge social mavens.  Assuming Facebook does not permanently restore these accounts unaltered, there is quite some chance that the queer community which has been disenfranchised by this move will lead the charge to another social networking platform.

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

3 responses to “Facebook’s Fumble”

  1. adelord says :

    In the last week my dance community in SoCal was devastated by the less-than-fully-legalized name purge. Experimenting with ello.co took off like wildfire today. Will it work, or will decentralized diaspora sites like sechat.org be the solution? Either way, the exodus has begun. We are actively looking for a new home.

  2. MILO says :

    electronic communication has never been private. telegraph lines were tapped, operators in phone exchanges would listen in, any wave can be intercepted and copied. when i worked the mail house we had marketing list that i know were illegal. laws won’t stop it because they are either written with loop holes or ignored. if you want privacy you can’t communicate on a medium controlled/overseen by a for-profit government. face book is a for-profit messenger service which dictates it’s fees to it’s users. who then agree to them, often blindly. one of the terms of the contract is that face book can change the terms at any time with no negotiation. if millions of “intelligent” beings did not accept this contract, face book would not have this power. add to this the vast majority of exchanges on face book are inane gossip and what you have is a democratically elected autocrat. sort of like the u. s. president. having said all this why would i post my opinions so “they” can find them? “they” already know.

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