Facebook have informed me this evening that I’m temporarily banned from posting for 12 hours because someone reported one of my comments as abusive.
The offending comment was in response to a question posed on the Politics UK page asking whether people on benefits who drink and smoke excessively should have their benefits cut. It said:
Give them non-transferable food vouchers. I don’t go to work to pay for other peoples’ fags and booze.
Someone has taken exception to this comment and reported it. At first I was just annoyed at the fact my account could be suspended automatically just because some whining lefty clicked the report button. Then I discovered that actually, all these abuse reports are vetted by a real person so it was actually a conscious decision by a whining lefty at Facebook instead and that’s pissed me off.
My comment was in context, it wasn’t rude, it wasn’t abusive, it wasn’t threatening and it wasn’t “hate speech”. Facebook seemingly does absolutely nothing about the spammers and fraudsters that infest the site despite the fact they can be spotted a mile off when you see them in group membership requests. I report every single one of the spammers that I find yet I often see requests from the fake friends of the fake profiles to the same group days later.
I’ve been on Facebook since the early days when it was first opened up to non academics but it’s lost most of its appeal these days. This has prompted me to do what I’ve been planning to do for a while – lock down my account and cull my friends list, I’m going to stick to Twitter and Google+ from now on.
Facebook fans in Pakistan will no doubt be pleased to learn that a home-grown rival to Facebook has been released following the site being banned in the country …
Facebook have decided that after more than a year and a half of being in existence, the England page I started on Facebook breaches their terms and conditions and has been locked.
As of tonight 13,920 people have declared themselves fans of England through the Facebook page. The only England fan page on Facebook with more fans was the one the English Democrats took over so they could pretend they had thousands of supporters (not an isolated incident).
The England page I started is the biggest England fan page on Facebook that isn’t linked to any political party or organisation, it’s just for fans of England worldwide.
But all is not lost. As we’ve seen, Facebook has proven to be very useful in getting companies to change their minds – Cadbury have certainly bowed to Facebook pressure in the last year or two, reintroducing chocolate bars off the back of Facebook petitions. So let’s see if we can force Facebook to reinstate the England fan page with this group: Facebook, let us have our England fan page back!
A 17 year old girl has been murdered after meeting a predator on Facebook.
The girl agreed to meet a man who claimed to be a 16 year old boy who allegedly then murdered her.
The usual criticisms of social media have been rolled out by the usual suspects along with the traditional warning of the dangers of meeting complete strangers you’ve only talked to online and reminder that people online might not be who they claim.
I know it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead but online safety really isn’t rocket science is it? Common sense tells you that you don’t go and meet a complete stranger you’ve met on Facebook on your own. What possible steps could Facebook have taken other than reading every interaction between their millions of users and inserting advice such as “are you sure this complete stranger isn’t a pscho murderer?” and “I wouldn’t agree to meet him if I was you” into every message?
Let’s put this into perspective – this wasn’t some 13 year old kid whose naiveity has been exploited, it was a 17 year old young adult, past school age, old enough to be out working, old enough to be married with kids. Should she have known better? Yes she should. Does this mean every other person on social networking sites are sexual deviants or mass murders? No it doesn’t. It’s sad that she was murdered but do we really need endless hand wringing and navel gazing every time someone has a common sense bypass involving a social networking site?