Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Banned in…Menlo Park?

Trigger warning: politically incorrect speech ahead! 😀 May be unsuitable for children and the namby-pamby.

Check this out! Facebook has banned me and locked me out of its precincts for the sin of saying that public women’s bathrooms are often dirty because women are no tidier than men.

Got that? Apparently if you don’t think girls are better than boys, you’re not fit for polite society.

My friend Connie the Long-Haul Trucker was going on at Facebook about the prevalence of unisex bathrooms at truck stops. She opined that when on the road, men’s bathroom habits tend to  be execrable (uh-oh, wait…is that hate speech?), as witnessed by many truckers’ habit of defecating into a plastic bag or urinating into a soda bottle and throwing the waste out the window onto the shoulder. Unisex bathrooms, she reported, are uniformly filthy because of similar habits brought indoors.

I replied that women are slobs, too — which is the main reason I avoid using public bathrooms unless I absolutely have to — and that it’s the proprietor’s responsibility to keep the facilities clean.

Well, that was too much for the CorrectSpeak CopBot.

Forthwith comes a notice from Facebook:

Only you can see this post because it goes against our standards on hate speech.

Women are slobs, too. I’ve been in amazingly filthy women’s rooms. Problem is that the proprietors need to be required by law to keep the facilities clean.

Once you’ve been adjudged guilty of “hate speech,” there’s no appeal. Nor can I access any of my pages there: I am now officially persona non grata. As far as I can tell, there’s no way to reach a human being at Facebook, unless you can find a snailmail address (GetHuman doesn’t provide one, but a Google search for their street addresses brings up the gaggingly cutesy “1 Hacker Way” in Menlo Park).

I was going to just let it drop — despite the hit to my half-baked marketing efforts, in a way it’s a boon. Of late I’ve found myself spending way, way, WAAAYYY too much time on Facebook. The thing is kind of hypnotic. Many of my choir friends are on it, as are old friends from long long ago, who now live in other parts of the country. Really, in terms of health and constructive activity it would be a lot better — a lot better —  if I would lose Facebook.

But this whack upside the head really is pretty stupid and insulting. And I do have two marketing sites up on FB, in conjunction with one of which I joined a special interest group where I’ve been pretty active. Just disappearing isn’t going to look good.

So I may send a letter — possibly registered, even, if I feel like bestirring myself to drive to the post office — to their PR people at their snail-mail address.

Facebook is more hot air than not. The claim that you can make big bucks marketing your wares on FB leaves a lot to be desired.

At one point I hired a marketer who claimed to be expert with Facebook and guaranteed fantastic sales. Hence the Plain & Simple Press and The Copyeditor’s Desk pages. After she put these two FB pages online, we ponied up some cash and bought a Facebook Ads campaign to peddle the 30 Pounds/4 Months book.

It ran for a month or two. She was sure we would see a sharp spike an Amazon sales.

Along comes the first revenue report from Amazon.

Not only is there no upward movement, sales went dead flat after the FB Ads campaign went live!!! First they dropped off sharply. Then: nothing. Literally, not one sale.

She couldn’t believe it. Said it wasn’t possible. I think she must have thought I was trying to get out of paying her. I had to send her PDFs of the Amazon reports to persuade her to believe me.

You understand: the book wasn’t making me rich by any means, or even turning enough to buy a cup of café Americano at Starbucks. But it was selling a few copies. The result of the Facebook Ads campaign, seemingly, was to bring a stop to even that volume of sales. 😀

So…I don’t know. It’s probably not even worth the trouble to try to bring this little miscarriage of justice to the attention of a live human being at Facebook. I can do better at marketing with Pinterest — especially, come to think of it, with three book chapters going online each week. That avenue had faded from my consciousness because it’s such a PITA to prepare an image for Pinterest…though Pinterest-friendly images could do double-duty on Twaddle.

Better part of valor, I suspect, is just to let it go and get my life back.

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Author: funny

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9 Comments

  1. All the hateful political crap I see on FB and YOU get banned?!? *speechless*

  2. You got banned for that? Seriously? That’s gotta be an algorithm or something similar, and there ought to be a way to appeal to a human. But I must admit, I have no idea what that way is.

    I don’t think I’ve been on FB since before the new year, mostly because I fritter away enough time on Twitter as it is. I should, because I have family and old friends on there and sometimes spot events I’d like to go to. But nothing I’ve heard recently exactly pushes me to go back.

    • Yeah. A LOT of my friends have left FB, especially after the Cambridge Analytica flap, when it became painfully clear just now intrusive it is. IMHO, it’s just as well. I’m definitely not going to get my self exercised about trying to go back. However, I will compile a mailing list of people I interact with on FB…interestingly, a lot of them have posted here or at P&S Press — or are people I know in other spheres — and send them an e-mail asking if they’d like a little newsletter or something.

      There are MANY other platforms, some of which would be more appropriate. Medium, for example, which is actually a blogging platform but which would be good for posting those freebie chapters. And also really, I should have been working on Goodreads. And though I hired a very clever person to to the Pinterest campaign, in fact I can do those images myself and post them there. And there’s always Twaddle.

  3. Looking at the three tiers Facebook uses to define hate speech in the community standards, it does not surprise me their algorithm identified the comment as violating those standards. Is it a permanent ban or one of the lesser temporary bans?

    • It doesn’t say. I assume I’m banished to Siberia forever. But who would want to do business (or use the platform of) an outfit that treats you like that?

    • P.S. To respond to the rest of your observation: Yes, I expect juxtaposing “filthy” and “women” is a red flag for their machines. Never occurred to me that “filthy women’s rooms” referred to the women, not to the rooms. 😀

  4. Hooray for automated algorithms making decisions!

    Try the links on this page to contact FB to get reinstated – even if all you use it for is to keep up with the choir, it feels like they should not be allowed to let their algorithm lock you out for a false positive!

    https://www.postplanner.com/how-to-contact-facebook-to-get-support/

    • Wow! Over a hundred forms to have to sift through! 😀

      They ask for information that I created years ago and am not sure I can unearth. When faceless organizations ask me nosy questions, I emit disinformation. I would not, for example, tell Facebook my real date of birth on a bet. They must know that, because they never post one of those “tell your friend happy birthday” things for me. 😀 They demand to know my full name. I do not use my full name except on government documents, because it is bizarre, unpronounceable, and a constant source of frustration, so do not know whether filling that in will confound them.

      It really is beyond annoying. This is an example of what I mean when I argue that this country has been taken over by a shadow government consisting of corporate entities that control our lives and behavior in ways that are not always benign.

      I’ve sent them a snailmail letter, which should arrive in lovely Menlo Park early this week.