I posted earlier this week about my experiences with Facebook disabling my account, for no valid reason and without any prior notice. And after sending facebook administrators quite a few e-mails about being disabled, my account was restored and they refused to give me a reason why it was disabled in the first place. I know it wasn't because I'd violated any of their rights. I keep my facebook page as pg-rated as I keep this blog. Actually, my facebook page is g-rated...other than the fact that many of my posts are geared toward the lgbt community.
With all the Thanksgiving preparations I was making this week, plus working on edits for an upcoming romance novel I'm submitting to the publisher on Monday, I didn't have much time to think about facebook. But late last night I started wondering about the control facebook has over people these days. And then I received an e-mail from my good blogging buddy, Ryan, telling me his facebook account had been disabled, which only made me think more about the control facebook seems to have over all of its members.
I'm gay and I write gay romance and gay erotic romance. For many people, books like mine are controversial in many ways. And I post about my gay romances all the time on facebook and I can't help wondering if maybe some other facebook member reported me for posting about gay fiction. Though I can't prove this because facebook refuses to let me know why my account was disabled, I'm fully aware of how many people there are who would rather not see or read anything about the lgbt community at all. Not even my dull, g-rated facebook posts. And please don't tell me I'm being paranoid, thank you. I've been openly gay all my life and I've experienced the hate and discrimination first hand in far more important places than facebook. You'd think it would be simple: if you don't like an lgbt oriented facebook post all you have to do is defriend that person. But that's not how hate works. These haters would rather report someone for posting something lgbt oriented...no matter how g-rated it is...and then sit back and laugh.
And my longtime blogging buddy, Ryan, is openly gay and has been blogging about his experiences as an openly gay man for many years now. And though I've never been offended by any of his facebook posts, I can't help but wonder whether or not someone else was offended and decided to report him. And without even doing a fair investigation, facebook decided to disable his account. This makes two in a row in one week's time, which makes me wonder whether or not there's something more going on in the background. Again, this is all alleged. And I can't prove any of this because facebook isn't a democracy, it's more like an empire that makes its own rules and regulations and you either follow them or they banish you from their kingdom.
Unfortunately, the one thing facebook seems to forget is that there are many people like me who don't take them as seriously as they wish we did. I rarely speak about politics on this blog, but I'm an American and I believe in democracy and as little government intervention as possible. I cherish having rights and I live to voice my opinion. And, as far as facebook is concerned, even though I've always respected their rules and regulations, I'm not too thrilled with this policy of disabling accounts without giving a valid reason. It's the least they can do, after all.
In the grand scheme, it doesn't really matter. It's. Only. Facebook. And I'd rather die than make facebook my home page (argh, talk about control). I have a feeling facebook will be the hoola hoop trend of this time period and we'll all look back and joke about it someday, the same way we joke about big cell phones and TV's with knobs and dials. I'm already seeing signs of people getting bored with facebook. And if you're like me, and facebook has disabled your account for no apparent reason, the trend is going to fade sooner than the folks running facebook thought it would.