Lowering Standards.

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on October 26, 2010 in News & Opinion |

I’d be interested to hear any comments on my recent post In The News Today. The main reason for my interest is that someone complained to Facebook that the post was inappropriate, and Facebook issued me with a warning and deleted the entry.

It is even more interesting, not so much because of the fact that Facebook – and the anonymous protester – found it inappropriate, but because every single item I mentioned was taken from openly available periodicals you can buy in any newsagents here in Germany, and none of them have a lower age limit for readers, nor are there any warnings about adult content.

I can only conclude that someone has a severe sexual hang-up which they need to talk over in therapy, and that Facebook, which has countless sex videos, pornographic images and openly racist, sexist or erotic comments published every single day without problems, must be managed by a bunch of small-minded prudes with no knowledge of the world and its ways.

Still, at least they have the Weekly World News to keep them up to date on the Real World!

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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  • Francois Demers says:

    Perhaps it was the bit about bacon-flavoured salt?
    There are few easier ways to bait me than to request comments on Facebook…
    The sorry part is You Will Never Know. You may write FB, call them, and send them your attorneys: no joy. On the surface, it seems all right: they own the servers and they provide the service for free; arguably, they can do whatever they want and are under no obligation to justify their actions.
    However, and this is a very big however, whenever they are criticised for allowing violations of privacy, they always respond that the data belongs to the user, not them, and that anyone with a privacy issue should take it up with someone else.
    That someone would object to something in your post was predictable. Make a hundred friends on FB and one of them will think the tooth fairy is an objectionable topic. Reporting it is more often about annoying you than really wanting the topic to be taken off. Report a given user often enough and their account gets erased. This is quickly becoming a popular indoor sport.

    • viki says:

      Who knows what it was, but I think this is one of those sport events you mention, and I’m fairly sure I also know who it was – not one of my friends, I hasten to add. It’s worth an article, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing.

  • Francois Demers says:

    I just did a search of FB user posts containing the word “nigger”. Stopped it at 20 000 hits. Very tempted to write a piece of code that would automatically report the authors.

    • viki says:

      Don’t do it on Twitter, you’d be overloaded! Nigger, nigga and all the other versions of the word has entered our language to stay, and it is not necessarily derogatory any more. What is more interesting, to me, is that there are links and posts containing explicit content which are not worthy of deletion, that it takes several hours to react to a report of child pornography, and that FB is unable to tell the difference between something real and full of life and an illegal activity.

  • Solitarywalker61 says:

    And yet again, we have examples of censorship. To say that one word that might offend one person is enough to invoke censorship is a frightening thought. Today it is the “N” word (even saying it like this is censorship) but tomorrow… what will it be? What word or phrase that today is ill considered offensive will be offensive tomorrow? And what of the consequences in the long run?

    Madison said that “Liberty is to faction what air is to fire”. Similarly one could pen that “Liberty is to offense what air is to fire”. We can may be able to extinguish offense, but a what price to Liberty just as eliminating air will extinguish fire, but to what good for mankind would eliminating air be.

    FB is naturally going to argue that as a business, they own your words – which they do as a result of the contract you agreed to in order to use their service, V. But that should not limit your expression. If FB does not want to allow your words, then move on to the forums that will or let’s begin our own.

    • viki says:

      What amazes me about the Facebook action is that there are so many other entries – mine and others’ – which are far more explicit, and which don’t seem to fall under the rules. In the end it makes little difference: I use Facebook to build up a good following of friends, but my real interest – in the cyberworld – is this Blog. One post less, albeit an interesting one, advertised through Facebook is no great loss. The flames of liberty will always fan through: history shows us this, hope and perseverance make it a reality.

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