In 2015, after a few years of Facebook citizenship, I decided to take a break. Primarily because of non-stop posts about football, Jade Helm, and the end of the world. I found myself in a constant state of aggravation wanting to argue about sports, outdo someone with a conspiracy theory, and be the first to post a breaking news story amongst the 250 or so “friends” that I had.
I would chide people I didn’t know about their football team, envy people who could post “I just sneezed” and immediately get 95 “likes”, wonder why nobody could see the world the way I did and praise me for my amazing knowledge, foresight, and priceless contributions to the world of Facebook.
One day I woke up and realized I must look very foolish to some people, very smug to others, and very weird to everybody. And in a moment of clarity I had lacked before in my time on the social media, I realized I didn’t need it. That, for me, life would probably be better without it. And it was. (Not to mention I avoided that whole 2016 election, football kneelers, and Tide pod challenge.)
When I began writing this blog last year, to fulfill some pseudo-intellectual exhibitionist need I have, along with also always having enjoyed writing, I began posting links to my blog entries on the Facebook. That was it- log-in, post the link, log-out. I didn’t look to see if anyone had liked or commented on recent posts- it wasn’t about Facebook but promoting Bondo- the real deal.
But after awhile, it sucked me back in. In the past few months, my involvement incrementally grew. But on the advice of my wife, I decided to take a new approach- lighten up, be more positive, and remember “nobody cares about politics.”
So I determined to stay out of controversy, be more mature, and not take the world so seriously. I didn’t argue with anyone about anything. I just posted memes for the most part- inspirational quotes, funny animals, non-controversial commentary on this crazy life we are going through. The 150 friends I still had seemed to like the new approach.
But I am still, at heart, a politico. And, our dysfunctional political system is a fertile field. There was a small group of my Facebook buddies who were like-minded, so I dropped a few of those too. Then I decided that one day a week- Friday- I would be political. “Political Friday.” What the heck.
It was, to me, pretty tame, fairly mainstream and the latest stuff everybody else was discussing. (From a conservative viewpoint, of course.) I didn’t dare post some of the stuff I see- not for fear of being banned- but I’m just not into offending anyone anymore. If someone didn’t like something I posted, and commented so, I would diplomatically acknowledge their opinion, and move on.
This new approach worked well until last Friday, when I posted this:
A few minutes later I got a notification that my post had violated Facebook’s “Community Standards” and had been removed. Huh? That? I had seen things a hundred times worse posted everyday.
Although slightly annoyed, and puzzled more than anything else, I continued “political Friday.” A bit later, I posted this:
Within a few minutes I was advised once again that I had violated “Community Standards” against hateful and offensive speech and could not post again for 24 hours.
I’ve heard of this happening but had never experienced it. It is real. There was an option to have this decision reviewed so I clicked it.
After a short period, the “appeal” came back and they upheld their ban. They provided a box for comment on this action. I figured the comment would be either ignored or read by a robot- but in the odd chance a real person would read it I advised them that they “were the real Nazis”.
You see, I know these people very well. I know how their small, little minds think. To them, there is nothing worse in all this world than a “Nazi”- and, to them, a “Nazi” is a conservative. Being white and Christian is also bad, but being a white Christian Conservative male is the pinnacle of Nazi-ism. In their Facebook-moderating world. So I knew, if an actual person at Facebook did see that I was telling them they were the real Nazis, it would make them angry.
Considering Facebook has literally billions of accounts, I didn’t really think my comment would be viewed by an actual person. I was just venting to make myself feel better.
Well, once my 24 hour punishment had expired, I discovered that real people do read your feedback when I tried to post again. I was re-directed to a page that advised me that I couldn’t “go live”- which apparently means post and comment- for 29 more days.
Take that and learn your lesson Bondo- you hater. No explanation, and no box for comment this time either.
I decided not to wait out the 30 days like some grovelling addict, and figured my account was now “flagged” anyways- meaning I would probably never get to have much freedom of expression anymore, so I deleted my account.
I wondered for awhile if I had been caught by an algorithm or if somebody had reported me- and neither one made much sense. I had been posting memes for a few weeks that were similar. I wanted to warn others, and know for myself for future reference in case I decided to ever come back.
And then, when I googled the Gillibrand meme for this article, I got my answer:
Meme Distorts Gillibrand’s Immigration Idea
My Gillibrand meme had already been fact-checked. If you read carefully, it’s not false- it “distorts.” Making me a violator of community standards. Posting a statement Hitler- not me- said, makes me a “hater.”
I ask again, who is the real Nazi?
So, what do we learn? Posting true and factual information is not allowed if it is not the truth according to Factcheck.org.
This is behavior modification, nothing more, nothing less. Facebook is a “ministry of truth”.
Facebook recently dropped their slogan “it’s free and always will be.”
Good thing, because that statement wouldn’t pass a fact check. Not if you’re talking about speech.