Oct 16, 2007

Facebook Facing Left?

Not since I was declared a fraud by the BBC, About.com, the Museum of Hoaxes, Wikipedia, NPR, The Churchill Centre, and others, have I been forced to endure such indignity. Facebook, the upstart would-be MySpace, has deemed me, ME – the brightest feather of the Right Wing, the only Conservative pundit who can fly – unworthy of membership, and disabled my account!

Why?

“Your account was disabled because you violated Facebook’s Terms of Use, to which you agreed when you first registered for an account on the site,” says the friendly Facebook form rejection FAQ. “Accounts can either be disabled for repeat offenses or for one particularly egregious violation”

Zounds! And, pray tell, what was my egregious violation?

“Unfortunately, for technical and security reasons, Facebook cannot provide you with a description or copy of the removed content,” replies Facebook. Most helpful. Facebook does, however, provide a list of egregious offenses from which to choose that may or may not actually be the reason for one’s having been jettisoned from amongst its worthy ranks.

Egregious Offense #1.We do not allow users to send unsolicited or harassing messages to people they don’t know, and we remove posts that advertise a product, service, website, or opportunity.”

As I knew no one on Facebook, I directed my content to no member in particular. Furthermore, this content contained no harassments, solicitations, nor advertisements. It could be argued that I advertised enlightenment by encouraging members to visit my blog (www.churchillsparrot.com). However, as the Facebook registration process encourages members to list any blogs or websites they might have in their command, and provides a feature by which to stream one’s blog content through one’s Facebook site, it seems not a stretch to assume this is well within the bounds of acceptable behavior.

Egregious Offense #2. “We do not allow any obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit photos, as well as any photos that depict graphic violence.”

Other than the occasional reference to MoveOn.org, my content did not, nor has it ever contained anything obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, nor graphically violent.

Egregious Offense #3. “We also remove content, photo or written, that threatens, intimidates, harasses, or brings unwanted attention or embarrassment to an individual or group of people.”

Hmmm. We may have something here. A quick review of my most recent posts produces titles such as, “Study Finds Democratic Party May have Died Decades Ago”, “Useful Idiot Hall of Fame Announces Massive Expansion,” “Our Second Interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad” (not at all flattering to Mr. Ahmadinejad), “Celebrate Talk Like a Terrorist Day”, and more. It is certainly fair to say there is much “unwanted attention and embarrassment brought to individuals and groups of people” here. But such is political commentary. Does Facebook mean to say members are not to share political commentary via their online forum? Most curious, particularly as it was through a political site – www.BritainandAmerica.com – through which I became involved in this mess in the first place. (Although this site now no longer advertises its Facebook option either. Again, hmmmmm.)

Egregious Offense #4.Facebook does not allow users to register with fake names, to impersonate any person or entity, or to falsely state or otherwise misrepresent themselves or their affiliations.”

Here we have, at once, the most likely and the most hilarious “reason” for my expulsion. As referenced earlier, this is not the first time the validity of my identity has been called into question. While I can well appreciate the seeming unlikelihood of there actually being a 107 year-old parrot claiming to have once been the pet and confidant of Sir Winston Churchill and issuing scathing indictments of Leftist tyranny via the Internet on a regular basis, that is, nonetheless, who and what I am.

Let us, for the sake of argument, however, suppose that I were not actually Charlie – Churchill’s Parrot. Imagine instead that I were, say, a frustrated Conservative writer from Wisconsin, USA, seeking outlet and audience for his or her thoughts, opinions, and writing. Would not the employment of the “Churchill’s Parrot” identity fall under the definition of “nickname” or “avatar,” devices used by 90% of those participating in online communication? Am I to believe that others encountered during my brief stint on Facebook are actually who or what they say they are? “Odo Barn Owl,” “Peace Love Bird,” “Ford Taurus,” “Linus McKitten,” “Tuna Bird,” the entire membership of a Facebook Group entitled, “Facebook Members Who are Not Human” to name a few … these are all somehow exempt from the “fake names,” “impersonations,” and “misrepresentations” standard?

Having brought this issue to Facebook’s attention they responded as follows,“If you see any individuals on the site who are currently in violation of our Terms of Use, it is only because they have not yet been disabled for misuse.”

Right then. We shall full well expect that, in keeping with its principles, Facebook is thus now in the process of purging well over half its membership for violating the high standard of identity integrity to which it aspires. As we say in the Queen’s Dominion, “Not bloody likely.” To attempt such would prove not only impossible – Facebook currently boasts nearly 34 million active users – it would be idiotic. Creativity (though admittedly much of it at a third grade level) is an amusing and positive outgrowth of such ventures.

What is far more bloody likely is that only certain kinds of members of questionable identity are being purged from the esteemed ranks of Facebook: those expressing overtly Conservative views and opinion. My suspicion is that some Lefty took offense to one of my posts and reported it to the Facebook security ninnies who – rather than defend my content as legitimate contribution to an open forum – saw fit to acquiesce to Lefty whining, disable my account, and throw these lame excuses at me by way of “explanation.”

Understand, what ruffles my feathers is not my exclusion from the Facebook community – I appeared to be the only one bothering to contribute any actual content anyway – but that here we may well have yet another forum wherein Conservative expression is being denied. Thus, I write this post, and thus I have solicited the assistance of the mighty Media Research Center to aid in my further investigation of this potential.

If I am proven wrong and revealed as merely an hysterical Right Wing paranoiac, so be it. I will, at such time, willingly and publicly eat crow - a far more repugnant act for parrots, mind you, than for you non-avians!

In the meantime, I would be very interested to know if there are any other Right-leaning individuals out there who have found themselves expelled from the Facebook roster. Drop us a line at churchillsparrot@gmail.com. Perhaps we shall discover that what we have here is not just another pretty Facebook.

Cheers,

Charlie

3 comments:

weng weng said...

You being pawanoid. I assue you. WW

Gary nadeau said...

Hey Bri,

Our friend D. Hill has had the same problem on Myspace. And he's as "left" as they come...

Gar

Churchill's Parrot said...

My Dear Mr. Nadeau,

Based on what feedback I have received thus far, I suspect you are correct. These social networks seem to wish to remain clear of all political commentary Left or Right. Leaves more bandwidth for 50 year old lechers to arrange rendezvous with their 12 year old prey I suppose - the intended purpose of such networks afterall.

Cheers,

Charlie