It’s Friday, which means Mr. Bill is coming home today. He’s been away all week while I’ve been languishing alone. Well, I haven’t been languishing that much… The truth is, this house is pretty comfortable. I even had a nice fire going in the fireplace last night and managed not to burn down the house. I mean, I don’t know how to use the toilet properly and I’m bad with awnings… and I’m a filthy, irresponsible, negligent person. And yet, I enjoyed a very beautiful fire last night, managed to make myself dinner, and am still here to write the tale this morning. Yea for me! I guess I’m finally growing up at age 47. /sarcasm. I’m not dressed yet, though. Nobody’s perfect.
I’ve spent the week reading, working a jigsaw puzzle, taking care of Arran, writing, and making music. The other day, I made a nice recording of a song Alison Krauss recorded with the Cox Family back in 1994. Granted, I’m not Alison Krauss or a member of the Cox Family, but I do alright. Every once in awhile, I share my SingSnap or YouTube stuff on Facebook. Until fairly recently, that was fine. But then Facebook changed its policies again… or its algorithms, or something. At about 10:00pm, I got a message from Facebook that my SingSnap link had been marked as spam and was being made invisible.
Now… when this happens, you can ask Facebook for a review. That means getting a human being to look and decide if what you’ve posted really goes “against community standards”. It can take forever for this… In fact, I have a couple of posts from months ago that are still “in review”. I’ve given up on them and no longer care. I did request that they review the SingSnap post, but I don’t have high hopes about it. Besides, by the time they make the post visible again, it will be off the radar anyway. Edited to add: as of 9:00am this morning, it’s back up on my page. Thanks, Facebook. But I’m still pissed off at you.
It’s not really that big of a deal to me that they hid that particular post. I mainly post the links for the few people who enjoy what I do musically. Most people don’t care about my musical pursuits and will never check out the link, either because they think I’ll suck, or they know I don’t suck and feel jealous. That may seem like a very narcissistic thing to say, but the fact is I really am a pretty good singer. I’ve been told by many people that I am– not just by my mom, who is herself a good musician, but by multiple voice teachers, professional musicians, and even Joan Jett’s manager (met her on a cruise and she wondered if I was in the music biz). Don’t ask me to do math, conjugate Latin verbs, or shoot hoops, but if you need a pretty song, I can deliver. Making music helps prevent me from getting depressed. Not everyone likes what I do, and that certainly includes writing and singing. But what good is making recordings or writing blog posts if I don’t share them with others? People can always choose whether or not they want to read or listen. I don’t hold a gun to anyone, demanding that they pay attention to what I do.
So anyway, I shared this one song out of several I did this week. It was up for over twelve hours before Facebook wiped it out, claiming it was “spam”. I went on SingSnap and discovered I wasn’t the only one whose song got schwacked. One user says it’s because SingSnap needs to upgrade its security protocols or something. Some people have posted that the songs were reposted. Eh… I don’t even really care if mine gets reposted. I’m more annoyed by the arbitrary and inconsistent way Facebook handles its business. They seem to shoot first and ask questions later. You never know what they’ll take aim at, so it’s impossible to be forewarned.
Seriously… I get annoying ads all day long for the same stupid products, like this…
Or I get unwelcome private messages from spammers, sleazy scam artists, or complete strangers who are pissed off about my comments on news sites, like the guy who, last year, called me a “fat murderous cunt” and invited me to “go die”. I wonder if “Jason” felt better inviting me to “go die” as he championed the rights of the unborn… Does he realize that I was once someone’s unborn baby?
I reported Jason’s private message to Facebook and got this response:
Facebook could not do anything about Jason’s offensive and completely uninvited and uncalled for private message. But they can arbitrarily hide SingSnap songs without any warning or due process, and accuse the uploaders of “violating community standards”. Are they really telling me that my version of “Walk Over God’s Heaven” is more offensive than some yahoo inviting me to kill myself and calling me a “fat murderous cunt”?
This isn’t the only time I’ve gotten “slapped” by Facebook over something really stupid. I follow a page called Middle Age Riot. The person who runs that page almost always posts funny anti-Trump stuff. That’s why I follow the page. A couple of weeks ago, I shared something s/he posted and hours later, came back to my computer to find my whole screen covered with a message from Facebook telling me I’d shared something that “violated community standards” and asking me to review their policies. Now… first of all, I wasn’t even sure what they’d removed. It took several minutes of recall just to realize that it must have been Middle Age Riot’s post about Trump. Then I wondered which “community standard” I had violated by sharing that post. They didn’t specify.
I mean… people share horrible pictures of slaughtered animals, cruel memes, ghastly injuries, and all manner of offensive and obnoxious commentary. I share a post from a popular humor page, and I’ve “violated community standards”. Seems to me that if they want “offensive” behavior to stop, they need to be clearer about their expectations, develop simple, easy to follow, remember, and enforce rules, and stop fixing things that ain’t broken.
I’ve long thought that Facebook is turning the world into a weird dystopia, where people lose the ability to communicate and need to have a third “minder” moderating their communications. It’s a bit creepy. I’m beginning to think that maybe it might be time to move on from Facebook. It might make my life more peaceful. I would miss some of my friends, including those whom I only know via Facebook. On the other hand, a lot of those people I met before Facebook existed on those old fashioned “messageboards” people used to frequent back in the day. Facebook also provides me with stuff to write about, which keeps me occupied… although it doesn’t necessarily keep me out of “trouble”.
Well… at least Facebook gave me an interesting topic for this morning. Bill should be on his way home in a matter of hours. We will enjoy tonight, then go to Frankfurt tomorrow to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. Sunday, we’re off to Poland for the week. Bill will be working, and I will be… doing something else… hopefully staying out of trouble and/or pain. Hey, at least we’ll be in a hotel where I can get a massage if my back starts giving me major trouble.