Facebook and its moronic “spam” policies…

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…

You’ve no doubt seen this yourself… or something like it. Worthless crap that no one needs. I guess they boosted this post, though. Maybe if I boosted my posts, Facebook wouldn’t call them “spam”.

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?

Why thank you, Jason, for giving us “fat murderous CUNTS” reasons to cheer for abortion… Too bad your mama didn’t have one.

I reported Jason’s private message to Facebook and got this response:

Wow… that’s helpful.

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.

complaints, condescending twatbags

“That’s Attila to you…”

Sorry about the picture… one of my other pet peeves is people who use single letters and numbers to communicate instead of actual words. It was just too perfect for this post.

It’s Monday morning. I had kind of a boring weekend. I meant to go out and do stuff, but it was rainy and chilly and I didn’t feel like venturing out. In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to go out and do something. I spend too much time at home. I guess I was just in the mood to be a homebody after last week’s big trip. Besides, Bill was tired after a long week at work. He needed the rest.

Anyway… although I was at home and probably could have done something constructive, I mostly hung out with Bill and talked. We also binge watched the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve been watching it on my own on Hulu, but he hadn’t seen any of the new episodes. It’s probably a bad idea to binge watch that show because it usually gives me nightmares. I think The Handmaid’s Tale coupled with the news equals strange dreams.

While we were watching the show, I got a message from SingSnap. Some guy liked my recording of “Faded Love”. Awesome. I like to do old Patsy Cline songs sometimes. However, although he left me a very nice comment, he also broke one of my cardinal rules. He called me “hun”.

Dude… don’t call me hun!

I have ranted extensively about my dislike of cutesy pet names, particularly from strangers. I especially dislike “sweetie” and “hon” (or “hun”). Of course, I sometimes call Bill “sweetie”, but he’s my husband and he is actually a very sweet, kind person. He calls me “darling”, which doesn’t bother me at all. Why? Because we’re intimate. Despite my occasionally abrasive personality and general slovenliness, he still loves me. He knows me well enough to think of me as “darling”, despite everything that could easily turn him off about me. Therefore, he has the right to call me by a cute pet name. Strange guys on SingSnap don’t, and really shouldn’t. Seriously. It skeeves me out on several levels.

I have a lot of reasons for not liking pet names, particularly from strangers. Generally speaking, I find them condescending and diminishing. Aside from that, if you’d call a stranger “hun”, you’d call anyone hun, so it’s not even a real term of endearment. The guy also could have clicked on my profile and discovered my real name, which is Jenny. Now, if you get to know me and come up with a clever nickname for me, I wouldn’t necessarily object to that, as long as the nickname isn’t offensive. For instance, when I was in high school, there were some people who called me “genitalia” because my first and maiden names said together sounded vaguely like “genitalia”. Also, I say gross things sometimes. But I once had a boss who called me “Blossom”, short for “Gin Blossom” (the band), because my name is Jenny and I sing… and I probably also have a few gin blossoms, although he’s never referenced them.

I posted about this on Facebook, because I have friends who know all too well how I feel about this issue. One friend quipped that it didn’t immediately register with her that the guy was actually calling me “hon” and misspelling it. She wondered why he was calling me a Hun, which is defined thusly:

Hmm… calling someone a “hun” is not exactly a nice thing to do…

It occurred to me that I should respond to him by saying, “That’s Attila to you.” So I just did…

He probably won’t come back to read this. I haven’t checked out his open duets yet, because I don’t sing on the weekends. That’s my time with Bill. I probably should sing, though. It would keep me from bitching so much.

The guy who left the above comment, doesn’t know me from Adam. If he did get to know me, he’d quickly discover that I’m about as “sweet” as a turnip or an unripened radish. My personal flavor profile is definitely more bitter, sour, salty, and spicy than sweet. In fact, he could have called me Madame Bitterness and that would have been more accurate than “hun”. It also would have indicated that he actually knows me and, therefore, is qualified to bestow a name on me not given by my parents.

I can be nice. I can be kind. But few people would describe me as sweet, like honey. Not even Bill would. I asked him once if he thought I was “sweet”. His response was, “I think you have a sweet voice.” Fair enough. On the other hand, I probably am a bit like a Hun. Especially when I’m really pissed. Maybe my admirer was right to call me “hun” as opposed to “hon”, although he should have realized that Hun is a proper noun. Somehow, I don’t think he was thinking of warlike Asian people when he referred to me as “hun”.

On another note, the guy might have a nice voice, however, his comment, while basically complimentary, is kind of patronizing. I’m flattered that he likes how I sing “Faded Love”, but it’s poor form to pimp your recordings on someone else’s recordings. Also, I might find that I disagree that we should duet. He might not be as good as he thinks he is… or he might be as good as he thinks he is, but then try to tell me my business, which I don’t like.

Music is really something I do for fun, and to stay sane. I take it seriously, but not that seriously. If we were in Nashville making a real record, I might be more deferential… but this is SingSnap. I might also be more inclined to check him out if he’d asked me to listen to his stuff, rather than telling me to do it. I guess I’m stubborn like that… probably much like Attila the Hun was. Now, all I need to do is grow myself a dick and try to conquer the Romans and besiege Constantinople.


I really need to get laid…

I don’t really feel like writing today. Instead, I’ve been making recordings. I made this one this morning and I think it may be time to jump Bill’s bones.

I may be back later after I have some breakfast… Maybe I’ll have something in mind to write about. Or maybe I’ll go watch a dirty movie or something. You gotta take these moods when they strike. I feel like Blanche Devereaux today. Or Richard Simmons…



So… Bill has now been gone for eight days. He’ll be gone for ten more. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. Yesterday, I got extremely bored and drank a lot of wine, which I had managed not to do all week. I now feel like warmed over crap.

I need to go to the store and could actually walk there, but it’s cold and rainy outside and I really just want to crawl back into bed. Bed would probably be the worst thing for me, though, because I have really bad lower back and hip pain that is only alleviated when I move around. I really think it may be time for a better mattress, but we’d probably need to order one from AAFES, because German mattresses are not the same size as American mattresses are.

The store can wait until Monday, I guess. I have enough of what I need to get through the weekend. Nothing is open on Sundays. However, I’d kind of like to get that little chore done. I might just drive to the store, even though it’s so close. That way, I won’t get rained on and will be able to haul all of the plastic water bottles I’ve used up rather than trying to carry them. Edited to add: I just went to the store. Piece of cake! And I traded in 7,50 euros worth of plastic bottles. Go me. Seriously, that is the first time I’ve driven my car since late November. I’ve turned into a true hermit.

I really hate how long this TDY is. I miss my husband. I hope he doesn’t have to do another one of these again anytime soon. I can’t believe he’s been gone eight days and we’re not even halfway through this crap yet. It sucks. I need to get a life in the worst way.

Oh well… I did manage to upload a couple of new tracks to SingSnap a couple of days ago. They turned out relatively nicely. Here’s the first one. I swore I’d never sing a Celtic Woman song. I thought I didn’t like Celtic Woman, but then I heard “You Raise Me Up” and decided I should try it. This version was done when I was a little tired. I messed up the ending a little and decided to say “fuck it”…

I like the other one better… This is my impression of Linda Ronstadt singing “When I Grow Too Old To Dream“. I was excited to find a karaoke version of it. I may have to do this one on Garage Band, so I can eliminate the Internet fuzz from the sound. When I record on SingSnap, I get static. Hell, it would give me something else to do besides drink wine… Edited to add: I was listening to Linda Ronstadt last night and this morning and was inspired to learn this song. I think it turned out even better than the other two.

Or maybe you’d rather hear Linda do it. Most people would.

I’m also reading about Chernobyl, the nuclear reactor in Ukraine that blew up in the 1980s and killed many people. Very cheery topic. Actually, it’s an interesting topic, particularly since I remember when the nuclear accident happened in 1986. I was a couple of months shy of turning 14. That was when we thought the Soviet Union would never die. Little did we know, the whole thing would collapse just a few years later. And little did I know that I would one day live in what used to be the USSR.

I surprised myself a little. The book I’m reading explains how nukes work. As I was reading the process, I thought to myself “That’s fission”. Sure enough, it was. I was never that good at science classes, but obviously I learned something. So a very special thanks goes out to the teachers at Gloucester County Public Schools for doing their jobs. I recently read a sad story about dogs who are living in the nuclear wasteland now. They want to be petted, but they’re all full of radiation… just like everything else is in that area. It won’t be safe to live there for hundreds more years. There’s also a former Soviet era listening device there. It’s huge. Legend has it that Phil Donahue was one of the first allowed to visit it. He saw the spy equipment in the distance and was told it was unfinished hotel. Having seen a couple of bare boned hotel skeletons in Armenia, I would agree that’s what it looks like. The link will take you to a post that includes some pictures of naked, unfinished buildings… or maybe they were just buildings that were really messed up after Gyumri’s earthquake in 1988.