Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Trouble With The Almighty Social Network Facebook And Why We All Should Stop Spending So Much Time There

Facebook, it's become part of our lives every bit as much as the telephone has. Mark Zuckerberg created the ultimate in social networks that went beyond just connecting colleges  and university students; it connected the world. I won't be a hypocrite about it because I use Facebook. I like being able to stay in contact with relatives, friends, people I have met, networking with other creative minds, and let's not forget the world of the role players and other artistic folks. So what is the problem? Where do you want me to start?

Facebook is the breeding ground for online bullying, hate groups, cat fishing, fraud, and drama worthy of an entire season of Jerry Springer complete with stripper pole. I am not for censorship and I stand beside the 2nd Amendment from the US Constitution even when it comes to idiots and hate groups spewing forth their idiocy. What grinds my gears and makes me madder than a wet hen is that they choose either personally or by automated checks on what they will moderate and what they will not. I want to disclose this here and now-Facebook is not moral. It's not their job to protect any of us users. It's not. They put guidelines down to protect themselves. They're a corporation; a publicly traded company and they only care about what won't come back to bite them in their backsides or cost them money. Facebook Inc. IS in this for the money. Mark Zuckerberg didn't create Facebook as a public service. We've all seen the movie, The Social Network. No where in that movie did it convey that he created it for the masses for nothing more than to have his name attached as Creator and nothing more. Sorry, there's only one person who has continually given un-selfishly, and he's fictional and drives a sleigh at Christmas. I'm not hating on Mark though. I am hating the fact that there's just so much wrong with Facebook and the innocent and what's right with the network are being spit on and deleted.

For people like me, writers and those wanting to promote themselves and their businesses, Facebook is a great tool to use. However, at any given time one's page or group can be deleted for nothing more than some one's opinion. Not long ago, my dear friend and fellow author had posted a picture of a very good looking male model. The man was nude but he was not posed in a pornographic way-just the opposite. It was a very artistic rendition of the male form and the picture was reported for being indecent. There was no genitalia or inner butt crack, which by movie and television standards must be covered along with a woman's nipples. Now this author who does have steady book sales and quite a fan base, is locked out of her group account for seven days. How does one get reported? It is quite simple. If a page or group gets more than one person (or an IP address with multiple accounts-which violates Facebook Terms of Service) to report an account by clicking by their name, then the page is flagged and either a human tech or automated one will check the page or suggested item that is flagged. It doesn't matter if the person(s) reporting are from the same IP address or if someone who is trolling or just wanting to cause trouble is reporting falsely. Facebook could care less. Again, they are not here for you or I; but themselves.

Facebook should care about people but they don't. I'm not sure any social network out there actually does but since Facebook is the most widely used, one would think they might grow a conscience and decide to at least be more user friendly rather than cram updates, apps, games, and more changes down our throats. It's getting more and more costly just to use Facebook in one way or another. Online bullying on Facebook is rampant as is just the average citizen who constantly throws their own tantrums and such causing misery for other users because again, Facebook isn't monitoring them. Cat fishing and other scams are pretty commonplace as well. Facebook does not work with local law around the nation's sexual predator lists-so Facebook is to a pedophile what Toys R Us would be to a kid. Sadly, there's no place online that is going to be 100% free of this since the World Wide Web gives users anonymity.  Anyone can be anyone and danger can wear the mask of innocence when it comes to the Internet especially concerning social networks.

I've spoken about cat fishing and I want to stop a train of thought before it gets started. Role Players are not cat fishers. A large percentage of Facebook users are men and mostly women who in the spirit of being the ultimate fans of comics, games, books, movies, or even their own creations create pages so they can let their love of subject/character and creativity shine through. It's no different really than those people on You Tube that make videos. Everyone wants to have their own entertainment. Facebook however, has been making strides to eradicate Role Players and I am not sure as to why that is. They will allow hate groups and what not but pick on peaceful people who love theatrics, drama, and creating stories. All of these groups for the most part are rated so that underage children cannot gain access to them and are as safe as any other Facebook profile if not more because there are actual human beings who are moderating around the clock. As with anything there are good role players and groups and then there are bad ones. It's all a matter of doing just a bit of research and communicating with the people in these groups to feel out which ones are legit and which ones are harmful and toxic. Many great groups have been punished for nothing more than being ultimate fans and creative persons. There is no appeals and no human person to go to when a legit group is reported.

I can keep going on and on but artistic and creative people are not wanted on Facebook. Facebook gives the illusion that it's a social media for all, but in reality-they want those who are going to generate money and all us common folk-don't do it. It's like being in high school and while it's a public school, the A listers and the "In" crowd are going to set the tone and bully when they can and when they want.  So maybe, we should all find our own social network. Mark can't be the only one that has mastered the HTML Coding and programing. Facebook can't be the only way in which human beings can communicate and network on the World Wide Web, can it? Perhaps, we should all stop spending so much time and money on Facebook. It's a corporation that is using us far more than we are using it.


10 comments:

Haven Malone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Haven Malone said...

Wonderfully put Nikki and I completely with everything you said. The trouble is, as far as I can tell, there is no other social network who has such a system as Facebook. I am a member of Google+ but it is definitely not the same. I hope that someone has a viable alternative because I know of nobody who has a similar system.

Nicole Noffsinger said...

Haven, that's the crux of the problem with a lot of us. We, for the most part, all were My Space people until that failed and there's always Twitter, but for people like us-we just can't promote our books and ourselves in a 140 character tweet. Facebook is what it is because there's no competition. We are simply hanging around waiting for the next big "thing" to come along.

Denysé Bridger said...

I agree with some of your sentiments here, Nikki, but not all. We'll have to disagree about the role play presence in at least 90% of the cases currently acting out their delusions of grandeur and cyber-bullying on Facebook. I've met far too many who think it's their right to violate copyright laws and basic decency in the name of creativity. People get far too brave hiding behind false profiles that make them feel safe and powerful.

What Facebook DOES need is a viable system of appeal about these automated reports. There should be a way to request a human review, and receive it. Unlikely it will happen, of course.

Less and less time is being spent on FB by many authors who are getting weary of the wars, jealousies, and absurdity of ever-changing rules. Mostly until adults begin to relearn how to be grown-ups with some common sense, and behave in a responsible way, there is no hope for any social network.

Haven Malone said...

Okay, well, I have been in search of other networks and think perhaps I may have found one.It's called A Small World. The only thing is, I can't get in there yet to see what it's all about. You have to submit an application to them and, I am assuming anyway, that it needs to be approved by their administrators. If anyone knows anything about this site, more info would be greatly appreciate by me. There is also google+ but it does not work the same as facebook. You have to admit people into your circles and hope they add you back. Some do, some don't. Anyway, working on this issue. I noticed this morning that one of my "liked" pages has been reported for using a picture to represent the group for a number of years now and, as a result, has been forced to remove it.How can facebook allow a picture to remain in place for years only to shut it down because of one complaint? That's just not right.

Nicole Noffsinger said...

Denyse, I totally get where you are coming from. We both have seen the good, the bad, and the absolute worst when it comes to RP groups, but I couldn't shame all of them because there are a lot of good groups and people that are just wanting to have fun and find some enjoyment. I have never heard of Small World but if you have to have a membership or submit an application then my question is how easy is it for our fans and potential fans to be able to look us up there and interact with us?

Lia Katagaria-Kattalakis said...

Nikki THANK YOU for your support & you have voiced my thoughts & in such a concise & diplomatic way. Much better than me going after them with my Sharp Shineys... Which would end up with my one phone call to Bill Laurens....

Kenneth Roy Ezell said...

The main issue with FB right now is the use of the profile/Timeline type pages for fanfic/RP pages. They want a real name on those pages so they can get paid for giving those names over to advertisers and corp accounts who post ads. As a writer on a few pages in a large group and a few indie pages I write on, we can't use the so called like pages or groups as they will not let us post to other pages. So we use the profile/timeline pages for our chars. A simple add of a few lines of code on a like page and I would use it if it could post on other pages. I was asked to join FB right as it started and have seen it grow, hell I was a beta user and helped with the message system they now have. Denyse your number of 90% is way to high and you will find a good number of those who have what you call delusions of grandeur are the same folks with hundreds if not thousands of pages they use to cyber sex with. Those folks are not the norm and give the rest a very bad name. I know this to be fact as I track a large number of them as a admin to keep them off our pages. I don't steal pictures or use copyrighted stuff on any of my pages, and I have a copy of the legal letter given to use by the author we fan fic/RP. I'm a writer and love to write plain and simple. I have had my pages taken by FB in the past and got them back by showing my real ID, but some can't do that for personal reasons. FB does not ask for a ID to open a page, it's in there rules to never show your ID to anyone on FB, but has the balls to ask for it to get pages back even if it was reported wrongly. If the mail person came to your mail box and took your mail and said you don't get it unless you show ID you could sue the hell out of them, FB does this every time they take a page and give you no way to recover your writing or your personal email/IMs. This is just wrong on so many levels. And to add insult to this they have no way to be contacted, only a automated bot system to plea your case. I find this a very crazy way to handle customer service. It is true a good number of folks need there pages taken for reasons anyone would say yeah thats just wrong, but it seems those are the pages that stay around and never get dumped. It's realy sad FB has changed over the years to something like a gamers/apps dealer. I was welcomed as a writer and asked to come here at the start and FB has forgot who got them to were they are now,sad indeed. in a few years all you will see here is gamers and large corp selling there next big thing like E-bay did. The big money talks to them and we the folks who built them up will go the way of the dodo bird. They should take note of what happened to Yahoo auction when they went corp, they closed down all but the japanese auction markets. If you have FB stock sell it now or you to will eat crow and wonder what the hell happened to the good thing. Don't take my word for it just open your eyes and see for yourself over the next few years. Take care everyone and I do hope you find your happy place. Go in peace....

Blogger said...

I have just installed iStripper, and now I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

Blogger said...

Are you looking for free Twitter Re-tweets?
Did you know you can get these AUTOMATICALLY AND ABSOLUTELY FREE by registering on Like 4 Like?