Friday, December 28, 2018

Facebook’s Arbitrary Cruelty and Bigotry

I’m poor.  I’m disabled.  I suffer from social anxiety.  All of the people with whom I share the most in common I’ve found to live far away.  People in my neighborhood, my town, my community… do not get me, and I do not get them.  But through social media, I have found close friends from throughout the world who I can geek out with.  People who get me, and I get them.
Facebook has disabled my account.  First they said it was for my security, and then it was for violating their terms of service.  These are my violations:
I am bi-gender and queer.  Though my legal name (which I use as an author) is Robert E. Wronski, Jr., to express my feminine side, I use the name Robyn.  My friends all call me Robyn.  So my profile name was Robyn.  Facebook didn’t like this.
Because I have a male body but identity as both male and female, I used avatars of female characters like the Doctor (Jodie Whitacker) or Supergirl as my profile pictures.  I wasn’t trying to pretend I was someone I’m not.  My Facebook photo album had plenty of real pictures of me.  But Facebook didn’t like when I used a female picture.  (Note they never minded when I used male fictional character avatars.)
And the worst offense apparently was that I was too social on a social media site.  Apparently I liked too many people’s posts, as if that’s a bad thing.  I participated in too many discussion groups and I shared too many funny memes.  The social network site told me that being social and being true to myself were violations of their terms of service.
I tried to create a new, straight account.  After a day I guess they caught on that it was the same queer me, because of their facial recognition and gps locator tech.  So they disabled my new account.
Facebook has cut me off from my social world.  This is what a social network has done.  They can claim they think I’m a fake person, because clearly they use computer algorithms to make their determinations.  If a human actually looked at my page they’d see I was a real person using the site the way they say it’s intended.  But meanwhile they allow Russian hackers, Nigerian scammers, and Sunglasses spammers.
I don’t do well in face to face social situations.  I don’t get along well with the people in my community.  I’m a poor person who has to eat at soup kitchens, where most of the folks around me have interests that involve shooting up heroin and fighting.  I found a way to get past my circumstances and found an outlet where I could connect with people who liked to talk about alternate timelines, shared realities, and all sorts of important trivial fiction.  But Facebook took that away.  Because they don’t like people who are gay and they don’t like people who are transgender, and they seem to want to target people who actually use Facebook as a social network.
I no longer have a connection to my friends.  I can no longer have my forum where I can collaborate with the other fanboys, geeks, crossoverists, authors, publishers, and podcasters.  I no longer have access to the forum where people discuss my website, my books, and my podcast.
And also, I am no longer able to be the social media person for my church, a volunteer position that I’ve held for a couple of years now and that’s given me some purpose.  That’s gone now too.
So I am asking someone out there to make a better Facebook.  Make a social network site that allows people to be true to themselves, that allows people to be able to be friends with whoever they wish, and are allowed to geek out and collaborate with other creative types about whatever geekdom that tickles their fancy.
Now I’m just going to be alone, isolate from all those I care about, because Facebook has decided that I don’t get to have friends, because I’m queer.

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