Daily Prompt: Freedom of Facebook

Facebook has recently come under attack for failing to enforce its own guidelines on hate speech and violent imagery. Is it a website’s job to moderate the content users post, or should users have freedom to say what they want? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?

I don’t spend much time on Facebook these days.  I’m bombarded by Bible sayings, selfies – which is a picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website – this according to urbandictionary.com, enlightenment sayings, pictures of what friends are having for lunch or dinner, and worst of all, photographs of me that I’ve never approved to be posted online.

So I end up policing my friends and family, having set up my settings so that photographs of me have to be approved before they dare post them – and yet some slip through the cracks.

I remember when one of my master Thai Massage teachers who, during training, pointed to me and gestured that she wanted me to work on her and while I was twisting and bending her like a pretzel (this is Thai Massage we’re talking about here after all), my fellow classmates were busy snapping pics left and right.

Stomach in, chest out, wet your lips.  Check.

I was so pleased with myself.   It was such an honor to be asked to work on a master teacher, and I couldn’t wait to post the photographs on my website (Facebook at this time was simply a sparkle in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye).  That is, until said master teacher got a hold of the camera, viewed the photographs and in her limited English, shook her head and adamantly said NO NO NO, or rather, MAI, MAI, MAI.

I looked at what she was protesting about.  And I had to admit she was right not to have me post any of those photographs anywhere.  It’s not that she didn’t look great – she looked fine – but she felt that she was receiving a massage and not primarily thinking about keeping her stomach in, her chest out and wetting her lips.

I did end up with a few photographs with her that she approved and those ended up on my websites and brochures.  And we were both happy with that.

Facebook, however, is a whole different story.

No one bothers to ask you whether you do mind having your photographs plastered all over their timeline AND their albums.  No one cares to ask for permission anymore.  It’s assumed that the moment you step out of your home, it’s a free for all and your face can be plastered anywhere.

And really, if my friends and family are reading this, that is just not cool.

So when it comes to all the political statements, bible verses, selfies that come up again and again and yet again (don’t these people get tired of taking selfies?  Because I know I sure get tired having to look at them), and even photographs of massacres that I never signed up to see, that’s alright.  I can live with that.  After all, it takes about five seconds to click on the arrow thingy on the right of that post and click “hide” and it’s gone forever – until they post it again on  their timeline.  That’s when I un-friend them.

But unapproved pictures of me?  Nope, I can’t deal with that.  Just. Can’t.

I can’t even un-friend them for fear that they’ll be posting pictures of me online and I absolutely will never know!  The horror!

Maybe I could have Zuckerberg have his minions police my friends’ and family members’ timelines and censor any unapproved photographs, or even better, unflattering photographs of me.  Maybe they can run each photograph through a list of requirements, ticking each one off (like, is the light flattering?  Is it showing her left side – since that is, after all, her better side?  Are there any grays in her hair?  Is her stomach held in, her chest out, her lips wet?) and after that’s all done and only when everything on the list gets checked, then they can go ahead and set it free on everyone’s timelines for all to see.

But let’s face it, do you really expect that to happen?  I won’t hold my breath.

But I do hope my friends and family exercise a bit of common sense before posting any of my photographs and run each one through that check list I just emailed to each and everyone of them right now.

Daily Post:  Freedom of Facebook

22 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Freedom of Facebook

  1. I was once startled to find a photo of me (and friends) from my first uni graduation on Facebook! I must admit, I looked quite dapper in my tux, though 🙂
    It is worrying to know that “unapproved” pictures of me (looking like anything) could be anywhere. In my last post here I put up a rather unflattering picture of me as a kid, but that was MY CHOICE.

    1. Oh, those pics are out there 😉

      I found a pic of me from high school that I didn’t even know existed, and it was surreal. What I hate the most is when people TAG you in the photographs, too – the same photographs you did not approve 🙂

      Thank goodness, one the person in question un-tags themselves, no one can tag that same pic with your name anymore – BWAHAHAHA

  2. Yes yes yes!!! I’ve seen pics of me in high school, and at drunken teenage parties and what makes my blood boil most – pics of my kids splashed all over FB. I think it rude and presumptious not to ask first. I’ve told most of my friends and they no longer do it but there are others out there who continue to. And to those of you who continue to post the following: I DON’T WANT TO SEE WHAT YOU COOKED FOR DINNER, WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO PILATES AND RANDOM PICS OF ‘CUTE’ RANDOM CATS!

      1. Just playing with you 😉

        That’s the same reason I’m not on Facebook anymore either. It’s like an alternate identity where they don’t know that I write stories about a certain spy and a majestic dwarf 😉

      2. Ha Ha Ha! Me too – Ive just created a new FB account for all RA related obsessing!! (there are cats and food there too though… 🙂 )

  3. I do not use facebook very often except as a lurker because I have someone wonderfully funny fellow students and former profs. They do political commentary (they are lefties all), but no Bible quotes (except as exercise in parsing Aramaic or koine), but they post from their digs and share news and links that I really enjoy. So I think facebook serves a useful purpose for me.

    On the other hand I feel really strongly about the lack of privacy in anyone’s life which is represented by the postig of photos which the subject didn’t agree to, which is why I will not pose for any group or single pictures. So far, I have been lucky (I hope) and no one has posted pictures of me.

    However strongly I feel about lack of privacy I feel even more strongly about facebook’s failure to police itself on hate speech and violent imagery.

    Those two things colided with the Steubenville case – and that’s all I’m going to say about that. It should be a lesson to everyone.

    1. I went to a private Catholic school from grade school to college, so majority of my ‘friends’ on my personal FB account started with them – most of whom I don’t remember, to be honest. So I see the religious sayings a lot, which can be quite trying. And photographs – everyone has to post photographs and don’t think twice about asking for permission. I went to a gathering at the last minute and next thing I know the group pics were everywhere on FB that I gave up untagging them. So now I don’t do any reunions at all, not that I like these HS reunions to begin with LOL

      I do have another FB page just for my students and my practice and that is pretty tame – too tame. I post anatomy and massage information and that’s about it. Oh, and I think I’ve liked all the Richard Armitage pages from there, so that’s one thing my students probably have learned about me outside of the classroom 🙂

      1. It’s weird because some of my profs post more personal comments and pictures than their students. One of them used to tweet from his dig in the Near East on his personal account, but stopped that rather suddenly. ( I’m not sure why, but maybe it has something to do with this: on the subject of “Bible quotes” some capital-C Crazy guy recently posted a scary video on youtube attacking a book that prof wrote. The facebook posts stopped about a year or so before that, though.)

        On the other side of the coin, one of my profs gets up and walks away whenever anyone pulls out a camera. She claims it’s because whenever a camera is pointed in her direction, the photo looks as if she’s just been pulled from a lake, a slimy lake. I sympathize since I am possibly the least photogenic person on the planet. On the up-side, my own friends sometimes don’t recognize me 😀

        I don’t actually do Armitage stuff on facebook, or at least not openly. I’m glad of it now because I read on another blog that someone got flamed for disagreeing with some all-caps CRAZY Pace-Armitage shippers. :-/
        I also prefer to keep any work colleagues or potential future profs from knowing anything about me. (Paranoid, you say? I’ve got reasons.)

      2. I’ve had to give up policing the recording going on in my classes, especially my massage classes because the videos, regardless whether I look like Dory making whale sounds or not, help the students when it’s time for the hands-on practice. The only thing I ask them that I better not see it on FB or YT – not that I can do anything about that really.

        So when I come to class to teach, and I’m all made up, I tell them that I’m ready for my close up 🙂

        Fortunately for my Armitage admiration on FB, it’s limited to liking a few photos. I don’t make any comments or get involved in any flaming or disagreeing. FB is not the place for that where there is definitely NO policing and you’re just inviting stress in your life. I have my blog for that 😀

  4. Yeah. I don’t even put my like on the pictures.

    I hear from around the net that the Crazy is alive and well over on other parts of the internet than facebook where somebody was posting certain rumours and then accusing everyone who disagrees with being in some kind of weird conspiracy to Keep The Truth Secret. It’s really deja vu. I’m waiting for someone to light a purple candle

    1. I’m so clueless that I don’t even have an idea what you mean by keeping the truth secret, and the purple candle 😀

      Although as I wrote those words, I think I got what you just meant.

      “There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.” Trolls maybe?

  5. Oh, the purple candle is an old joke my friends used to make about the original LOTR crazy shippers. Apparently it was something the shippers really said that they should do. There was a whole board or community dedicated to following their craziness, which went on for years. A friend sent me a link and I remember that it was hilarious sometimes.

    So yeah, trolls. Trolls in the lounge seating area 😉

  6. On a totally unrelated note, your wallpaper for this blog means that Lucas is looking right at me. It’s a little disconcerting. Makes me think I should tidy myself up a bit before sitting down to the computer – or at least not be wearing a tshirt someone else would use for painting rags 😀

  7. Just so you understand that I was only nekkid because I was out of the shower. Nothing else was going on.

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