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Can Someone Reboot Facebook's Clue Server?

One way to tell when your social group has made it big is when a bunch of idiots who are the antithesis of what you are and do become what you are known for.  Because they grab the headlines and get the attention, people assume EVERYONE in the group is like that.  On the right, you had the Tea Partiers.  Originally just a group of people who wanted tax reform, their numbers swelled with faux libertarians who saw a ready-made organization they could hijack instad of building and defining their own from scratch.  On the left, you had Occupy Wall Street.  They went from a group that was demanding accountability to a bunch of idiots protesting the wrong things to the wrong people, with a representative who called herself "Ketchup" getting an interview on cable news, turning the group into a laughing stock before they could get anything done.  Christians have had this problem for eons, as the intolerant dipshits claiming to know the Will Of God try to hold people's salvation hostage while most Christians want to live in harmony and understanding like Jesus taught (Dan Savage was notorious for taking cheap shots at Christians, until he started hearing from the rank and file, prompting him to create the NALT, or Not All Like That, tag so they could separate themeselves from the deserving targets).

Over the past few years, the Progressive movement has morphed in the Regressive movement, undermining the very things their predecessors fought and died for, embracing "separate but equal" without a hint of irony.  But no one wants to be left out.  On the right, the zombie of the Tea Party movement revived and shambled out of the ditch it had been dumped in, spurred on by the victory of Donald Trump.  In just a few months, they have managed to equal the Regressives on the scale of Crazy.  Now both sides are locked in a fierce battle to see who can be the bigger screwball.  The Trumpies raised the stakes pretty quick, especially when it came to Freedom Of Speech.  You better be careful what you say, because we're watching you!  Well, the Regressives may not have as many outlets as the Trumpies have, but they have bigger ones, sort of the difference between more shovels and a bigger shovel.  And one of their biggest is Facebook.

It wasn't that long ago that Facebook was getting hammered for helping diseminate "fake news" (is there any other kind?  HA!  ZING!).  But Facebook is also looking at problems with its investors.  People forgot the lesson of Machinima and the Pewdie Pie debacle with Levi's.  After all, part of what scuttled the Twitter buyout was all the trolls and various other stupid people tweeting out provocative and outrageous statements and people saying, "We don't want to buy that and have to deal with it!"  Facebook isn't quite as bad as Twitter, but it can give it a run for its money.  And that means a ban hammer with a hair trigger.

CIMG0378

Who remembers this?  This is Tara Strong, a legend in the voice acting community.  Her resume is as varied as it is extensive, and as you can guess, she is the voice of Twilight Sparkle on My Little Pony -- Friendship Is Magic.  For years, Strong enjoyed and interacted with the various online fandoms and people, even teasing trolls with a short song she would get other fans to sing along with and other things earning her the title "The Queen Of The Bronies."  However, no one can take all that forever.  Shit gets old.  And Strong hit her limit this weekend in a cautionary tale that ANY post on Facebook is potentially a ticking time bomb.

So, what happened?  Strong has come out swinging at Donald Trump, retweeting and countering various tweets from Agent Orange and his henchwoman Kellyanne Conway.  Mark Hammill has been periodically recording Trump's tweets in the voice of the Joker.  Strong has joined the fun by voicing tweets as Harley Quinn, who she voices in the Batman Arkham games and the new Justice League Action series.  Then, Strong, who is Jewish, posted a picture of herself with Rizwan Manji and the caption, "This is what it look like when Jews & Muslims are friends."  Well, that did it.  The Trumpies took aim at Strong's religion.  She was getting messages calling her derogatory names for Jews and saying she should get the gas chamber.  And like most people with both Twitter and Facebook accounts, she shared the information on both sites, calling for Twitter to suspend the accounts of the assholes.  Normally, Twitter's anti-harassment team moves with the speed of a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.  But they suddenly went, as Sterling Archer would say, from half-assed to quadruple ass (which is, like, eight times the ass).  They suspended the accounts pretty damn quick.

But now, we get to Facebook.  Strong was sharing the anti-Semetic abuse she was getting, and at around 230PM on Jan 27, she found her Facebook account was suspended for being offensive.  No.  I'm not kidding.  Strong, obviously, was pissed, and filed an appeal with FB's abuse team.  On Jan 30, the decision was made -- Facebook COMPELTELY DELETED STRONG'S FB ACCOUNT.  Strong tweeted about this, and all her fans organized and started hammering Facebook to demand they fix this.

This morning, someone at Facebook must have seen all the messages and hashtags, swallowed their gum, and got some people on the phone, because Strong's account is back.  She posted a message of thanks to all her fans for their support.  And I'm glad she's gotten her situation fixed.

But Facebook?  Tell me, Facebook -- why should I trust you?  Your TOS is already stupid (it's the reason I only link to my work instead of posting it directly).  Now, you have a team that makes the absolutely wrong decision, one that would have stood if it wasn't for the power a person's celebrity can bring.  In your quest to attack hateful thoughts, you blew up the wrong target.

Don't worry about protecting us from ourselves or from others.  Worry about protecting us from YOU.

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