I was banned from Facebook for 24 hours, sent to a corner and told not to come out until I thought about what I had done.

My crime?

I shared a picture that came across my Facebook feed that showed a very nude, and very wrinkled old gardener declaring this to be national nude gardening weekend. The picture made me laugh, and apparently, many of my readers too. We had a very funny series of exchanges mocking the old man and his wrinkles, laughter was shared by all. Well, almost all. This one guy got a little carried away in the comments, going on in a fairly icky manner about not only the joys of nudity, freedom from the tyranny of clothing and society, but also plowing his garden with his very special tool. As I said to him: Eeeeuu.

Not only was I sent to a corner, I was sternly warned that Facebook might ban me altogether the next time. No discussion, no appeal. That my friends, is a frightening proposition and as a society, we need to look into the power we have invested in the great Zuckerberg. I know several Facebook pages whose language is far more objectionable than a picture of a pruned up old guy’s private parts, but that’s okay with Facebook. And, while I hate to agree with my slightly creepy Facebook reader, there is a tyranny here that allows us to post Michelangelo’s David but not a guy planting cucumbers. Facebook is Big Brother.

I am all for standards, and I will have no problem avoiding posting nudes, I didn’t really seek this picture out, it was already on Facebook and it made me laugh. I impulsively shared it and was amused by the comments that followed. I am, however, concerned that all of the relationships and history I have could be wiped away by Big Brother Facebook without so much as a discussion. That is wrong.

I am glad that Facebook is a place that is free of pornography and nudity, and whether my old gardner guy is sexual titillating is a not so hard call (pun intended). With as many artist friends as I have, my Facebook news feed is constantly filled with images of beautiful people in far more suggestive poses than our gardener, in fact, if Facebook said I was sent to timeout because the old guy was too unattractive for their pages, I would have understood. At least it would have been funny. Facebook appears to have no sense of irony or understanding of what is sexual. Someone saw a picture of a wrinkled old guy’s zucchini and hit a button with no more thought than I did when I hit share. And, I have no option to discuss it or reason with someone, I am labeled as a sex offender.

Several years ago the Federal Communications Commission was given custody of the nation’s airwaves, dolling out licenses for broadcasters with provisions that they were accountable to the public. Who does Facebook answer to? What if Zuckerberg, who apparently  thinks profanity is fine, but the human body is not, decides to start banning people who are critical of him? He’s got the power, obviously, to ban anyone who displeases him, with no appeal, with no fair hearing.

Today could be my last day on Facebook, or yours. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. So, in the meantime, the words of WKRP in Cincinnati’s  Dr. Johnny Fever will have to do: BOOGER!

2 Responses to On Being a Facebook Criminal

  • Melinda Butler says:

    I don’t believe Zuckerberg gives a flying crap about nudity, profanity or any of that ilk. All that’s going on here is a catering to the largest common denominator. Right, wrong or covered with soy sauce-all the commercial community cares about is maximizing profit. Mess with that–they take you out. Their only principles are the lovely warm feelings they’re left with when they check their bank balance at the end of the day. Also it would cut into profits if he had to pay someone(s) to actually THINK about who they banned instead of what’s more likely a mostly code generated action. You can’t get HUMAN response from a money MACHINE.

  • Valerie in Chicago not on Facebook says:

    Nailed it, Rick. Faceless Book is BIG BROTHER. I’m not on it because I changed internet providers and no matter what I do, until I can supply them — these FACELESS machines — with copies of my BIRTH CERTIFICATE, SOCIAL SECURITY CARD, DRIVER’S LICENSE AND A PHOTO ID I will not be allowed back on. Seriously. It’s been almost a year. A year tomorrow in fact.

    Suffice to say, this MAC went a little MAC and then said Boomer be damned. I’m not going there — almost in a voice as strong as Whitney Houston alive — and so I get to sit in the corner and talk to myself. It’s okay. I’m getting other things done. Like working on my own creative outlet. How to do this without FACELESS BOOK? I’m working on it. But we have indeed given Faceless Book the power over our lives and freedom of speech. Faceless Book gets to decide what is moral, what is not. And yet, there is so much profanity allowed and so much idiocy allowed.

    Whatever — naked guy gardening? Sorry I missed it — in more ways than one!

    Keep stirring the pot, Rick. It’s good to have place where I can still be heard.

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