I received a notification from Facebook yesterday morning when I turned on my phone, informing me that a comment I’d made back on April 26 had been deemed ‘Hate Speech’ and been removed from the post to which it had been associated. The comment at worst was a flippant remark about an article from Buzzfeednews.com that had been referenced by a friend of mine. Hardly incendiary and in no way (in my apparently amateur opinion) should have been considered something hateful or inciteful.
FB’s algorithm (or someone else) disagreed and it was censored/removed from public view. FB did allow me a chance to have the comment reviewed again to see if it was censored in error, and I pushed that button heartily after reading their corresponding link about their ‘Community Guidelines’ they so thoughtfully provided me. Nothing whatsoever in what I read suggested that what I wrote was either wrongful, hurtful or in violation of what they insisted was the problem. About an hour later I received the expected update. Request denied.
As is the case with people who have encountered ‘Facebook Jail’, when they’re summarily removed from the site for a number of days up to a month, there’s little recourse in getting the powers that be there to change their minds. They’re holding all the cards, it’s their fiefdom and we’re just guests there, allowing them to use our data and information for whatever they wish to use it for. It’s not a multi-billion dollar company by accident.
Admittedly, this is really only the second time I’ve run up against this sort of peccadillo. The last time was a couple of years ago, and it touched upon BDSM, though I don’t completely remember the reference. What I do recall was, as in this case I wasn’t able to plead my side of the case, to their mind I wasn’t permitted a side, the decision was made whether I liked it or not. Honestly, for the most part I don’t use FB all that much. I keep in touch with some people I went to HS with, my birth mother, some of my cousins and that’s about it. While I have 250+ friends listed on my profile, the vast majority of these people I haven’t seen in more than 35 years. So if I got kicked out tomorrow, it wouldn’t take me more than a couple of hours to pick up the pieces. If that. So nothing much really would be lost by me.
Bottom line, this irked me. And I don’t like feeling irked. I’m not thrilled with being censored either.