Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All is fair in love and war but this is revolution!

Recently I was sent to jail. No, not the jail where you go after a night of doing shots with your broskis and then making the mistake of trying to drive home, only to wake up with a splitting hangover and being spooned by a large tattooed man. I went to Facebook jail where I cannot comment on other pages or share links with them for 15 days.

However, there is something in common and that is in both cases, someone got something up their ass. One figuratively, one literally. It seems that some groups got such a case of butthurt that progressive and independent groups were banding together to recall politicians who were busting unions. I guess the vote in Ohio to repeal the anti-union law (SB5), the recall effort under way in Wisconsin and the spread of the Occupy movement was more than they could handle.

For weeks now, blog pages such as mine, and other independent/progressive pages have been under attack on Facebook. Before, we just dealt with the occasional troll who showed up. We'd play with them like a cat toys with a mouse before we finally banned them. Then they realized that if enough "spam" reports were filed against certain users or pages, they'd manage to silence that person for a couple weeks.

Facebook has a certain formula or algorithm to determine who it will suspend or ban. I am not sure what it is exactly but my guess is that if a user and/or page posts more than X number of times and gets more than X number of spam reports filed on them, they get suspended. Posts and/or links that mention a certain controversial subject are high on the list, right now OWS is probably leading the pack. There is a certain ratio of posts to complaints in this formula and multiple spam reports on the same post probably move you up that list.

I have learned that all pages are infested with trolls to some extent and you can never be rid of them completely. Some will even lurk on your own page, follow your activity, and then report every one of your posts outside of your page. However, you can possibly limit your liability by not posting on pages that are in direct conflict with your own. Posting on Rick Perry's wall is a good way to get possibly 50 reports for "spam" in less than an hour.

If you are a page admin, monitor your users, especially new ones coming in. While you may catch potential troublemakers at the door, it doesn't hurt to check up on random people and what they post elsewhere. I've banned quite a few people within minutes of them joining my page when I've seen them on other pages starting trouble, before they even got the chance to post on mine.

I believe in the freedom of speech and while Facebook and other social media sites are privately owned, suppressing the rights of others to share their political ideas is just fucked up. I hate to be hypocritical but I think it is time to use the tactics of our antagonists right back on them.

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