Thursday, January 20, 2011

Face Facts

So, yesterday, as I do most mornings before work, I published a blog post and hit the "share on Facebook" button.  I then received the following dreaded message from Facebook:  "Message Failed.  This message contains blocked content that has previously been flagged as abusive or spammy.  Let us know if you think this is an error."  I did let them know, but 24 hours later I haven't received a response.  

I can no longer share any blog posts directly from my blog to Facebook -- even to my own blog's Facebook page.  There is either some Facebook glitch I don't know about or someone flagged my blog as "abusive or spammy."  As you all know, this blog isn't abusive or spammy.  Opinionated, sure.  Sometimes a little strident, maybe.  But not abusive, and certainly not spammy, spammish or even spamesque.

I've spent a little time trying to figure out what to do other than letting Facebook know I think they erred.  Facebook, however, is faceless -- it is impossible to get any real answers directly, and my extra-Facebook research turned up nothing except that I now know there are plenty of other users out there who have been similarly flagged and who are as dumbfounded as me.

Facebook has become a worldwide phenomenon, interwoven into many people's lives.  It was reported in December that nearly half the American population have a Facebook account, and its popularity has grown remarkably overseas as well.  As its reach rapidly expands, there are increasing concerns about privacy, as well as, I have now been made aware, abusive content and spam.  Facebook's response to these issues, which is ever-changing, increasingly complicated, and seemingly random, suggests that the people running things might be out of control. 

If it is so easy for some anonymous person to muck things up for an amateur blogger, then I suppose we should all be wary of becoming too dependent on social networking sites or other kinds of social media.  When things go haywire, we need to be prepared to just let it go or we will wind up feeling completely dispirited and utterly helpless.  I'm trying.  I keep checking every 15 minutes or so to see if Facebook has replied to my error report, but I'm trying.


Lovechilde said...

UPDATE: I was able to post this non-abusive, non-spammy post to Facebook this morning. So, it seems the mysterious ban has been lifted.

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