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Facebook Freeze-Out: Me and the studly Surferboy

I've always wondered how the gods of Facebook kept us, the feckless facelessbooking community, safe -- and today I found out.

Because they decided that our community needed to be kept safe from me.

It started with this really dishy guy, who was posting pictures of himself topless on the beach for his birthday. His birthday number starts with an 8 -- in other words, a decade in which not many can go topless and look dishy -- but this dude was able to pull it off, so to speak.

I could say he was being provocative. That he was asking for it. But let me not diminish my responsibility as a FB predator.

The dude, Ray Heard, is a man who is much, much more than a shapely senior beach stud. He has a distinguished history as a journalist, an international civil libertarian, a Harvard grad, advisor to policy makers.

If he chooses to go topless in public, it's his body. He has the right to display it as he wishes. Truthfully, seeing as he's got It, he has the right to flaunt It, without being egregiously and sexistly commodified...

Oh, I knew I shouldn't have given into the impulse to comment. But I'm only flesh and blood. And I was pretty sure I wasn't the only woman breathing a little faster at those pictures.

It was the one with him and the surfboard that tipped me over the edge.

Women are fools for a hunky surfer guy; please be kind, I typed.

I was blithely scrolling on, through pet pictures and quotes about loving yourself, when my screen suddenly went fuzzy...and was filled with a huge warning....under the FB Support logo:

women are fools for a hunky surfer guy, please be kind

Your comment goes against our Community Standards on hate speech and inferiority

No one else can see your comment.

We have these standards to protect certain groups of people being described as inferior to others.

Repeatedly violating our Community Standards can cause further account restrictions.

If you think we've made a mistake you can disagree with the decision.

Hate speech! Inferiority!

It was about demeaning my own sisters. How could I have written Women are fools ...?

My head flamed with visions of banishment, disgrace, a record forever besmirched, my children and their children under permanent surveillance, barred from government jobs, cut off for all time from the perfervidly indispensable world of social media.

Unfriended for eternity.

But pressing the "Continue" button on the Facebook edict, to beg for a review, only plunged my screen into a pulsing grey maelstrom.

I shut down my computer. Icy-fingered, quavering, turned it back on.

And suddenly, a new FB notice appeared:

You disagreed with the decision

We usually offer the chance to request a review, and follow up if we got decisions wrong.

We have fewer reviewers available right now because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We're trying hard to prioritize reviewing content with the most potential for harm.

This means we may not be able to follow up with you, though your feedback helps us do better in the future.

Thank you for understanding.

Feverishly, to help boost my case and de-smirch my name, even in some distant non-viral fully-staffed future, I messaged Ray about the misunderstanding. And I typed a more sister-friendly version of the comment, on his surfboard picture:

Women go wild for you hunky surferboys; please be kind.

My heart was pounding. I needed to get away from FB, from the sword suspended over my head. But a fevered half-hour on the treadmill did not dispel the terrors.

I signed back in.

There was a new notification. Trembling anew, I hit the icon.

And the gods had sent this:

Your comment is back on Facebook

We're sorry we got this wrong. We reviewed your comment again and it does follow our Community Standards.

We appreciate you taking the time to request a review. Your feedback helps us do better.

Error! Filename not specified.

Today at 9:57 AM

About your comment:

No one else can see your comment.

Today at 10:18 AM

You disagreed with the decision

Thanks for your feedback. We use it to make improvements on future decisions.

Wow. So: Mark Z and me: we're like this, side by side forever, now. He'll probably seek my feedback on everything.

Okay: so both of my surfer-love comments are now on Ray's surfer photo. So I look like some kind of hyper stalker.

It's worth it.

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1 Comment

John Pohl
John Pohl
Dec 21, 2021

Who said FB doesn't police hate speech? The Trumpsters must be running scared.

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