This day is a day of disgrace for the Social Media world. The source: Facebook. At 5:35 a.m. this morning, dozens of Facebook accounts were disabled. Their offense? Simple, they were RP accounts. They were greeted with the following FAQs about why they were disabled:
Fake accounts are a violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. All accounts must abide by the following policies:
- You must provide your real first name and last name.
- Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited.
- You are not allowed to create multiple accounts that exist solely for the usage of Facebook Platform applications. It is a violation of Facebook policy to maintain more than one account on the site.
- Profiles created to represent celebrities, pets, ideas, or inanimate objects are strictly prohibited.
- Profiles created for the purpose of spamming or harassing others are strictly prohibited.
People on Facebook want to interact with their real friends and the people they know in the real world. Since fake accounts can damage the integrity of this environment, they are not allowed to remain on the site.
They continue further to state “Facebook is built around real world interactions. Operating under an alias detracts from the value of the system as a whole. Users who operate under fake names are also prone to abuse. We take this standard very seriously and remove fake accounts as we become aware of them.”
Why am I pinpointing this statement? Because I personally take offense to that generalization. “Users who operate under fake names are also prone to abuse” Seriously? So the way I read this, every author, actor, and even Roleplayer who uses a name other than their given birth name, is prone to abuse Facebook. I, for one, do not see how my RP Facebook account abused anything on Facebook. Especially considering the account was over a year old. Also, my profile clearly stated I was a ROLE PLAYER. Therefore, where was the false information?
While doing further investigating into the Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities I discovered several disturbing “rules” that have been implemented.
- You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.
- You will not share your password, (or in the case of developers, your secret key), let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.
- You will not transfer your account (including any page or application you administer) to anyone without first getting our written permission.
Okay, so allow me to address these in order. Keeping my contact information accurate and up-to-date. Yes, this is a wonderful goal. But to place it as a rule is ridiculous. In fact, my human’s Real-Life Facebook isn’t even registered under an e-mail she still uses. How’s that for maintaining contact information?
Sharing your password… need I really be childish and say what everyone is thinking as they read this? I guess so. DUH! That is Internet Safety 101. You never give out your password. That being said, allowing someone access to my account. Isn’t that my decision and choice? I believe the should be left to the user’s discretion. It is their account and if they risk having their account hacked or abused, then they are the only ones to blame when their account is disabled.
Transferring of accounts. Once again, this is a case where it should be left to the discretion of the owner of the account. When I read the “without first getting our written permission”, I feel like I am a child who needs their mother to sign a permission slip.
Personally, SookieSC’s Facebook was used as a means to further reach out into the RP world and even to connect with other fans of True Blood. It also allowed my human’s the means to further share her creativity, whether it was by posting blogs, or displaying pictures she designed using GIMP. Based on several of Facebook’s Principles, this was not a violation of use.
- Freedom to Share and Connect
- People should have the freedom to share whatever information they want, in any medium and any format, and have the right to connect online with anyone – any person, organization or service – as long as they both consent to the connection
- Basically this right was violated. Facebook is CLEARLY stating that Role Players don’t have the freedom to share whatever information they choose, in ANY medium OR format.
- Ownership and Control of Information
- People should own their information. They should have the freedom to share it with anyone they want and take it with them anywhere they want, including removing it from the Facebook Service. People should have the freedom to decide with whom they will share their information, and to set privacy controls to protect those choices. Those controls, however, are not capable of limiting how those who have received information may use it, particularly outside the Facebook Service.
- We should own our information… except wait, we weren’t even informed about the impending disabling of our accounts. If my 2,000 + friends on Facebook, didn’t have a problem with the content I was sharing, why does Facebook? Oh THAT’S RIGHT… it’s considered a fake account. Except, it wasn’t a fake account. A real person was running it, was distributing content, talking to other Facebook members, both RP and RL.
- Free Flow of Information
- People should have the freedom to access all of the information made available to them by others. People should also have practical tools that make it easy, quick, and efficient to share and access this information.
- See the above answer.
- Fundamental Equality
- Every Person – whether individual, advertiser, developer, organization, or other entity – should have representation and access to distribution and information within the Facebook Service, regardless of the Person’s primary activity. There should be a single set of principles, rights, and responsibilities that should apply to all People using the Facebook Service.
- Key wording: “Regardless of the Person’s primary activity” Enough said.
- Social Value
- People should have the freedom to build trust and reputation through their identity and connections, and should not have their presence on the Facebook Service removed for reasons other than those described in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
- Once again… enough said.
- Open Platforms and Standards
- People should have programmatic interfaces for sharing and accessing the information available to them. The specifications for these interfaces should be published and made available and accessible to everyone.
- Fundamental Service
- People should be able to use Facebook for free to establish a presence, connect with others, and share information with them. Every Person should be able to use the Facebook Service regardless of his or her level of participation or contribution.
- I personally used Facebook to connect with others, who like me, either Role Played or enjoy True Blood.
- Common Welfare
- The rights and responsibilities of Facebook and the People that use it should be described in a Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which should not be inconsistent with these Principles.
- Seems to me, several of the rights and responsibilities ARE inconsistent with these Principles.
- Transparent Process
- Facebook should publicly make available information about its purpose, plans, policies, and operations. Facebook should have a town hall process of notice and comment and a system of voting to encourage input and discourse on amendments to these Principles or to the Rights and Responsibilities.
- Since I wasn’t even notified about my account being disabled, I doubt this principle is being followed by those who run Facebook.
- One World
- The Facebook Service should transcend geographic and national boundaries and be available to everyone in the world.
- Unless they have a Role Play account?
Supposedly, several people who were disabled have already recreated their accounts. I personally will not be doing so and am even considering deleting my RL facebook as well. For those of you who have yet to be disabled, it is only a matter of time before it occurs. So be prepared. I can only hope that Twitter doesn’t follow suit.