REALLY, FACEBOOK? REALLY? By Joe Mannetti


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Perhaps you have heard about Facebook’s recent policy that is causing quite a stir amongst many Drag performers, porn entertainers, and The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence among others.

It was addressed in a very well-written and recently published article written brilliantly by Hamm Samwich and titled “A DRAG QUEEN’S OPEN LETTER TO FACEBOOK” [see link below]:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hamm-samwich/nominative-dysphoria-a-dr_b_5839148.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000050

In this article, Hamm writes; “This issue has already received some media attention, and the details don’t need to be comprehensively rehashed, but here’s the bare bones: Facebook has been laying down the law on its ‘real names policy’ in a way that’s disproportionately affecting the drag community. The mechanics of this are easy to understand: we’re a small and tightly knit online population, and each one of us is no more than 2 degrees of separation from any other. Having realized this, some genius at FB headquarters seems to be going through the friend lists of a few well connected queens and deactivating anything that looks like it might be wearing a wig. So, in a matter of days, an online oasis of Rubies, Rapunzels, Mistys and Merries has been demolished into a junkyard of Richards, Ryans and Kens.

This is more than just a bummer, it amounts to the extirpation of a way of life we’ve put a great deal of time and effort into cultivating. The trouble, however, lies in figuring out just how angry we deserve to be about it.” I, for one, am extremely angry. Outraged might be a better adjective. But, my feelings stem from more than what was expressed by the words of this writer. I also do not understand why Facebook would go so aggressively out of its way to target a community of philanthropists and entertainers who have raised money for HIV/AIDS support services and Transgender rights as well as raised awareness for LGBT issues and the value of diversity.

But, I am appalled at Facebook for other reasons too. Facebook terms reportedly state; “the name you use should be your real name as it would be listed on your credit card, driver’s license or student ID.” Facebook rules also demand; “Facebook is a community where people use their real identities. We require everyone to provide their real names, so you always know who you’re connecting with. This helps keep our community safe.”

Bullshit. Pure lying, inaccurate, and unadulterated BULLSHIT, Facebook! While you have clearly chosen to target a group of people whose aim is to use their powers for good and not to bully others, you have failed miserably at removing and preventing fake profiles that have impersonated others and cyber stalked your pages RELENTLESSLY with the sole intent of bullying and attacking other real profiles belonging to real people on your social network. Despite the fact that these fake profiles were repeatedly reported for abuse in many instances, you did not remove many of them. In allowing them to remain, conveniently overlooking your own polices, you allowed ruthless bullying to continue. Now, you are giving deadlines and ultimatums to people with profiles here who have never attacked or attempted to harm others after allowing other fake profiles to remain that existed only to spread hate – even after they were reported for abuse. You have even allowed racist pages mocking the deaths of young Black men like Trayvon Martin to remain, again even after overwhelming reports of abuse were presented to you. You did nothing time and again. Yet, you cannot act quickly enough to remove the profiles of performers and people with personas that used their names and actions to promote goodwill, fundraising, and diversity awareness.

Honestly, the hypocrisy and double standard virtually SCREAMS out at anyone observing this nonsense unfold, Facebook. As a spokesperson for an anti-bullying campaign, I am calling you out. You are a bully, Facebook. You have protected fake profiles belonging to bullies without lifting a finger to remove them OR confirming the true identities behind them, and now you are bullying people who are important figures in our LGBT communities who have harmed nobody.

Shame on you.

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About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (www.pacificinstitute.co.uk), personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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