You’ve probably heard about Facebook’s latest scam, going after performers who don’t use their legal names on the site. Yes, it’s a scam to get money, so I’m calling it how I see it. The legal name is in their TOS, so they have every right to kick people off their site, even if it’s the most despicable thing I can think of. They claim if you are a performer, artist, author, or anyone else who works under some sort of alias, that opening up a Page is the way to go.
Cue record scratch.
Wait now, what? You mean Facebook wants people to use the horrid tool they call Pages—and I don’t mean tool in the useful sense—where maybe 10-15% of followers are shown the content we put out there? Pages were okay up until Facebook started messing with the algorithm and broke it on purpose. I stopped posting on mine with any regularity, partly to avoid the continual prompts to “Boost This Post”, but also because of the knowledge that no one saw the posts anyway. Many artists are focusing their energy on focused groups instead.
Be honest, Facebook. This is all a ploy to make you more money, but we are too smart for this. We already know boosted posts are worthless. You think we’ve all become so dependent on you that we can’t possibly be without your tool. You’re a bully, the worst kind too. Power has gone to your head and you’ve forgotten where you started.
You’re twisting our arms behind our backs, threatening to or even deleting profiles so we’ll open Business Pages—again, which are useless—and then walking away like you have all the power. You’re twisting our arms behinds our backs to get our lunch money.
Facebook, you are no longer the only cowboy in town. And your tools for businesses suck and are lacking many capabilities people want, which is why they probably move over to a typical profile.
- I want to be able to interact with my readers. I can’t do that effectively on Pages.
- I want to interact with other authors. I can’t follow anyone as a business page. I’m stuck listening to the wind whistle and tumbleweeds float past so it’s not a fun experience at all.
- I want people to see my content who have asked to see it. Those that haven’t asked for it, fine. Let them miss out on the wonder that is me. 😉 But only about 10% seeing my posts that want to see them? Get real. Posting on Facebook isn’t my job. Writing is.
- Authors want to interact with people using their pen name, not their real name. No one gives a crap about the man or woman behind the pen name, and frankly, they have families they need to protect. Not everyone can get lost in NYC or Chicago. Some live in isolated places.
- People want to interact safely without risking a day job by using their real name.
Facebook was initially set up as a way to connect with people and expand our social networks. Lately, Facebook has been limiting the number of feeds from friends that I even see. I think I’m the one who should be determining who I’m friends with and who I follow.
And that’s what this all comes down to, isn’t it? Autonomy. I have chosen who I’ve befriended. People friend me and then I have a choice whether or not to accept. It goes the other way too. See? Autonomy. Self-governing.
- Stop sorting my friends for me. Let me interact with all of them, and I can start to limit the ones I want to hear less from.
- Stop telling me I’ve made a poor choice for friending a drag queen because she chose to go onto Facebook with her drag name rather than her given name. I already knew that! I wanted to play with the queen.
- Stop putting LGBTQAI kids at risk by making them pull away from one of the safer sites on the internet to connect with other kids experiencing similar situations just because they use a name that is not a given name.
- Stop putting victims of abuse at risk by outing them to their abusers so they can come and attack them again.
Authors have been booted now. Not all of us are big enough names to have a verified account. I bet most of the authors online are actually small potatoes like me who lack thousands of followers to get that coveted little blue checkmark behind their name.
Twist arms—lose friends, Facebook. Twist arms and you’re going to lose a lot of people who use your site, including potential advertisers and viewers like me, who happen to click on those ads from time to time. Twist arms and you will be standing alone on the playground wondering why everyone moved over to the new social media site. It happened to MySpace, and everyone thought that was indestructible. Keep up the bullying and it’ll happen to you.
And wasn’t Facebook first started because a bullied kid wanted friends?
Latest Update: Facebook refuses to backdown from their real name policy.
Update: It looks like Facebook is willing talk to drag queens about the legal name bit. We’ll see where this goes. I don’t hold up much hope. Cynical much? Yep.