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Bonkers Blog March 2019

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24 March - Farcebook

I have mentioned in passing more than once that I don’t like Facebook, it’s the way it operates that annoys me, it can be too difficult to find something that was on the top of the pile only yesterday and I still haven’t a clue what a Friend request is. What advantages does that confer? I ignore them all and hope for the best.

e_NiroI’d cancel my account except that it is the only way of way of keeping in touch with some people. Today for example I was in Surrey because a Facebook Group based there asked me to take my car to one of their car enthusiast meetings. I didn’t realise until very recently that the car I bought six months ago is one of fewer than 200 in the country and they wanted to look at it. So I had a nice day out because of Facebook.

On the other hand I joined a group based in my old home town called ‘Farnborough (Hants) nostalgia’. I have a load of old photos of the place taken in the 1950s and thought I would share them. I wasn’t completely surprised that a dozen or more of my photos were already on the site. I have passed on a few over the years and that they end up on the internet is to be expected these days. I didn’t care much that none were credited but two were being passed off as the site administrator’s own work.

The most recently posted one was still attracting comments and someone was wondering which school badge was on a blazer. I made no comment except to scan the negative again and post a big blow up of the badge. Whilst I didn’t actually complain about someone claiming my ancient snap was theirs it nevertheless exposed the Administrator as a copyright thief. He promptly handed me a permanent ban from his site.

So there's the good and the bad about Facebook, what about the in between?

There is something about Facebook that can turn some Administrators into tyrants. It may not be that tyrants are attracted to the job but the job seems to change people. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Take my local SE2 based Group. It’s mainly for reporting lost cats, vandalised cars and the occasional flasher. I contribute to it only if there is Council news to report or maybe correct something of that ilk. I have made no secret of the fact that I don’t like the way the Group has developed although one must recognise that controlling what can easily turn out to be an unruly mob is never going to be easy.

The Moderator - what’s the difference between and Administrator and a Moderator? - asked me why I didn’t like the SE2 Group and after a couple of messages each way I decided that the exchange was in danger of becoming ill tempered, so I ignored further messages. There was probably an element of misunderstanding but I was threatened with a ban for ignoring the questions. What makes Moderators so aggressive and with a finger permanently hovering over their Ban Button?

Would I have cared? No. Their loss not mine.

Venturing further afield there is a Bexleyheath Group. Unlike the SE2 one it allows discussion about national politics. A good recipe for arguments especially right now. I think I have only made one contribution to that Facebook Group and I won’t make any more. People get banned for what the Administrators term abuse, like labelling Sadiq Khan a cock. Not even a warning, They announce immediate bans for a first offence. Presumably it makes them feel good.

As I said, Facebook appears to have the power to turn mild mannered people into tyrants. It probably comes from the top, Mark Zuckerberg the founder of Facebook is perfectly happy to interfere in politics. If anyone needs banning from Facebook it is him.

For the record, I didn’t set up the Bexley is Bonkers Facebook Group and for a long time it wasn’t me who operated it. When its Administrator no longer had the time to look after it was neglected; no one is there to ban rude words and so far there haven’t been any. As far as I know.


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