Facebook Cull Harming the Harmless

Well, folks, they’re at it again. Yes, our favourite anti-social social network is doing their utmost to destroy whatever joy there is in using the site by initiating a mass deletion of any users who don’t fit their description of what a user should be.

In a nutshell: Facebook is culling any user profile from their site whom they do not consider to be of the “human” species, pets in particular. This includes many friends of mine, be they canine, feline, and ursine (including “stuffies” – ie those whose innards are not of the moist and pulpy variety). This cull also includes a large number of animal rescuers who do good and valuable work to help animals whose lives have been harmed by this apparently superior species known as HUMANS. Condescending to allow non-human users to have a Facebook page is not the same. The interactivity of pages is very limited and designed to be, therefore the experience and usefulness of social networking is greatly diminished from a page. I know this from my own personal experience using a profile versus a page. There is no comparison!

These Gestapo tactics are destroying the fun and usefulness of social networking and hurting a lot of individuals and animals. If you think the word “Gestapo” is too strong, believe me, it is accurate. There is such a fear among users these days that many are even afraid to speak up for fear their profile will be deleted. It has happened before, with people such as social media and tech bloggers who dared to call Facebook onto the carpet discovering that their profiles were mysteriously disabled. So if the Gestapo fits… (Keep an eye out to see how long I remain on the site – I might be next!)

Many users rely on their Facebook friends to bring them joy, entertain them, and convey useful information. Indeed, there are large numbers of elderly, home-bound and disabled individuals who rely heavily on their daily interaction with their Facebook animal and stuffy pals to help get them through the day and bring a much-needed smile to their faces. And I am no different. The fact that some of our pals do not fit the biological specifics Facebook claims a user must have is irrelevant and prejudicial. In fact, it is species-ist.

Since Facebook went public, there is an increasing push from their end to earn revenue off the site. This is perfectly understandable and logical. However, if this latest cull (and this is not the first by any means) is about generating more advertising dollars, non-human users are just as likely to click on an ad and make a purchase as “human” users, perhaps even more so. Facebook is missing out on a major revenue-earning opportunity by deleting all these profiles. Instead they can be targeting these users with appropriate ads and doing better than they’d ever dreamed of. Talk about being short-sighted.

If you think these deletions of non-human profiles are not important, you are dead wrong. This cull has now come to the attention of major media, including ITV television in the United Kingdom. If ITV considers this issue important, it won’t be long before other major media outlets start taking notice. There is already a backlash against Facebook regarding privacy concerns, and the shine on Mr. Zuckerberg et all is dulling by the minute. Some users have already jumped ship rather than remain on the site having their private information being used in ways they did not intend for it to be used. It seems to me that Facebook should be trying to keep our business rather than drive us away and further earn our enmity. This latest bit of nastiness with the mass deletion of non-human profiles is not the stuff a good PR campaign is made of. Nor does it make good business sense.

I urge you to contact media outlets as well as Facebook’s corporate offices and express your outrage that Facebook is deleting accounts in good standing that cause no harm, yet meanwhile Facebook has no problem allowing pedophiles, pornographers, animal crush enthusiasts, animal abusers, hate mongers, prostitutes, and every kind of scammer out there to proliferate on the site like flies on dog shit.

Please give your views about these unfair and unjustified deletions and why pet/non-human Facebook accounts are valuable and important to you or your friends or even just in general. These profiles are causing no harm to anyone. If anything, they do far more good than most of us realise!
If you’re interested, here is a petition that’s been started.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/838/040/777/give-us-back-pet-profiles-on-facebook/

 

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8 Responses to “Facebook Cull Harming the Harmless”

  1. Gale A. Molinari Says:

    Brava and compliments from HRH Prinnie Princess Sophia victim of the Facebook pogrom. So glad you are our friend!!

  2. Julianne Scott Says:

    WELL DONE!! Thank you for being the voice of so many voiceless. I will admit at first I thought it was just a bit of paranoia by a few individuals, but when it started to affect my friends, I did some research. The more I dug, the more I found out that this was not only true but much more widespread than just my fluffy friends. It is indeed having an impact on the pet population and the efforts of some great people doing great things.
    I am one of those isolated people you spoke about. My daughter has terminal brain cancer and I am her primary caregiver. She is bedridden and we are pretty much homebound. There are days when my interactions with friends on Facebook is all the bit of joy I am likely to have.
    Thanks again for writing this wonderful blog entry. I hope it reaches more people, and especially people in places that are in a position to really listen.

  3. mitzi Says:

    Thanks for providing an example of the kind of people who are being hurt by Facebook’s heartless policies. They’ve really got it wrong on this one.

  4. Debbie Cullen Says:

    I was going to leave facebook a while ago, but ended up staying because I didn’t want to lose contact with oh so many folk from around the world, furry or otherwise. But I’m on the verge again after reading this. Sigh.

    These people can’t have much of a happy life; we should feel sad for them in their limited, shallow little world. There is more love and friendship with our furry friends than they’ll ever experience. Sad people.

    Thank goodness for canbesocial, a wonderful furends social meeting place.

  5. Carmen Says:

    The social network with the feel-good-blue is not the Internet. It is a private company that can establish and enforce its own terms of use (whether these may be good or bad). Facebook does not allow accounts for pets or plush toys. If you create such an account in spite of Facebook’s terms of use, you must be aware that the account can be deleted at any time. You can only escape this risk (or the risk that Facebook does eventually go bankrupt and as a result simply deletes all accounts) if you become independent and create your own blog or website for your pet or plush toy. Unlike pages on Facebook the interactivity of such sites is not necessarily limited. I know many examples for a vivid exchange on private websites for plush toys.

  6. mitzi Says:

    Several sites are already cropping up – meaning there is a large untapped market out there and an opportunity for revenue at some point. Again, this only demonstrates the shortsightedness of Facebook’s policies. They will continue to lose users either by their own random policies or users simply jumping ship. I’m glad I didn’t buy any shares of their stock, because Facebook may well become another MySpace – which is now so awful that no one wants to use it.

  7. Yvonne Wilson Says:

    Mitzi, I agree wholeheartedly. From a business point of view it is insane to cut off so much potential advertising revenue and alienate your customer base, aside from all the harmless pleasure that is being denied to so many who truly appreciate it. I’m disabled, and pretty much housebound. I have made so many good friends on Facebook through their pets and bears. They have done so much to brighten my days. I love reading about their lives, and their care and support for me has been such a blessing. They make me laugh and help to take my mind off the pain. And laughter, after all, is the best medicine. With the best will in the world, what harm was it doing? All Facebook had to do, instead of this heavy-handed approach, was to offer pet owners the chance to re-register the account with a “pet” option and hey presto, no more skewed figures for the accountants to get hot under the collar over and an instant way of flagging up where to advertise pet products. It’s not rocket science, and the pet community would have been delighted to oblige, I’m sure.

  8. mitzi Says:

    It just shows that the people running this thing are wearing blinkers and not thinking creatively. You would think they’d be more progressive in their business model, but clearly not. I guess more and more users will find other social networks that welcome and embrace them – there are already some good ones catering to this unique user base. FB is cutting off its nose to spite its face!

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