Posts Tagged ‘pets’

Facebook Cull Harming the Harmless

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

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/

 

Going to the Dogs: V Day in Blackpool

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

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What better or more fitting way is there to spend Valentine’s Day than with a bottle of Lambrusco, copious packets of Walker’s crisps, a slew of horror flicks, two pervy cats, and four psychotic bison frise dogs breathing down your neck? Yup, that’s exactly how I spent what’s supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.

Rather than endure Valentine’s Day on my own (last year I’d given a talk on erotic writing to creative writing MA students at Roehampton University, which was followed by a “date” consisting of my being allocated one token drink, my evening culminating in a delayed train home due to a “fatality” on the line at Romford – not sure if the suicide was a result of a broken heart or a result of living in Romford), I decided to head to that exotic gem of northern England known as Blackpool. Bear in mind that this English seaside resort town has as one of its claims to fame a “space invasion” (where’s Ziggy Stardust when you need him?) featuring several hovering spaceships on Gynn Island (in reality a roundabout), not to mention copious doses of the clap from all those hen nights (a more sedate version of which can be found in my short story “Hen Night” on Amazon Kindle) and stag dos and assorted dubious establishments catering to – dare I use the word – gentlemen.

Now I’m not going to diss Blackpool. I’m sure it’s a damned sight better than Skeggie (aka Skegness, home to the proverbial “dirty weekend” – a place where I’ve yet to go and may well manage to live without having gone). Blackpool does have some good things going for it (other than the Tower, Blackpool rock, and zillions of cheap trinkets on offer) – one being that my good mate Ashley Lister and his lovely wife Tracy and their lovely son Ashley Jr. all live there, the other being that it’s known as “the gay capital of the North”. Although I always seem to miss the Gay Pride Parade, I did go to a drag club called Funny Girls there a couple of years back. It wasn’t too bad as far as drag revues go, save for the fact there was no place to sit and I ended up with a hell of a backache by the time the show ended. Plus the place was packed with raucous females out on a hen night which – in my humble view – is enough to turn even the most masculine hetero male into a raging queen. What made it even worse was the fact that these creatures all wore these cute little furry bunny tails clipped to their rather uncute and unlittle posteriors. The sight was enough to make any man’s mars and venus shrivel up and die.

Meanwhile back at the ranch. At Chez Lister, we partook of a romantic orgy of blood, zombies, cannibals, vampires, and crazed killers all weekend long, the lineup of which included: Sweeney Todd; Dracula, Prince of Darkness; 30 Days of Night; 1408; Hannibal Rising; and Vacancy. Now I must confess that I did feel a bit of the old amorous Valentine’s Day tingle while watching Hannibal Rising. That Gaspard Ulliel isn’t too shabby. In fact, I can conjure up some very romantic scenarios featuring him in the lead role (no pun intended). Oh, and Andrew Garfield too. Okay, let’s throw in Jamie Draven while we’re at it; I do want to be fair here. And if anyone out there knows one or more of these nice lads, kindly pass on the word that I’m single and an absolutely lovely lass – they’d be hard-pressed to find better! (Hey, if I can’t use my blog for my own sinister purposes then what’s the bloody point?)

Did I mention that I played Upwords with the two Ashleys? For those of you unfamiliar with this board game, think of it like council estate Scrabble, with the words forming those grim tower blocks you see all over Britain which were built in an effort to provide public housing and which in London you can now pay full market rent to live in – no extra fees for the graffiti, broken lifts and muggings. During our tourney, I somehow managed to end up with too many tiles of the letter U; I suspect it was part of some father-son plot to cause me to lose the game. Things really began to disintegrate when I was forced to repeatedly place words such as “oh” and “uh” on the board. I mean,  how lame is that? Three games and I’d had enough. I next embarked on a jigsaw puzzle, but got annoyed after about an hour, retiring to the living room for a PlayStation game featuring Darth Vader and a host of other butch animated male characters, along with a handful of pneumatic animated female bimbos emitting noises like their flesh-and-blood pneumatic counterparts in porn. I must admit that while playing I became increasingly aggressive, experiencing a killer instinct the likes of which I hadn’t experienced since I lived in Los Angeles – an instinct that usually kicked into gear whenever I drove on the freeways, which was pretty much all the time.

Now don’t go thinking that my Valentine’s weekend was all bloodshed, mayhem and crisps. There was some romance (other than that provided by Monsieur Ulliel). I got to lie back on the sofa in peel me a grape fashion listening to Ashley Jr. play the piano. Then there was my toast thief Spike, who courted me all weekend long by performing The Spike Dance. I tell you, it’s a real talent to be able to get your head and your arse at the same angle. Imagine a U-shaped dog and you get the picture. And hey, if you think it’s easy, YOU try doing it!

Hmmm. I wonder what’s in store for me next Valentine’s Day…

View the rest of my holiday snaps on Flickr.

Watch videos from my “dirty weekend”:
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