Facebook – giving jobs to the stupid and power-hungry

Are you a little person with a love of some authority, especially if it’s apparently got no oversight attached?

Do you look at the “security guards” at the shopping centre (the infamous “mall cops”) as they harass the innocent and think: “Man, I’d like to do that”? Do you love it when mods/admins on forums ban people for pointing out that trolls are trolls?*

If so, Facebook has a job for you. You are the exact person they are looking for to action complaints about “abuse” made by FB users against other users.

It’s not about right or wrong, that’s irrelevant at best. It’s about wielding the most “power”. If you ban a troll, you’ve banned one person/username. Big deal. But if you leave the troll as bait, and ban everyone who points the fact out, then hey, WAY MORE BANNING. And you feel all powerful as you sit in your basement room at your mum’s house eating your takeaway Dominos. #winning, right?

Yes, I have finally been sparked to write this somewhat Captain Obvious piece by copping a three-day ban from Facebook. Short version – a particularly clueless and stubborn poster on a pro photographer page reported me for being “offensive” after I called her our for deleting a thread full of useful information from people trying to help her (despite her massive ignorance). Hey presto, ban. She goes free, because it’s suits the FB mall cops.

The usual response to Facebook doing something stupid is: “Just leave it, it doesn’t owe you anything, it’s free, you choose.”

And, you know, I basically agree with that as a concept. It is free, there are other social networks, nobody is forcing you to stay.

But really, Facebook? You go around banning people with no right of reply? (They supposedly give you the opportunity to respond to the ban, but it’s clear nobody ever reads the responses.) For no reason other than someone – a complete idiot who demonstrated that fact repeatedly – reports something clearly not offensive? But gives the mall cops an opportunity to swing their stick?

Trust me, I get it – Facebook is a private company that has the right to ban whoever they want. But putting that power in the hands of the not very bright –  people who ban users for the mildest of complaints, simply because they can – seems to be harmful to the brand, and thus the business. Which means less eyeballs and thus less advertising revenue. Employees hurting the company seems somewhat counter-productive to me.


*On Whirlpool, an otherwise excellent forum, the mods love the trolls, as it gives them more people to ban when users point out that trolls are, in fact, trolls. Whoever selects the mods there is clueless beyond belief.

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