Internet/Telecom/Social Media

Updated: New Facebook !#$&-ery afoot.

no-spam[1]Update: I only just made a comment with a link to a Twitter account. Moments after posting, I got the same notification I detail below. Fuckery is indeed afoot.


I’m a lot of things, but who knew I was a spammer, as well? I just learned that I must be.


Well, I got home from a long day’s work that went something like:

10 One step forward
20 Two steps back
30 If one step back, then goto 10.

I check Facebook. Yay! I have notifications! My existence is validated! Oh, what’s this?

“Your comment on The Guardian’s post was marked as spam. Review the comment. January 16 @ 1:17 PM.” 


I click to review the comment. It takes me to this video post at The Guardian. It was captioned, “Small town boxing in impoverished rural America is going mainstream. But is it exploitation?” Facebook focuses the page on where my comment would be. It reads, “Your comment was marked as spam.” There’s a link to show comment.

The comment appears in fashionable “Pending Gray.” Beneath are links for either a) Not Spam, b) I didn’t post this, or c) Delete. The inconsistent capitalization is a nice touch.

As it turns out, I did indeed write the comment. I stand by it. I had replied, entirely topically, “How would that be any more exploitative than urban/inner city boxing?”

Okay, that was odd. Oh, wait.

“Your comment on The Baffler Magazine’s post was marked as spam. Review the comment. January 16 @ 1:53 PM.”

I click through. Baffler had posted an article, “The Master Class on the Make,” with the opening comment, “Despite their high-minded rhetoric, all today’s libertarians want to do is to more effectively tip “the scales of justice in favor of the white, rich, and powerful.”

My response? Strong and crass, but spam?

“What “high-minded” rhetoric? Their whole feeble schtick is to fellate the “free market” while eliding the just role of labor in that self-same market. BS from one end to the next.”

I click Not Spam.

Oh, joy, another.

“Your comment on ThinkProgress’s post was marked as spam. Review the comment. January 16 @ 1:39 PM.”

Let’s see. ThinkProgress posted a link to a now-updated article, “Updated: USA Gymnastics says McKayla Maroney won’t be fined for speaking up about her sexual assault.

My spam comment from when the article was still about USA Gymnastics imposing the fine? “There’s a special hot place in hell for the people calling the shots at USA Gymnastics.”

Another one?

“Your comment on NBC News’s post was marked as spam. Review the comment. January 16 @ 1:37 PM.”

I click through. NBC had posted video of Corey Booker grilling DHS Sec. Nielsen with the Facebook lede “”When ignorance and bigotry is allied with power, it is a dangerous force in our country. Your silence and your amnesia is complicity,” Sen. Booker tells DHS Sec. Nielsen — who was in White House immigration meeting with Pres. Trump — during Senate hearing today.”

Someone had commented in a way that ruffled my delicate internet feathers.


I engaged, as I do. My “probably spam” comment?

“Your problem is that you fail to see that people wear many hats. Is she a woman? Sure. But he’s not bullying her because she’s a woman. He’s pressing her on the issue because the American people have a right to know to what degree outright racism and pro-white ethnocentrism are the basis for this administration’s policies. If you can’t understand that, you might need to check yourself.”

Provocative? Confrontational? Sure. But it’s even radfem approved (insofar as the resident radfem gave it the thumb’s up). Spam? No.

Once is odd. Twice is weird. By four times, I’m seeing a pattern here. I can see no reason why an algorithm would catch four comments all made on the same day at around the same time (lunch break when I’m fast and angsty, greasy sandwich fingers blurring across the keyboard) and flag them as spam based on the content. To the extent I was a bit spicy with “fellate,” “BS,” and “hell,” that’s still not spam territory. Besides, if it’s an algorithm how are all my f-bombs not coming back to haunt me?

No, I’m thinking that for all Facebook’s history of short-sighted “good” intentions to clean up the crap in the New Feed, they may have unwittingly armed the sleeziest of internet contrarians…those who would simply silence what they don’t like. Or maybe this is just an old “feature” I’m only just seeing.

If that’s not a Facebook flaw of some kind and it’s just some rando briefly stalking me before getting bored, I’m still going to see it as a flaw, because Facebook should damned well have an algorithm that spots and shitcans people who enter bogus spam flags repeatedly.

This isn’t me just being huffy on my own account. How many other voices representing how many other different groups with different grievances can be so easily silenced? I know from previous experience that the anti-Semites are safe, at least. Flag an anti-Semitic caricature lifted straight out of an educational source that uses it as an example of anti-Semitic caricatures as, well, anti-Semitic and that’s not a violation of community standards. Flag an overtly misogynistic comment similarly, and it won’t be against community standards.

But I’m a spammer. For all of you who have difficulty having your voices heard, may Facebook fix the bogus spam flag issue sooner than later.

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