October 27, 2014

FACEBOOK VIOLATES USER’S RIGHTS

Facebook locks Red Slider and The Sacramento Z Newspaper out of their FB pages!

Facebook has capriciously decided “”Red Slider”” is an “”invalid name”” and has blocked all access to our accounts. FB demands we change our name or submit to their intrusion into our privacy…

Last Friday (October 24, 2014) your editor clicked to his facebook page, as he does almost every morning. But this time, instead of being taken directly to his FB page “”Red Slider””, he was presented with a “”login”” message. Strange, he’s usually taken directly to his page. He then entered in his name and password and attempted to login to his FB account. The message kept returning with “”invalid user name or password.”” After checking, double-checking and re-entering his login info several times, a new message appeared, “”Red Slider is an invalid name”” The message now had a new instruction that insisted I change my name to a different “”valid”” name in order to access my pages.

There was also another, FB provided link, to a page titled, “”What Names Are Allowed On Facebook “” The Z invites you to go there and look for yourself. There isn’t a single rule or instruction on that page that is violated by Red Slider’s use of his name “”Red Slider”” on Facebook. Not one. To know that, you need to know a little more about the name “”Red Slider”” and its credentials:

— “”Red Slider”” is Red Slider’s real, legal name.
— It is not only his Facebook name, it is the name by which his friends, family and neighbors know him.
— It is the name he has professionally and personally used as a writer and poet for more than 40 years and under which he is published in numerous on- and offline publications, has been anthologized in books such as “”Breaking the Silence“” (if you look closely, you’ll see his name on the cover.)
— Red Slider has had websites in his name, almost since the beginning of the web. He has long established email addresses using his name, has conducted forum and professional writing discussions under that name. In fact, his entire online presence is under the name “”Red Slider””.
— If you google “”Redslider poet poetry”” you can verify these facts. That’s it, Red Slider’s name is Red Slider (and we can drop the quotes now).
— In addition to “”disappearing”” Red Slider from the conversational space of Facebook, Facebook’s actions have equally blocked the FB pages of The Sacramento Z Newspaper which are also managed under the Red Slider account. They too, have been disappeared, and all activities associated with those pages and announcements about the Z or related to the Z have been effectively removed from access.

More important and to the point is that Red Slider’s entire history on Facebook is under the name Red Slider, and has been for nearly 10 years. Facebook has total access or can easily find that history. It is an unbroken history of good faith and membership in Facebook. His posts are thoughtful, contributive and generous offerings of himself to other Facebook members. He has never broken Facebook rules of etiquette, used abusive language, made ad hominem or personal attacks on anyone, or otherwise posted or participated outside the spirit and requirements of Facebook membership. His name and the credentials and reputation that go with that name are well-established.

It is not an option to simply advise Red Slider to go to another social network to conduct his work and activity. He has spent a decade developing those credentials on Facebook. Far too long to simply go off and start over again.

It is arbitrary, capricious and damaging, personally and professionally, for Facebook Inc. to simply and abruptly exclude Red Slider from participating in Facebook under his established name.

If that were it, if it were just a matter of Red Slider and his reputation and credentials, or even the effective consequences of FB actions on The Sacramento Z, that would be serious enough. But Facebook chooses to compound it’s intrusion into the personal privacy of its users and its discriminatory practices by the very process they pretend to provide targeted users to remedy the injustice. What Facebook provides is a very hard to find portal to appeal “”invalid name”” judgements. You’ll find it on this page.

The interesting thing about their so-called “”appeal form”” is that it requires the victim of the injustice to submit their date of birth and copies (jpg images) of personal identification (driver’s licenses? birth certificates? social security cards?). If you don’t accept such intrusions into your privacy, you simply cannot submit the information (even though there is another text box to fully describe the situation in words.)

This is similar to Facebook’s initial notification of “”invalid name”” violation, where it compels the user to change their name in order to even get into their account to find out what is going on, and address the matter. A “”forced confession”” in effect, before you have even met your accuser or have been advised of any “”charges”” against you. Clear violations of one’s privacy and civil liberties.
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[Insert of Z subscriber/reader’s comment: ]

A Z subscriber’s POV:

…there surely are a lot of people on facebook who are not using their birth names. Robert Galbraith has a page on facebook. John Le Carre has a facebook page. Toni Morrison has a facebook page. Bill Clinton has several facebook pages – and his name is a mess. Ram Dass has a facebook page — what about all the people who have named themselves some kind of spiritual name? How about the mono-named? Bono. Madonna. Pele. How about Sting? He has a facebook page, and his name doesn’t sound much like one his mother would have named him. Oh! Ringo Starr. There’s “”fake”” name if you ever heard one.

How about Queen Latifah? How do they know that’s her “”real”” name? Sounds suspicious to me – like, what’s she queen of? It’s not about facebook, but I just read in the paper (I think, but I read it today, anyway) that Queen Elizabeth, whose legal name is comprised of many, many, many names, signed up for Twitter in the past couple of days and that her Twitter handle is “”Elizabeth R,”” which is how she signs everything – R, without a period, standing for “”regina,”” latinate for “”queen.”” She’s on facebook as Queen Elizabeth, and I doubt that that’s her real name – probably a nickname, wouldn’t you say?

Speaking of queens, how about BB King? How about Bo Diddly? Diddly’s got to be at least as bad as Slider, for those facebook honchos whose minds happen to be in the gutter. There are persons on facebook with the names Red Young, Red Moss, Red Foo, and Sexi Red.

Here’s what I think bothers me the most: facebook just summarily did this to you, leaving you no avenue to appeal or to explain yourself – no avenue to do what you’re trying to do, to say, look, here are all these people who know me as Red Slider, here are my writings, my Poetry Center dealings – and giving you no standards by which your use of your name could be fairly and consistently judged. Without standards, without a fair method of application of standards, and without a fair process to appeal, it’s arbitrary and capricious. And I don’t believe in carrying out dealings among human beings arbitrarily and capriciously. Facebook is a public accommodation; why shouldn’t you be entitled to due process?

So, now, you see? I am suitably outraged!!!

— Z Subscriber

[editor’s post-notes:

————-
—The remarkable poet and dear friend, in whose memory this edition of The Z is dedicated (see Tribute to Summer Breeze) also had her name “”invalidated”” and stripped from her by Facebook about two years ago.

After that happened, and Summer was forced to adopt another name, she was never the same person again. Her pages on FB, as well as her personal correspondence, were strikingly different from then until the time of her death.

—Many who are sympathetically responding to the matter of Red Slider’s name, seem to assume, even so, that it is a pseudonym or pen name of some kind. If one reads closely however, that has never been agreed to in our commentary on the matter, and both Red Slider and the Z refuse to discuss it, one way or the other. It is, as the whole of our coverage asserts, nobody’s business but Red Slider’s. And that’s the way we intend to leave it. — editor.]
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[The Sacramento Z Newspaper’s Policy and Editorial Position on FB/Social Network’s Rights Violations:

REPLY FROM THE Z:

This is a serious, ongoing issue that the Z intends to fully cover in upcoming edition. We only provided this quick coverage in the “”Fresh News”” Section owing to its immediate impact on the Z and its editor.

Even before this situation developed, the Z had been planning to add a “”Digital Divide”” section dealing with significant matters of net-culture, its commercialization and self-interested abridgments of civil liberties along with concerns about ethics and responsibility among those who regard the net as their proprietary playpen.

We view matters such as these with grave concern for the future of free discourse and person to person exchange on the internet. We are most concerned that corporations and other financial interests are being permitted to write the laws that will govern the use and abuse of the net, and write them in their own selfish, narrowly drawn interests.

Some we have spoken with simply throw up their hands (or aggressively position themselves with the self-interested) saying things like, “”Well, it’s their property, they can do what they want,”” or “”It’s free (Facebook, e.g.) so you get what you pay for.”” We vigorously challenge that position. We should recall that the earliest legal battles over civil rights law—battles that prepared the way for civil rights law— were over the rights of privately owned facilities and organizations which owned and operated what was or needed to be regarded as “”public spaces””. Civil rights and civil liberties law is made from the fabric of telling social clubs, restaurants, golf-courses, and all kinds of “”privately-owned”” public spaces that they were not free to write the rules as they wished, nor exclude people for capricious reasons.

The Z, too, believes these early strata of settled law apply no less to the virtual public spaces of the internet and the people who visit them. We assert that it is time for the people who will suffer the ambitions of corporate self-interest, if corporations continue to be the only interests sitting at the tables that write internet law, to pushback and get involved. We the people must sit at those tables and demand real values and the public interest have as much weight and say about the future of the internet as market values and self-interested corporations and their lawyers.

Stay tuned. You are going be reading much more about this and related matters in the months to come in the pages of The Sacramento Z Newspaper. This little bit of “”Fresh News”” isn’t even a preamble to what’s ahead.

Red Slider, Editor and Publisher, The Sacramento Z Newspaper
Republished from the Sacramento Z

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