You have to wonder, sometimes… about karma and other stuff.
My last post worried at why I’m bothering to write in the face of mounting evidence that not only is the playing field not level, the game is rigged with all the odds in the House’s favor. Of course, it’s been that way forever, and subconsciously we know that, but hope springs blah-ti-blah-blah.
But when it gets right up in your face, and it’s you, not some nameless mark… Well, as they say, karma’s a bitch.
The last few days there’s been mounting evidence of yet another roadblock (I was going to say attack but will not, because that incendiary phrase requires proof, and I’m still collecting that).
To wit: Face Book may/allegedly be targeting authors, in particular anyone posting on their own author page or to promo-groups when they have a new book launch. The authors affected have been placed in detention of sorts, lasting two weeks. They cannot post to groups and at least one author has had her posts removed from time immemorial, including from closed and secret groups whose purpose was more organizational than promotional.
PAs (“personal assistants”) do tend to carpet bomb book groups on launch day, but it’s usually just to promotional groups and, in truth, it’s singing to a choir of other authors rather than targeting the focus group… readers/buyers. Those folks congregate elsewhere, probably on Goodreads, but that a whole nuther issue.
What is bothersome to me is that it seems directed at authors writing in the MM genres, though this may be a function of my hearing from them rather than someone who writes horror or MF sweet romance. While Face Book doth protest that they are not homophobic in principle, they are quick to deny service when a nameless, faceless troll lobs a complaint about a photograph, a phrase, a book cover or even a pen name.
Face Book does what all upstanding corporate neighbors would do… they act as judge, jury and executioner, without explanation or the ability to petition for an explanation or redress.
#Totalitarianism #Fascism It’s what’s for breakfast.
A friend, Susan Mac Nicol, had her book launch the other day, and I had signed on to host her book blast, including a review. The metadata included the book title (well, duh). On the day of the launch, I posted a link to my blog, A Celebration of Books, to my Nya Rawlyns author page and also to my alter ego’s personal friends and family timeline. Two spots, one “private” and the other “limited in outreach,” neither a group.
This particular blog is dedicated to book blasts, book tours, cover reveals and other publishing news. It’s been active for quite some time. I’ve posted those links to Face Book without issue until… bingo, on Tuesday, I’m informed that there’s a problem with that link, it may have expired, I’m not permitted to post to that page (wait… what?) and other asinine verbiage.
Bottom line: denial of service without explanation or warning.
You do not mess with a former analytical chemist with the skills to test hypotheses at the speed of a click. I won’t bore you with particulars, but after intensive and exhaustive study of metadata, wording of posts (going text based with everything spelled out sans actual link or switching around how the title was mentioned) I can say with confidence that Face Book had flagged the title specifically, for that particular day.
It tagged “Cross to Bare” and upper/lower case, putting it in quotes, etc. did not get me through the chain link, razor wire-topped gate.
So, being creative, I swapped out the title for “Book #5 in the Men from London series”—as the title to the blog post, thereby changing the URL—and reworded the text-based posts also.
Wonder of wonders! No problem, FB accepted the post, smiles all around.
But wait, there’s more…
I also discovered I could post the original URL in comments without issue. Yay me. Or not. The day after my series of experiments I could no longer COMMENT anywhere. Not on my own timeline, not in groups, nowhere, no way, no how.
Tricksy Face Book.
That’s continued through today, although I can now post emoticons (which makes me so wiggly happy I can’t begin to tell you).
I will mention that this is happening using Chrome as my browser of choice. IE9 allows full functionality; however, I’ve used Chrome almost exclusively so flagging/tagging could very well be tied in to how I access Face Book. To check that, I dumped the cache and performed all the magic wand steps to make sure I hadn’t overloaded some arcane circuit. Nada.
When this all started, I assumed that I’d been caught in the Launch Day No-No, you can’t do that because FB is a corporate entity desirous of your disposable income so hit boost and we’ll play nice or as nice as we feel like but don’t count on anything because… Face Book.
Now, I have additional questions, to wit: is it circumstantial that I can’t comment after discovering FB had holes in its net (pogrom)?
Dunno. But I have thoughts. And hypotheses.
Meantime Face Book, despite their vague terms of service, continues to allow dozens of hate and anti-this ‘n that groups to spin their vileness undeterred.
So I ask again… what fresh hell is this?