Facebook, Redux #Namegate

§ September 16th, 2014 § Filed under Random § Tagged , , , , , § 4 Comments

Following on from yesterday’s saga…

The email I sent bounced back with a generic “We don’t deal with this, go to the Help pages” response. I found a page that let me file a dispute to an account being disabled. Hurrah! Except… they want me to scan my ID (drivers’ licence, passport) and upload it as a JPEG. I decided to send this instead.

KA ID Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

I amused myself in nothing else.

But then — disaster!

disabled account screenprint 300x199 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

So apparently the account I’m blocked from isn’t actually disabled, meaning I have precisely zero ways of resolving this issue, because clearly finding a human being at Facebook is less likely than finding a baboon picking its arse on Mars. In fact, I’m inclined to think there are no people at Facebook, just cyborg overlords, and arse-picking baboons.

So, fine, I decided to go back, and was greeted with this:

login to continue 300x47 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

Yeah, if only I could log in, there would be no drama. Oy.

Then, on a whim, I decided to see what would happen if I entered a false name.

~cue choirs of angelic cherubs singing aaaaaaaah-aaaaaaah-ah~

katrina 300x140 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Katrina Aaron has entered the building.

No, I don’t know who she is, either.

The bot then scolded me for telling porkies in the past, and informed me that I can never, ever change my name on Facebook again. So. Apparently they prefer the pet name my high school art teacher gave me over the name my parents chose. There is a delicious irony to this that, being English, I adore.

No doubt next week Facebook will inform me that I’m actually Norwegian and I’ll stop being amused.

So I am back, although FSM knows for how long, but during my 24-hours without my lord and master, without sanctuary and security, when I was just a lone voice crying in the wilderness, I did at least learn a few lessons.

1. I am way too dependent on Facebook.

I advocate diversity in ebook distribution because I recognise that a monopoly is A Bad Thing, so why not with social media?

2. I’d miss you guys if I couldn’t get back on there.

I have over 700 Facebook friends. I don’t interact with all of them, but I do with a startling number, many of whom I don’t know/follow anywhere else. Finding you again would become my lifelong quest if I lost you.

3. Facebook is about more than my online friends.

My school friends are on there, and people I used to work with. I like seeing what they’re up to. There’s also photos on there, of me and my friends, of big occasions in our lives, which I’d be devastated to lose. For the past nineteen months, AJ and I have spoken on Facebook messenger every single day. Usually for hours on end. From the moment she got up in the morning to the moment I went to bed, if our timezones were in sync we were talking. We fell in love on Facebook. Our whole history was there. And now it’s gone. It might not be a real-life tragedy, but I’m genuinely gutted.

With that last point in mind, there is something we can all do — download our Facebook data.

print1 300x286 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

At the top right of your screen, click on the faded down arrow, then click ‘Settings’.

print2 300x134 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

That will bring up your General Account Settings. At the bottom, click ‘Download a Copy’ of your Facebook data. You’ll be taken through setting up an archive, then they’ll email you when the file is ready and you download it as a zip. It will contain all your contacts, all your conversations, all your pictures, and also some bonus goodies like the ads you’ve clicked on, the time you’ve spent online, and your security details. All stuff worth knowing and keeping, because you don’t want conversations you’d prefer to keep for ever and ever to end up like this.

pms 300x231 Facebook, Redux #Namegate

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to read my wall posts from 2007.


 

TL;DR. In future, I will be on Facebook. There are people and groups there I don’t want to lose contact with. I will, however, be less dependent on any single network. I’m active on Twitter and Tumblr as well as Facebook and this blog, and I’ve just entered the murky waters of G+. I hope to see some of you on those other platforms, too. And don’t forget you can always sign up to my mailing list if you’d prefer that I contact you about new releases and special promotions (I promise, no spam, not ever).

WTF, Facebook?

§ September 15th, 2014 § Filed under Random § Tagged , , § 21 Comments

So, I’m sure you’ve heard how certain trans* performers and drag artists have recently fallen victim to Facebook’s sudden insistence that everybody on its site uses their full, legal name. I’m sure you’ve read all about the potential pitfalls and repercussions attendant with such a stipulation, especially in a country where in most states you can still be dismissed from your job and evicted from your home for being LGBT. Plus, y’know, the very real risk some people face of being physically harmed, were their identities known.

Authors, too, have many good reasons to use pen names. Again with the LGBT firing/eviction thing, but also because *whisper it* there are some crazies out there, and maybe we don’t all want our fans googling where we live and stalking us outside our homes, mmmkay?

Now I knew all of this, in an intellectual, it-doesn’t-affect-me kinda way. See, I use my real name on facebook. That’s because I was born and raised in a civilised country where I have certain legal protections which mean my boss can’t fire me for writing m/m, and nor can my landlord evict me. I know, I know, a glut of luxuries — right?

So my personal facebook page became my business facebook page. Fans and authors brush shoulders with ex-colleagues from my last day job, and people I went to school and college and uni with. You’d think, with so many different people knowing me, sharing and tagging pictures of me, and stipulating from whence they knew me, facebook would understand that I’m actually who I say I am.

Apparently not.

update name 300x173 WTF, Facebook?

Huh.

I wasn’t expecting that.

So now I’ve got to give facebook my real name, otherwise I’ll be locked out of my account for ever and ever and ever. No problem, right? I’ll just put in my real name — i.e., the one I was using all along — and things will be fine. Right?

approved 300x104 WTF, Facebook?

Huh.

I kinda was expecting that.

But this raises some interesting questions. Who approved my name (or didn’t, in this case)? What information do they think they hold on me that they think they know, without asking me for confirmation, what my “real name” actually is? What database are they accessing, who gave them access to it, and how are they using it? They haven’t asked me to provide any evidence of my name (but if they think they’re getting a scan of my passport, they can think again), they’re telling me outright, “Nope, we know that’s not your name. Try again!”

Well, bullshit. Firstly, that is my name. Secondly, how do they think they know that it isn’t, anyway?

Honestly, I’m past trying to get my account back.  Now I want to know what information they’re accessing about me.

Also, I’m a little bit pissed at the sheer inanity of the process. “Enter Name.” “Wrong Name. Enter Name.” Well who the fuck do I contact if you think the right name is the wrong name? There’s no support link. I go to facebook Help and under “suspended accounts” they tell me to follow the instructions on screen to unsuspend it. “Enter Name.” And round we go again.

So. I’m on Twitter, I’m on tumblr, I’m on my blog. I might or might not get a response to the shirty email I finally sent to disabled@facebook.com. Given I was asking more questions about their information source than getting my account back, I’m not holding my breath.

If they do respond, the next question I’ll be asking is why it’s only LGBT people I’m hearing that are affected by this move. Again, I won’t hold my breath for an answer.

Coming October 2014 ~ Free Men

§ September 10th, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , , , , , § 2 Comments

Proudly announcing the forthcoming release of a new trilogy: Free Men, an AU slaveworld menage. Below are the first two covers. The third novel, The Master, is remaining elusive for a little while longer.

TheSlave 200x300 Coming October 2014 ~ Free Men

THE SLAVE

At twenty-seven, Tamelik has been a slave more than half his life, having witnessed his family being murdered in front of him when he was just a child. Naturally submissive, although with a petulant streak, he can’t help but fall in love with the master who treats him kindly.

Tam’s dreams come true when his mistress walks out, leaving her husband behind. For six glorious months, he and his master get to be together. Then Tam is ordered to purchase another slave.

He wants to hate Kai for being unruly and ungrateful. For being of the same race as the men who murdered his family. For being his eventual replacement in their master’s bed. But it’s hard to hate a man who cries himself to sleep, flinches at the slightest touch, and blushes beautifully when he’s kissed.

Seducing Kai has suddenly become more challenge than chore, and with his master’s encouragement, Tam finds himself falling for his new companion. Except… nobody can be in love with two people at once, can they?

TheSoldier 200x300 Coming October 2014 ~ Free Men  THE SOLDIER

Three months. That’s all it took for Kai to forsake freedom and learn to love his new life as pleasureslave to a wealthy Thirskan Underlord.

Finding himself surrounded by his own people once more, Kai should have been happy: relieved to be rescued from slavery, and out of the clutches of a man who was the sworn enemy of his people. Yet his people are not how he remembers them. Distrustful of Kai, and disgusted by his relationship with not one man but two, they make it abundantly clear he no longer fits in.

Beaten, starved, and tortured, when the chance comes to escape, Kai is barely strong enough to make the journey. Even if he succeeds, how could anybody ever love the thing he’s become in order to survive? His only hope is to save his companions, even if it means throwing himself on the mercy of the wife of the man he’s grown to love.


Don’t forget to join my mailing list for release announcements. I promise: no spam, not ever.

 

Now Available — The Coward’s Way #mmromance

§ August 11th, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , , , Comments Off

CW cover 200x300 Now Available    The Cowards Way #mmromance

Two months after the discovery of a murderer in their midst, life for the inhabitants of Puddledown has settled back to normal for everybody except Hugo Wainwright. Having accepted his feelings for groundskeeper Tommy Granger, for Hugo, everything has changed. 

Hugo wants nothing more than to make his friend happy, but the voices in his head won’t let him. If he can’t bring himself to tell Tommy he’s having nightmares about the evening the killer came for him, how can he possibly explain the panic he feels every time Tommy tries to take their fledgling relationship further? 

When the local Viscount’s daughter goes missing after a ball from which Hugo and Tommy were the only guests to leave early, suspicion falls firmly on them. But the police inspector isn’t the only one keeping a close eye on the cabin in the woods, and as the net closes, Hugo has a decision to make. Will he be brave, or will he take the coward’s way out? 

Available now from Amazon, AllRomance, and Smashwords. Coming soon to B&N, and iTunes, or read for free on Scribd.


 

REMINDER: To celebrate the release of The Coward’s WayThe Dead Past is available for the bargain price of $0.99 for a limited time only. Available from AmazoniTunesAReB&N, and Smashwords, or read for free on Scribd.

We’re Not All Like You

§ August 7th, 2014 § Filed under Queer Stuff § Tagged , , § 4 Comments

So marriage equality is sweeping the west. Slowly but surely, state by state and country by country, we are winning, and we are doing so on a platform which says, in effect, “We’re just like you.” Gay couples want to settle down, raise children, say ‘I do’ before their friends and family. They want the white picket fence and 2.4 kids, to work 9-5 at a respectable, responsible job, pay the mortgage, walk the dogs in the park at the weekend, and enjoy lazy Sundays spending quality family time together. It’s a dream many of us, even in my generation, grew up never believing we’d see come true.

I’m certainly not going to deny anyone their right to that dream. It’s a perfectly valid one — a great one. There is infinite joy to be found in getting married, settling down and rearing children.

However… it’s not for everyone.

The problem with hanging any equality campaign on a “we’re just like you” argument is that, of course, we’re not. For every gay man or woman who wants marriage and kids, there’s another who doesn’t, and those people are rendered invisible by the “just like you” mantra.

But do you know who else is being rendered invisible at exactly the same time? All those straight people who don’t want marriage and kids either.

Couples who choose not to marry, who choose not to live together, who choose not to have children. Swingers and menages, and people who don’t want relationships at all. There’s a whole world of different lifestyles out there, and married couples with kids are but a small part of it.

Marriage equality matters, I’m not detracting from that for a second. (Heh, now the cat’s out of the bag about the fact I’m in a transatlantic same-sex relationship, I bet you can guess why.) But let’s not get swept up in the rhetoric and the romance of ceremony and forget all the people we are marginalising when we hold matrimony up as The (capital T) way of living your life. We want, need, and deserve the right to marry, and to have our marriages recognised. But that doesn’t make marriage mandatory, and it doesn’t mean choosing not to marry is a mistake.

The LGBT community has garnered unprecedented visibility in recent years as we have fought for equality. Let’s not whitewash ourselves to appear more palatable to people who are, when you scratch the surface, more like us than either side realises.

_____

REMINDER: To celebrate the upcoming release of The Coward’s WayThe Dead Past is available for the bargain price of $0.99 for a limited time only. Available from AmazoniTunesAReB&N, and Smashwords.

Announcing THE COWARD’S WAY, Puddledown #2, and a #SALE

§ August 5th, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , , Comments Off

The Coward’s Way

CW cover 200x300 Announcing THE COWARDS WAY, Puddledown #2, and a #SALE

Two months after the discovery of a murderer in their midst, life for the inhabitants of Puddledown has settled back to normal for everybody except Hugo Wainwright. Having accepted his feelings for groundskeeper Tommy Granger, for Hugo, everything has changed.

Hugo wants nothing more than to make his friend happy, but the voices in his head won’t let him. If he can’t bring himself to tell Tommy he’s having nightmares about the evening the killer came for him, how can he possibly explain the panic he feels every time Tommy tries to take their fledgling relationship further?

When the local Viscount’s daughter goes missing after a ball from which Hugo and Tommy were the only guests to leave early, suspicion falls firmly on them. But the police inspector isn’t the only one keeping a close eye on the cabin in the woods, and as the net closes, Hugo has a decision to make. Will he be brave, or will he take the coward’s way out?

~~~

45,000 words. Release date 11th August 2014. Pre-ordering will be available on Barnes&Noble, iTunes, and Smashwords in the next few days. (Also, yes that’s Hugo on the cover. OMG squee!)

Sale!

To celebrate the upcoming release of The Coward’s WayThe Dead Past will be available for the bargain price of $0.99 for a limited time only. Available from Amazon, iTunes, ARe, B&N, and Smashwords.

DP flyer 205x300 Announcing THE COWARDS WAY, Puddledown #2, and a #SALE

What is Wrong with People?

§ July 15th, 2014 § Filed under Queer Stuff § Tagged , , , , , § 6 Comments

At the beginning of June, opponents of Houston’s recently passed Equal Rights Ordinance submitted a petition containing 50,000 signatures demanding a repeal of the bill. The ordinance bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as sex, race, color, ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, disability, pregnancy and genetic information, as well as family, marital or military status. It applies to businesses that serve the public, private employers, housing, city employment and city contracting, but religious institutions are exempt. Apparently, there are 50,000 people in the Houston area (assuming all the signatures are valid) who think that not being allowed to discriminate is a bad thing.

What the hell is wrong with them?

restroom 300x136 What is Wrong with People?

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Why the Hobby Lobby Ruling Should Worry Us All

§ June 30th, 2014 § Filed under Random § Tagged , , , , § 5 Comments

I blogged about the Hobby Lobby case while it was being heard in the US Supreme Court. Back then, I was annoyed that it had even got that far, but I had faith. Faith in a Constitution which guaranteed the separation of church and state, and faith in the nine Justices who almost a year ago to the day handed down two massive human rights rulings concerning Prop8 and DOMA. It was utterly ludicrous for a company to claim any sort of religious right, and even crazier to think that right would supersede the medical needs of its employees. Yet that is exactly what SCOTUS just ruled.

aclu 300x91 Why the Hobby Lobby Ruling Should Worry Us All

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Parity Between Partners – Equality in M/M

§ June 24th, 2014 § Filed under Random § Tagged , , , , § 8 Comments

So there’s been a lot of nonsense doing the rounds about women in m/m. Aren’t we bored of this yet? I’m not addressing the issue again, suffice it to say the day I stop being allowed to write about men is the day men stop being allowed to write about women, or aliens, or animals, or, y’know, anything except other men.

What I do want to talk about is an equally tired old argument I see bandied around time and again, that women like to write two men together because the relationship between two men is more equal than it is between a man and a woman.

evil Parity Between Partners   Equality in M/M

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How #MonsterWritingWeekend Can Help You

§ June 8th, 2014 § Filed under Books § Tagged , , , § 9 Comments

So, anyone who’s been following me on Facebook or Twitter recently will have seen the hashtag #MonsterWritingWeekend cropping up. It started as a challenge I set with the awesome AJ Rose over Memorial Day Weekend, when we were bitching about how slowly the WIPs were progressing. We decided to challenge ourselves to the impossible: write 45,000 words in three days.

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