Monthly Archives: September 2014

Something in the #Facebook Water #MyNameIs

So this all began a week or two ago, when Facebook deleted a ton of accounts en masse, all belonging to drag performers, all for contravening a ‘real name’ clause in their terms. Basically, they can all use their full legal names (and Facebook is requiring legal ID to evidence them), switch their existing profiles to ‘fan pages’, or get off Facebook completely.

mynameis-300x273 Something in the #Facebook Water #MyNameIs

Source: Unkle Mikey, Facebook

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Facebook, Redux #Namegate

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?

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

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.


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