Saturday, August 26, 2017

bwana politics

 I was going to post about bad writing advice but something this week prompted me to address another topic. What happened is that a few days ago, Facebook informed me that a Facebook post that I reposted had been blocked because they considered it spam. Specifically, it was a post linked to La Bloga, a website that features news and commentary about Latino literature, poetry, culture, and some politics. This particular post mentioned my newest novel, University of Doom, and Floricanto and what they had to say about the border wall. Here's a screenshot of what Facebook told me.

I couldn't figure why this was spam since I only posted it to my feed as I do all my other posts and links and none of them were ever considered spam. When I clicked on the link Facebook provided to explain why my post was spam, it said that this post either violated community standards or presented a security threat. Both assertions are of course, caca. I figured that some Facebook bot had scanned the content and tripped upon some offending words or images, but I have no idea what they were.

Interestingly, I had no trouble posting this screenshot on my feed. Then other members of the La Bloga complained that sometimes their posts to La Bloga were getting blocked and were unblocked only after they submitted an appeal. However this week, no links to La Bloga were allowed by Facebook.

I haven't submitted a request to Facebook that they review my post because the process is demeaning. Basically I have to go, sombrero in hand, huaraches on my feet, and beg, pleeze señor rich, educated white person, I'm just a lowly brown-skinned piasano who means no harm. Pleeze unblock my post so that me and my burro can go on our way.

The issue is one of what we used to call institutional racism, in which the cultural and economic prejudices of those in power are built into a system to the detriment of the marginalized. The eggheads at Facebook see the world through their narrow microscope of entitlement, and being guys and gals who make a lot of money, what they decide is obviously right, no matter the consequences to anyone else. Like other Silicon Valley companies, Facebook is staffed by Ivy League elites who praise themselves for using the appropriate buzz words. Naturally, they proclaim progressive values such as diversity. Facebook recently bragged about a JUMP in the hiring of Latinos from 4 to 5 percent! This in a state--California--where the population is 40 percent Latino. Meaning, Facebook believes in diversity as a concept, just don't hold them to actually putting it into practice. So it's hasta la vista, Mexican peasants.


Eileen Goudge said...

Outrageous! Another example of Facebook run amok.

Mario Acevedo said...