Welcome to 1984: facebook and freedom of speech

Note: This was published at OpinionEditorials.com on 10/31/2008. I had been writing and posting quite a bit (always politely) in regard to the immediately upcoming election.


My account on the social networking website, facebook, was disabled this past Monday, without notice. Here is a brief conversation which details the event.

Friend: “S—z told me you got booted from Facebook for being an Obama fan, but have been reinstated. What is the deal with that? Are they discriminating against people?

Should I not be associating with you for fear of being kicked? :)”

Me: “Yeah – they told me to like totally cease and desist from my love fest for the O man.

“What transpired was I attempted to log in to facebook Monday afternoon and found the account was disabled. I sent them a short email. Static for 3 days.

“In the interim, perhaps 3 or 4 people besides myself wrote facebook and read them the riot act re: free speech, tolerance of views not your own, etc. My wife went so far as to say they needed to apologize to me.

“Me? I’ve been distracted with work stuff, so I didn’t get as upset as I might otherwise.

“In the end, I received an email yesterday stating the acct was disabled “in error” and they did apologize for the inconvenience. I would have liked an explanation, but hey, these are their bytes. I grok this.

“My guess is someone – one of my more Barack-loving friends – wrote facebook and said I was a threat to the future of Fabian socialism. A facebook employee reviewed it and, being the young skull full of mush he or she is, disabled my account. This would have be the “error”.

“It was kind of eerie. One flip of a bit and I was gone. My wife’s profile said “married”, but not to me. My posts on others’ profiles were gone, as were their links to my pics, notes, links, videos, et al. My presence in my family’s photos was eliminated.

“This is the future – where your digital existence can be erased in a New York minute by a pimple-faced ne’er-do-well with an axe to grind.

“Welcome to 1984.”