Here you go, Facebook, my reaction

Being a blind computer user, there are hassles. Unless they’re significant, though, I don’t usually call attention to them. I just live with it, find workarounds, etc. So, when Facebook rolled out their new Reaction buttons, I didn’t much care. Meant nothing to me. Why? Well, because I’m not so lazy that my attention span needs to be limited to 6 goofy icons.

Facebook's Reaction Buttons: Like, Love, HaHa, Wow, Sad, Angry

Last night, I commented on my feed about this, and in short order, my sister-in-law replied with an emoji. Sure enough, the programmers at Facebook hadn’t coded in any sort of descriptive tags. Meaning, it shows I have a new message. But when I click the Comments button, all that’s there under my sister-in-law’s name is a field of utter silence. Nice, huh? Way to go, Facebook! Why not just create a bird-flipper emoji for all your blind & visually impaired users?

The other thing that gets me about this whole ‘Reaction button’ thing is: has social media really made us this lazy? Is the effort required to type out “Wow” so onerous? If it is, boy, society really is going straight down the toilet.

I’ve made people angry with my posts before. In fact, I’ve outright pissed off some folks. Know what, though? No one, ever, has posted “Angry” over something I’ve written. Now, though, regardless of a position I put forward, which might include several different points, I can expect to occasionally get “Angry” as a response, sans context?

I want the ability to turn this function off on my timeline. If people want to use it, great, good for them. But I want the ability to make sure I don’t throw away my time when it shows I have comments only to find out that unless I call in my wife, I can’t tell what anyone’s ‘reaction’ to my post is. I don’t spend much time on Facebook as it is, but I’ll be spending even less if I start seeing nothing on my TL but spots where someone posted something–but I’m prevented from knowing what it is. I mean, it’s called “Comments” for a reason, right?

 

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Currently listening to: “Who Was In My Room Last Night” by the Butthole
Surfers

Why I Loathe Facebook

Got so pissed off after my Facebook settings were wiped out for the umpteenth time that I decided to write a two line post about it. But the more I wanted to address the issue, the longer it got, and so… (Clearly I am not alone.)

[Exlpicit Content]

I was going to post that, if FB were forced to pony up attractive female employees of my choice to blow me every time they ignored my preferences, reset them, and showed me posts from several days ago simply because I’d interacted with somebody, that maybe, just maybe, my settings would stay put. But then it struck me — no, that wouldn’t happen. You know what would change? FB employees would be dragging my corpse out a back door. Know why? Because I’d be dead…of dehydration — and they’d be giving a couple dozen attractive female employees time off to recover from lockjaw, because I’d take my goddamned time.

That’s what would happen, because damned if FB would actually honor my settings for more than a couple of days rather than override them at every turn in order to bow down to some algorithm that suggests it might garner more Shares or Likes (or, finally, succeed in chalking up a single banner-ad click—which they’ve never gotten and never will unless I accidentally hit a keystroke during a sneeze.)

No, Facebook doesn’t give a damn about my settings, they don’t care that I don’t want to share my cell phone number with them, they don’t care that I’m blind and don’t use my phone to “connect with friends!” on Facebook via my mobile device.

Nope, if I were to become the master of all time, space and dimension tomorrow and by decree force Mark Zuckerberg into a position where he himself had to choose between FB leaving my settings alone or losing sexy employee femalehours to knee-pad time with yours truly? He’d shrug his shoulders and say, “Sorry, nameless-busty-girl-of-Joe’s-choice, take one for the team. You know it’s better in the long run if his settings are sacrificed rather than your oral skills.”

Ugh. I never post like this, and not just because I have plenty of family on here who may/might/probably will be forced to see this post if they’ve interacted with me in the past month (rather than their own settings be honored). Me? I want to see Most Recent… posts from my friends, FB, not my wife’s post from Wednesday. I know, for a fact, my friend Mario posted today. And yesterday. Because I checked his feed. But I don’t ever see his posts, despite their newness, because you don’t give a rat’s ass about my desires in sorting what shows up in my timeline.

Thanks, FB, for feeding my festering hatred of your social network. If not for Pam championing me having a presence here, I would be gone. Adios. Sayonara. If you could find a way to make a fraction of a cent on my personal data, you’d do it rather than actually provide a service.

In the world of Karma? Yeah, I might go down shooting blanks, every last vestige of fluid wrung from my core, but at least I’d be able to flip you guys the bird with a myriad of ladies suing you for workperson’s comp and overtime, forced to talk in sign language. So there. (Rant over)

 

Facebook

Most folks know I don’t much like Facebook. Not for the myriad of reasons others cite (online bullying, how they mine data for marketing, concerns about my personal info, etc.). No, my gripes primarily boil down to the fact that my settings change at random almost weekly, and whenever FB changes their interface in the slightest, they don’t appear to have taken the visually impaired into account, or those using assistive technology. Bottom line? The interface sucks for us. Oh well.

The past two weeks, though, Facebook’s found a way to impress me, same as they did a couple years ago when I brought copyright infringement issues to their attention. It wasn’t just that I got the result I desired, it was the speed at which FB responded.

In the incident a couple years back, which I’ll be revisiting soon, a fraud out in L.A. got caught using my film footage in his director’s reel. At the time, this reel was posted on YouTube, on MySpace, and on Facebook. YouTube and MySpace were pretty good about it, but with Facebook, we supplied the info needed and whammo! The hammer dropped and the reel was taken down-on multiple pages-the same day.

Last week, the same fraud busted out a pic from 2006 (which I hold the rights to), slapped his name on it and the year 2013 with a copyright symbol, and claimed it as his own. We sent the original model releases and copyright info to FB, and within 4 hours, the offending pic was down. Even more amusing, said fraud was trying to use the image to hype an internet radio program he has. Sad to think the best material he’s got to promote himself is stuff from my flick from 7 years ago, but this guy’s been riding my coattails for years, so this latest failure kind of speaks for itself.

Here’s the important thing. Facebook, for all their flaws, acted not just promptly, but with decisive action. They’re not like Twitter, which takes a report on libelous tweets that winds through the system for days until a follow-up is filed.

Or, your lawyer gives them a call. My advice if you’re being libeled on Twitter? Find a reasonable attorney and buy an hour of his/her time, let them make the call and send the e-mail. Works wonders when you want lies taken down. So long as you can back your claims? You get what you want.

There’s more Facebook is doing, and I expect results on some of that in the next few days, although word is there’s already been some movement concerning another internet radio wannabe, so we’ll see. That’s primarily about libelous content coming down, so I understand that taking a little longer. Besides, as folks who read the “Put Up” blog from a couple weeks back know, Facebook isn’t my only option here.

Nope, not by a long shot.

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Currently listening to: She Will by The Savages