Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Death of a Blog? Perhaps

While trying to share poems from this blog to my FaceBook page, I received a message that my blog was being blocked due to having been flagged as “spammy” or “abusive”.

Hmmm. Really?

There are entities posting all day, comments, sharing, etc. My blog is small potatoes, supposed to be an exercise in creativity and critical thinking about current events and trends. As I have mentioned in a previous entry, I do not monetize the blog because it just doesn’t make sense to me to do so; I continually run across blogs that are so covered with ads that the actual content is almost impossible to find. I claim copyright protection for my work and cite the work of others where it has been mentioned.

Really? Poetry is “Spammy” or “Abusive”?

Interesting that my blog could be construed as that, when there are so many out there that literally incite people to violence, or aid in the trafficking of porn. My blog does not do that. Moreover, if I speak of specific people, it is never with full names, unless referencing an author whose work I have explored. This is a creative exercise, with an occasional foray into commentary and critical thinking.

Have I been posting too frequently? Once a day does not seem like very much. If this has been offensive to my small network of friends and even smaller group of followers, I truly am apologetic. I am a big girl; I could have received an email from you.

I suspect, however, that it is not a person that has made a complaint. I think it is a computer program that has made a flag. Now, if said computer program were really doing its job, the world might be saved from some of the real cyber trash, the real bullying, the real spam and abuse. But, no, a small potatoes poet is selected. It would be funny if it weren't so ridiculous. This is, after all, what the science fiction writers have posited over the years: machines and programs will make the determinations, not people.

I suspect that I am not the only decent person being harassed and discouraged.

The spoilers will ruin the internet. To whom am I referring? Those individuals who steal and mirror the work of individuals in other locations so that they can promote spam and ads, hate or even unsavory images of a prurient nature. Scrapers and sploggers.

There is no such thing as self-policing. There is no such thing as free. We live a delusion if we believe that electronic information is any better or any safer or even more environmentally sustainable than a printed book. We live a delusion if we believe we cannot function without smart phones. (I have a “dumb” phone and little artifact called an “address book”. Yes, please laugh, I know it is amusing. I am an anachronism. But when my computer blows up, I have all my addresses and account numbers listed where I can get at them, not to mention all my files backed up to auxiliary drives.)

The dream of the internet could well die. The death would be caused by hacking, identity theft, plagarism, over-exposure of minimal, sub-standard or shallow information, or, heaven forbid, misinformation and untruth replacing information and truth. Email is already a minefield of unwanted ads. People are afraid to answer their phones, due to the increased volume of solicitations—despite their numbers being listed on the no-call lists. What can we expect, if there is no enforcement? When people become overwhelmed, they will decide to unplug. E-commerce, business, networking needs to be thinking about that now, not when they start losing customers.

And what of creativity? Could this be construed as censorship? It is embarrassing. Oh, not to me, this does not embarrass me.  It is embarrassing (or should be) to a set of industries and information portals that expect to be making a lot of money very soon.

When creative people like me get fed up, what happens? Happily, I can go back to pencil and paper. Printing. Paper-based publishing.

Ultimately, this kind of thing (what I have experienced here) is what will keep hardcopy publishing alive. 

When the electronic world eats itself from the inside to the out, where will we all be?

Think on this, I beg you.

By the way, I have sent in my objections through the proffered form. I have not heard anything back. I look forward to hearing back from someone. If I don't hear from someone, I'll be signing off. 

It all seems so ridiculous. No, it doesn't just seem so--it IS.

I’ll keep you informed, if I can. This kind of thing impacts us all.


  1. How weird! I can't imagine what that's about. Well, actually maybe I can, come to think of it.

    I do personally limit what I post on FB from my blog because my friend list is pretty wide-ranging and I know not everyone will be interested. I have been known to block the applications that some people post--not because I don't care about the person, but because I'm not interested in their horoscope, or whatever. It may be as simple as some of your friends don't want to read your poetry, and FB responded to a number of people "hiding" your blog posts.

    It's just on FB, right? Or is this an email from Google/Blogger?

  2. Yes, it does seem to just be FB. If it were Google/Blogger, they would just freeze the account, I would think.

    I kind of doubt that it would be people blocking or hiding it. If you aren't interested, you don't have to read it, after all. I don't block stuff I'm not interested in, I just ignore it. I scroll through the constantly shifting menu of comments and postings and read the ones that interest me. This is likewise how I handle commenting. I imagine that is the same for most people, although I could be wrong. I mean, FB is more than connection--it's entertainment, n'est ce pas?

    I'll be interested to see what, if anything, gets returned from the "do you think this is in error?" message. And I'll keep you posted.