Commentary by Vincent Daemon
Earlier this week, doing the usual return-home-from-a-seemingly-endless-bout-of-errands-thing, I came in and threw my keys on the table, coat on the back of a chair, and put my computer on.
Check email: nothing of note.
Go to youtube: put music on.
Go to check FaceBook: Can’t log in. MY PAGE IS “SHUT DOWN.”
What the fukk?
This is bad, for a couple of reasons. Even before I looked further.
Firstly: I was in the middle of some writing-business dealings earlier in the day when I had to go, and there was a time at which I was supposed to resume these dealings. That is the time at which this was now happening.
Secondly: WHY is my account shut down? Did I friend the wrong idiot who found something I had said offensive enough in some manner to report me? I’m a fukking horror writer for Christ’s sake. If you are sensitive like that, well, don’t friend me, and grow the fukk up. If you don’t like something, “change the channel,” asshole.
Thirdly: As stated above in FIRSTLY, essentially for my “work” I have to use FB to self-promote (of which I LOATHE — feels obnoxious), promote friends and peers of whom I feel should be out there (which I do not loathe), and to Network, as they say.
In all honesty I HATE FB for a variety of reasons, even though I have made some long-time and quite dear friends on there, have been able to keep in touch with old ones, and somewhat successfully “network” to some degree. For those things, of course, I’m grateful. However it is littered with liars, cons, sociopaths, as well, much like our everyday world, and that part is rather scary. Stay on FB long enough and you’ll notice the red-flags pretty quick.
“But there is a Darker side” *(cue in TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE theme and chroma-color fade here) . . .
The WHY was still bothering me, and after spending a good bit of time reading and re-reading page after meaningless page of what was essentially Cyrillic to me, eventually hitting continue after continue, I got my answer.
Apparently, my pen-name of DAEMON implies “RELIGIOUS ICONOGRAPHY,” which along with “NICKNAMES, AND NAMES THAT CANNOT BE LEGALLY PROVEN,” (just a few among a whole litany of oddly worded and structured rules and subversive regulations they listed) has become a big no-no. *(DAEMON, by the way, when used in certain contexts, does imply religious iconography — no shit, really? But there are apparently many other meanings and uses for the word, even in the world of technological terminology). Incidentally I skirted this slightly by changing it to DEAMON. There, they got their name change.
But this article is not about MY name being forcibly changed *(I mean, really, who the fukk am I, y’know?). This is about the fact that soon YOUR names will be changed as well. I really should have taken pics or grabbed screen captures of this as I went; I was honestly so confounded and pissed at the time it didn’t even occur to me to do so.
This enraged FREEZINE of Fantasy and Science Fiction editor/founder Shaun Lawton into a rabid fury (justifiably so, as he immediately saw the Bigger Picture). He’s still frothing about it, and I don’t blame him one bit. I’m still not thrilled.
What do I mean by Bigger Picture, exactly? There are far-reaching implications to this, on many levels. Examples, you say? Sure:
— Apparently for a Native American, say, to keep and use cultural birth names, they can, BUT they have to LEGALLY PROVE their status as such. What the fukk is THAT? And what of other cultural or “faith-based” names, like Moses, Jesus, Seth, Isaac, David, John, or any number of the thousands of other names that contain such cultural and religious “iconography,” meaning, or symbolism?
— I am a horror/Transgressive/New Weird/scifi writer when not doing this, and have many a friend and peer in the horror/scifi/New Weird fiction field as well, all at differing levels in their careers. A great many of them happen to use pen names, or nom de plumes, for a dizzying array of reasons (from respect for family to protection of self, etc.), everyone of them completely logical and legitimate. These people both write/create under these particular names and are KNOWN by a (sometimes) long-time fanbase by that name. And this applies not only to Weird-genre writers, but all writers.
— In fact, it applies to ALL artists. Musicians, painters, writers, actors, et al. across the board. So in a certain way, by doing this, FB is fukking with careers as well. Nice move, Zuckerberg.
Let us continue:
— What of the wife or girlfriend (or husband or boyfriend as well, people) who HAS to use a fake name to hide from his/her stalky and violent ex. Is his/her name to just be out there so she/he can leave themselves open to written threats and repeated emotional/psychological abuse? Or being able to be physically found and forced to go through another round of god knows the fukk what? Thanks for wired jaw, FB!
— What of people with jobs in the medical field, psych industry, law enforcement, etc,, who are merely trying to do the community good, but for obvious reasons (often the ‘clientele’ they deal with, particularly law enforcement — and I mean the good cops, few and far between, but they are out there) cannot just have their family name out there for the world to see. For the safety and security of both themselves and their loved ones they need to retain a certain amount of legitimate anonymity (and deserve the fukking privacy).
At what point exactly are we going to be forced to show only our faces as avatars, no cartoons or actors or whatever bullshit usually becomes an avatar, fukking cats or whatever, but when exactly will we have our accounts “shut down” until we post an avatar of our face on there?
The scariest part is that it is all RIGHT THERE, literally before our eyes. It couldn’t be more obvious. We play into it every time we log on, by default, 99% of users unaware that, well, everything you say, do, post on there is being watched and logged in some database underneath some mountain somewhere. This is what we have allowed communication to become, in this unending quest for more and superior technology, that a good portion of the world now thrives upon like some kind of drug.
Addiction to technology.
I’m telling you, if you’re a FB user and have not been hit with this yet, you will be. In one form or another. It may not be over a name. It may be over a piece of classical art that was posted that happened to have some nudity. DEAR GOD! NOT THE HUMAN BODY! Get the fukk outta here with that, FB. Pay close attention to what you are about to read.
Watch what you post, watch what you say, watch everything you do. Because the scariest part to all of this?
They Are Watching YOU.
Vincent Daemon, writer and rabblerouser, can be followed on FB @https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 , and join his blog The Writings Of A Depraved Mind @http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/?zx=e40931ba40511a11