If this were, let’s say. 1955, being declared a non-person would be a Soviet thing. You would not expect, 60 years later, in Free-Speech U.S.A., for such a declaration to affect the manner in which a blogger operates. But it does. It has. It has happened to me.
Since 2008 I have blogged under the screen name Still4Hill. She is and has been my identity for very solid reasons that are private and nobody’s business. Outside this blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other social media accounts all operate in sync with that personal identity which I, for years, have claimed.
Suddenly, on May 6, Stillfor Hill, a Facebook identity (because Facebook would not accept a number in a name) was slaughtered. Facebook declared that person a non-person the way the Soviet Union used to declare dissidents non-persons. Stillfor Hill became a Facebook ‘page’ – a person no longer and now without friends and unable to do the things the personal account once could.
When I say suddenly, I mean it came when I was in the middle of working on something, with no warning, and with no real avenue of redress. Essentially the message was:
We have disabled your account. We don’t think you are a person. We think you are promoting an agenda. You can make it a Facebook Page if you want. We will import your content.
I am paraphrasing. That was the gist. I have a “gist memory,” but I take care in collecting text for archival history.
Given that, I chose to make Stillfor Hill a Facebook page. Contrary to the message, I lost ALL of the important content, and all of my friends became “followers” (a title I resent since I am not the Mahareeshi Yogi and never sought “followers’). I don’t even know if my friends know that this happened or if they think some low-life named Stillfor Hill was banished for unseemly behavior on Facebook.
As if the Facebook aspects were not damaging enough, there was spontaneous combustion of the Twitter and Google links to that Facebook account. Twitter, of course, cannot connect with a disabled Facebook account, and Google threw every security wall in its arsenal against this dangerous entity, Stillfor Hill, whose only purpose and reason was to circulate information about the work of a person who is a declared candidate for president of the United States.
I was not sharing blueprints for 3-D printer guns or formulas for dirty bombs. I was not providing shelter to criminal or terrorist elements. I was sharing an archive of the work Hillary Clinton has done since 2008.
I know Facebook has a policy of one person/one account. I know Stillfor Hill defied that, and I think it is a wrong-headed policy. We do not all always feel safe doing or saying what we do on Facebook under our own identities. Facebook should respect that.
I also know that Facebook does not seek out alias accounts like Stillfor Hill. They take them down when they are reported as “non-persons,” i.e. someone reported me. Smacks of the old Soviet tactics. Like a G.E. theater episode hosted by Ronald Reagan.
So here I am, in some old Joe Stalin gulag where nothing works exactly as it should and most of my old friends don’t even know I am missing. They only know, if they see it, that I have become a Facebook ghost.
I wish I could tell you the cataclysm this has caused. I am a Hillary Girl. I have picked up whatever pieces I have left and moved on. I was hit badly by Sandy. I am still rising above that. I will rise above this as well. I will rise.