On Friday night I was once again notified by Facebook that I had been reported for nudity and the content had subsequently been removed. Also, not only that but this time, I would be banned from using Facebook for 24 hours, thus effectively treating me like a child who'd been badly behaving and deserved to have their toy taken away as punishment.And this time? I hadn't even posted the image directly to Facebook. I had posted it to a blog post on my own website - a website I pay yearly for to keep and maintain, by the way - but because the preview that Facebook automatically generates displayed nudity, I had been punished in the exact same manner I would have been had I posted it directly to their site. To me, this is absolutely unacceptable.
So this is my thank you to Facebook for finally giving me the motivation I so badly needed to be done with this site. For good.
If you've been my friend or fan of my work and have followed me for a while, you'll know this isn't the first time I've bitched about this, but it will be the last. I'm an ordinary, sensible, reasonably intelligent adult woman who happens to create art that yes, contains moderate nudity. And I have been doing so for at least the last fifteen years of my life. My art is just that: art, but it's also so much more than that. It's my love, my craft, my passion, my devotion and my raw expression all made tangible. But it is not pornography and it is not offensive and it is not some hideous and scary thing that needs to be hidden away. Its importance in my life can not be understated and censoring that part of me, is censoring everything, as far as I'm concerned. And to know that some power-happy douchebag sitting behind a computer screen under asinine orders from some billion dollar corporation can delete it all and threaten my account with a click of a button because some sanctimonious prude issued a baseless whine is dispiriting and even heartbreaking to me and ultimately, a ridiculous fact of this website I can no longer tolerate.
I realize this is part of a much larger problem in this country, especially amongst the other civilized first world nations, and that for some reason (so often religion, if I'm not mistaken) Americans are more than happy to accommodate images of bloody violence and brutality, but a naked human body is deemed obscene by fellow human beings who I would have to venture a guess never peer at their own naked bodies and must regularly have sex under the cloak of darkness. And I don't hate these people, I just feel absolutely terrible for them. My heart aches for them; that they can not only not appreciate the beauty of such a sight but that they fear it. And that's really the unfortunate essence of much of humanity, isn't it? Fear. Decisions made in fear, actions taken or not taken in fear, a life not truly lived due to fear. And this fear of offense has grown to ridiculous proportions. You do not have the right to an offenseless life. You do not have the right to trample my freedom of expression because you're offended. But you do have the ability to leave or not friend or follow those that offend you if you absolutely can't stifle that useless emotion.
But as long as these websites take the sides of the offended minority, that won't happen, will it? And that's perfectly fine because it's their website, their company and their prerogative on how they'd like to run it. And it's my right to leave if I don't agree. After all, Facebook is just a silly website. It's an empty, vacuous shell with an overly inflated ego, but it's its users that supply the content. It's all of us. Facebook has nothing without us and I have faith in the inevitability of a world without Facebook sometime in the near future. We've given this website too much power over our lives and I believe the time has come to take it back. There aren't many left (among my generation and younger, anyway) that even like the site or express any genuine desire to keep utilizing it. Like me, they continue to do so because everyone else continues to do so. Friends are here, family's here, and in my case, fans of my work are here. But they despise the site. It's even been proven to make us depressed and miserable and yet, we continue. There has been one appalling story after another of Facebook performing psychological experiments on its users, watching its users without their consent, selling its users' data to advertisers to inflate their bottom line and yet, we continue. Why? Why have we allowed any of this? Why have we settled for this as if it's our only option? It's not.
Google the phrase "why you should stop using Facebook" and you'll be confronted with thousands of relevant links leading to lists just filled with numerous compelling reasons to cut this site out of your life. But we shouldn't need thousands of lists with thousands of reasons. We only need one good one. And I've had my own for quite a few years now.
So I won't be here anymore but I won't be deleting my profile just yet (I was one click away from doing it Friday though, must be that all or nothing personality I've been saddled with) simply because I have 7 years worth of content here I probably shouldn't just delete on a hurt and angered whim. It'll be deactivated eventually but in the meantime, I'll be deleting the app, not logging in with a browser (the goal is ever but habit and addiction can be hard to squelch so it's possible I'll falter a time or two initially) and just basically ceasing all use of it. I've been updating my blog a LOT in the last year, so if you're at all interested, find me there: http://rebeccatillett.com/blog/ And if you're interested enough to subscribe to it, let me know and i'll do it for you. smile emoticon Of course, it would mean the world to me.
And just in case, here are some additional details: rebeccatillett [at] gmail dot com https://instagram.com/rebeccatillett/ (also Facebook owned, however, so my continuance there is still uncertain) http://tillettburns.tumblr.com/ https://twitter.com/rebeccatillett https://ello.co/rebeccatillett And I'm pretty picky about who I hand my phone number out to but if you don't have it and you think you should, message me. Thanks everyone, I'll see ya around! Becky xoxoxo