Lately, I’ve had Facebook’s policies on content rolling through my mind. How much could they take? What measures would they take on me if I violated their policies? On a personal level, I needed to know. How much could I get away with?
For some further backstory: I am Facebook acquaintances with a British experimental filmmaker named Marc Blackie. He finds himself under the oppressive thumb of the Facebook police fairly frequently since his work is dark and somewhat erotic (really nothing more than nudity for the most part; you can view his work here.) So, because of Blackie’s frequent “groundings” and my own sick need to push boundaries, I decided to test the limits of Facebook’s content policies for myself and see what kind of “backlash” I would receive from it.
Whereas Blackie’s work is visual — photographs and films — the content I christened Facebook with was… wait for it… words. I typed a list of obscenities, including swear words like “fuck”, “shit”, and “ass”, along with their variations, a slew of racial slurs, and a copious amount of sexually vulgar terms. Needless to say, it was pretty crazy. I had to dig into the deepest recesses of my mind to make sure I covered all of the obscenity bases.
I posted the words — along with seventy-five comment boxes containing the same string of profanities — around nine o’clock last night. I backed away from Facebook and waited.
I woke up this morning around eight, did my morning rituals, and then sat down in front of my computer with a Coke. I booted the machine, then upon loading the system, opened my Internet browser.
I’m greeted by the all-too-familiar blue and grey and white template. I put my email address into the designated box, then typed in my password, hit enter, and sat back.
First, I’m greeted by a box stating that my post was removed because it violated their Community Standards. I chuckled, then clicked okay. Then, I’m notified that I am…
… wait for it…
grounded from Facebook!
I succeeded in my quest! I used a string of words to get myself briefly removed from the social networking juggernaut! I feel complete. Happy. Mischievous. I feel like Robbie from the days of yore. It’s actually quite amazing.
I wonder what I’m going to do next?