The Compostual Existentialist

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Facebook: Real Names Policy – Intro

FacistbookRecently Facebook began enforcing their so-called “Real Names Policy”. You might remember this making the news back in September when Facebook began closing or suspending the accounts of transgendered people and drag artists who were not using their “real names” on their profiles.

After the wails of protests became too loud for the Facebook PR machine to quash, an agreement was made and some of the users affected were permitted to keep their chosen Facebook names. (http://bit.ly/14YEmTy) However, even after the apology, the Facistbook Facebook name policy police continued to crawl the site looking for suspicious names. No doubt using some hair brained algorithm which looks for commonly suspicious names.

Cat Woman isn't allowed a Facebook accountOften on Facebook, people create accounts for their pets and one of the more common Facebook profiles of yesteryear was Facebook profiles for cats. Profiles with names like Kitty Whiskers, Charlie Puss and other  feline similes would be common place. Similarly Doggy Woofwoof, Rover Dog and other animals were common too.  Facebook started to prevent such accounts being made but recently, two members of the Facebook community I know of who both have names with cat themes had their accounts suspended. So it seems likely that Facebook’s algorithm is working through its cat thesaurus.

Facebook’s terms of service state that people must use the same name “as it would be listed on your credit card, driver’s license or student ID.” Which is great. Except I know plenty of Mikes whose name on their driving licence says “Michael”, Jims whose passports say their name is James. Indeed, I know lots of people who don’t actually use their full name on social media because of safety, privacy and historical reasons.

stegzy_1398497700_140For as long as I have been on the internet, I have used the internet name “Stegzy Gnomepants”. Why? Because my real name is, quite rightly, none-of-your-fucking-business. I have been on the internet since 1998 using that very same name. Look for me on google, you’ll find my accounts everywhere. Stegzy Gnomepants. Occasionally Stegzonopolis Gnomicpantalon. Rarely some other variation.  It is my distinct expression of my personality. My expression of creativity. How I wish to be known on the internet.

This is what Edward Snowden has been trying to tell you for agesI also use the name because I realised long ago, the only reason people need your name is so they can compile data about you. Attribute demographic and personal information to form a picture about your personality and psyche. Your political beliefs. Your sexual preferences. Your needs. Not just for marketing purposes. But for sinister reasons. As dear old Edward Snowden pointed out.

There is no need to create a state like the DDR in former East Germany. Not when people freely give every aspect of their waking life to those who want it but don’t ask for it. That is the world now. There is no need to worry about people communicating anonymously when they are forced to use their real name on services they have tied to one identity. We’re being shepherded back into a society that thousands died to prevent 100 years ago. Technology designed to promote democracy is being used to control us. Prevent uprisings. Quash political unrest and difference of opinion. Exactly how Egypt and parts of the Middle East failed to do.

Where we are headingAnonymity causes people to misbehave. Anonymity allows people to do bad things. Anonymity allows people to abuse children. This is what those whipping up the pre-constructed moral panic are saying.

However, it’s the opposite. It’s anonymity that protects us from surveillance. Anonymity prevents abuse. Anonymity saves lives. Anonymity is a right. A way of life.

So, the axe is about to fall. The sword of Damocles may drop at any moment and over ten years of Facebook usage is about to come to an end. I will lose contact with friends I have made long before Facebook because that is how they communicate. I will lose memories. Fond and painful. Over the next few days I am intending to write about this situation. Discuss alternatives. Express distaste and moot alternatives.

Going forward. You can always find me elsewhere. Follow my comings and goings on WordPress (stegzy.wordpress.com). Tweet me on Twitter (@stegzy). Analyse my mind on LiveJournal (stegzy.livejournal.com). Say “Hello” on Ello (@stegzy). Flick me on Flickr (stegzy). Hell, if I’m on it, I’m on it as Stegzy. But as for Facebook. How long I am there is dependent on how quickly their police come for me. Enjoy my last days there. Because when they say stop. I will. By taking myself elsewhere.

 

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Cat (A poem)

002eb0r9Cat! Cat!
What are you doing?
You’re in a carrier bag
You best not be pooing

Cat! Cat!
Get out of there
I need that bag
For my underwear

Cat! Cat!
You soft black brute
How can I be angry
When you are so cute?


Annoy annoy annoy

My alarm clock is furry. It is black and white and furry. It doesn’t tell the time very well, but it knows to wake me up in the morning.

You don’t wind it up, you feed it. If you want a lie in, forget it. If you pretend to sleep, prepare for the paw. If you ignore it, it will be sick on the bed or knock stuff off tables. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of being too early….

Would you like to see my alarm clock? No? Well tough….Here is my alarm clock.


Hunger – Slightly improved poetry by Stegzy Gnomepants.

Hunger

Stop your incessant whining
You furry mosquito
You’re pestering me for food or drink
Or maybe a burrito

You’re prowling round the room
Yipping and yowling
You jump up on my desk
When pushed off you start growling

You are an impatient cat
You’ve only just been fed
It’s not your tea for quite some time
So go curl up on t’ bed

You’re nudging my hand
You’re tripping up my feet
Oh for fuck sake you annoying cat
Here! Have a plate of meat.


Catquake

Approx 1am.

stegzywaking with a start at the house shaking WTF!OMG!BLOODYHELL! what’s going on?
Mrs Gnomepants – nothing, it’s just the cats running about.
stegzy – Are you sure? It felt like an earth tremor
Mrs Gnomepants – Yes it was the cats, go back to sleep.
stegzy – Oh right. Fucking nuisances.


Of Mops and spooky happenings

Missis Mop seems to be in relatively good health. Already a timid kitty, the trauma of “being cornered in a room with no hiding places then shoved into a box, driven 5 miles to a brightly lit strangely smelling room where some strange woman shoves a thermometer up her bottom, then having her long claws snipped before being shoved back into the box and driven 5 miles, carried through the cold, dark and rainy outside eventually arriving back home to familiar surroundings only to be fed suspiciously looking food” has made Missis Mop more timid than she was. I’m sure she’ll forgive us though.

ION, yesterday I was in work. As you know I work part time now at the University Centre Barnsley in the learning resource centre (LRC). UCB is located in a fairly old building in the centre of Barnsley in what was once a school for Miners (not minors) where they once taught many thousands of scruffy chaps how to dig coal using a spade (it’s very technical you know, not just as simple as shovelling with a spade). During the time I was working it was relatively quiet and so I was left in the LRC on my own to man the LRC desk. Behind where I sit is the entrance to the office, which was empty. I must have been sat at the desk for at least 45 minutes, minding my own business when all of a sudden there came an almighty crash from the office. I leapt out of my chair and ran into the office to see a rather heavy key box had somehow knocked over the washing up bowl destroying 4 mugs in the process. Easy, you might think, the key box had fallen against the bowl pushing it over causing the destruction of the mugs. Well no. Actually. No. Why? Well the keybox is situated at least 5 foot away from the washing up bowl (and yet the box was on top of the bowl on the floor) AT THE SAME HEIGHT AS THE WASHING UP BOWL! The bowl was upside down too. Weird shit. It freaked me out big style. Never the less I tidied up the mess just as Tina, my work colleague came back from her lunch.

Thing was no matter how I tried to explain what had gone on it just sounded like I was telling fibs. I think (and hope) they believed me though. I swear on my life that I wasn’t even in the room when the keybox fell. Weird shit dudes weird shit.

Jane, my boss (who’s cup was smashed) said she had worked there for over 30 years and never seen or heard of anything untoward in the building. But you never know do you…….