Dear Facebook automated complaints system,
I’ve had my ability to friend request temporarily suspended.
I believe this to be a systematic error.
Send me any and all further details on this issue or, I will ask a Queens Council to take them from you in the new year at the NSW Supreme Court, Australia. If you’re unfamiliar, perhaps being American, a Queens Council is a special kind of Barrister that is annointed by my Queen of England, Elizabeth II, to defend both the spirit and letter of the Common Law, and is anointed so after proving themselves to and against their peers, fellow Barristers.
I specifically request that you do not send an automated standard form response.
I also demand that you drop this temprorary suspension immediately.
Feel free to read on if you are not going to immediately respond positively to these three reasonable items.
It’s Christmas and Hanukkah. Why, in g-d’s name, are you stopping people becoming friends at this time? Should I say ‘What nonsense?’ or should I exclaim ‘What fresh hell is this??’
You see, this isn’t just nonsense. I take offence that you take issue with activity which that is, and has been considered, fine for years.
I am an Arts Professional. In my community adding people you don’t know is the same as introducing yourself to them at a bar. It is not intended as an offence, and if the request is refused, it’s not taken as one either. ‘Artistic Differences’ might be a common English phrase, but in this case it’s also just common sense.
A literal reading of the Facebook T.o.S. would lead one to believe that one cannot ever meet anyone new on facebook. Making an offer of friendship is an important thing. One that is critical to the functioning of my community, our culture and, (dare I say it? yes.) to our civilisation. How would we ever make new friends if we had to know them before?
How Social! Networking? not if you follow these absurd rules.
So I ignore the absurdity. I request freely and openly, usually with a joke, sometimes with a respectful silence. If there were a less provocative name for ‘poke’ then I’d use that. Instead I request friendship. Is that anti-social?
I hasten to add that I make these harmless gestures almost exclusively at facebook’s own suggestion. À la “Do you know this person? <Picture of ‘Jimmy Fancypants’> You have 72 common friends”. I see dozens of people bubble up through the aethers like this every day. I usually think. “No, I don’t know them. But maybe I should. Oh, why not.” <click>
Oh the shame! I idly click at facebooks own suggestions, and now am punished with this pettiness as a Christmas Present. fuck me. A Happy Hanukkah to you too my robot-coded friend Mr. Facebook server.
Look. If it were an actual thing, it was probably like this: We touchy arty types do have artistic personalities, and complicated social lives, and passionately felt jealousies, rivalries and grudges abound. No doubt some of these translated into an (ironic?) ‘i don’t know this person’ checkbox-checking from someone whose ex-girlfriend’s cousin I once drunk-pashed and then never called. Five years ago.
Or, this: I’ve still got two good enemies left in the world that I haven’t turned back into friends. One is on Facebook. She’s pretty capable, if delusional. And you should definitely remove the lying harrasing mess of a girl from The Facebook as you’ve repeatedly warned her you will. Maybe she’s having a go at me. Infact it’s highly likely. She writes well enough, but she’s more than a bit delusional, and can be extraordinarily cruel. Alexandra Jean Coffey. I understand she is well known to the courts, She owes me money, as well as many others. Feel free to take that into consideration.
In either of these cases, I take offence that the automated systems in Facebook appear to be taking issue with me. Either I am doing a perfectly ordinary friend requesting, someone is being ironic, or worse, you are taking this delusional girl or her foolish minions seriously.
If this were to proceed further, and I were to find my usual activity hampered, I would be happy to make a name for myself by using my legal and political connections to prosecute a case against Facebook in this jurisdiction. It’d look great for me. I’d personally love the process. It’d be hilarious if it were nothing else, and I’d likely make some money for some good lawyers from it too as it speaks directly to the public interest.
Here is the thing, at Law, Facebook has no right to stop me being friendly, or making friend requests. At all.
Facebook is not, as it claims, a private space owned by a private company; Facebook is a public space meditated by a public company. Public laws and statutes take precedence in these matters, and the knee jerk reliance on the ‘privacy of private companies’ that the T.o.S. I just read falsely and misleadingly claim— this reliance carries little legal, and no moral force.
So, I repeat for emphasis, I specifically request that you DO NOT send me an automated response, your T.o.S., or repeat any of the absurdities in your ‘community standards’ document that you failed to write in consort with me, my community or my elected representatives. I know the latter because I know my representatives in Federal and State parliament personally.
DO send me any and all further details on this issue. Or don’t. I can force you to send them when I ask a QC to make you give them up in the new year as I have said.
Additionally I demand that you drop this absurd and poorly timed Christmas ‘temporary suspension’. And do so immediately.
All this said, I take this moment to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Automated System.
Benjamin George Griffin
Chair, Specious Pty. Ltd.
Director, Griffin Projects Pty. Ltd.