[MR] A Plea About Facebook and SCA Mailing Lists

Patty via Atlantia atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org
Thu Dec 3 14:27:59 PST 2015

Dear SCA friends:

Over the past two or three years, most of the chitchat (and debate) that we used to enjoy on the Merry Rose, our baronial mailing lists, and our special-interest SCA mailing lists has moved over to Facebook groups. I have joined a lot of those SCA-related groups and participated enthusiastically.

However, a few days ago, for some reason unknown to me, Facebook automagically banned me from posting to ALL Facebook groups and from commenting on ANY posts in Facebook groups. The ban was supposed to be for one week, but every day since then, Facebook has added more time to the ban. Right now it's supposed to expire on December 10, but I am not holding my breath. In the Facebook support forums there are tales of people banned from groups for months at a time.

Basically, the messages I get from Facebook about this say, "Yeah, you can write a message of appeal if you want, but we absolutely cannot change your ban." I am trying to avoid clicking on any messages in Facebook groups (which I can still read) in case that "counts" as "activity in groups" -- but then I might be missing out on information I need or want.

Which brings me to my point: People should NOT be required to have a fully functional Facebook account to participate in the affairs of the SCA, Kingdom, or local branch. Some people choose not to participate because they have a high threshold of personal privacy. Others, particularly in the northern end of Atlantia, work in high-security jobs. And after my experience of the past few days, I'm wondering whether the Facebook algorithms are simply triggered by "too much" posting and commenting in groups, for some secret value of "too much." Meaning: this ban could happen to any of us.

Please, folks, keep the conversations on mailing lists as much as possible. (Yes, I am considering starting a separate FB account under some variation of my SCA name, but I hate the idea of managing two accounts.) The next person banned from posting/commenting in all Facebook groups could be ... you.

Yours in service,
Lady Patricia of Trakai

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