Zen Parenting's Facebook page has been up less than nine months. In that time, I cannot even count how many times I have had content reported and removed and consequently been blocked from my primary personal account. Let's chat, shall we?
For those who don't know how it all works, here's the rundown:
- Facebook does not monitor and block content on its own. People report the content to Facebook and Facebook acts. I don't agree with Facebook not checking the report out first to make sure the content actually does violate their policies, but they are not solely to blame.
- It is almost never reported by a Zen Parent. What you, as a Zen Parenting fan, do on a public page, though, is shown on your ticker and every friend of yours can see that. Often, friends will see what you like or comment on and will click to further investigate. That's where trolls come in. And that's where reports come from. That's right, it's friends of yours and friends of theirs and so on.
- The first time content is reported and removed is just a warning. The next time is a blocking from my personal account for a day (or something like that...it's been a while since that time, so I can't exactly remember), then a few days, then a week, and now I'm up to thirty days. Thirty-flipping-days.
- As things progress, so does the progressive discipline plan. Eventually, I will lose my primary account, all my contacts, all my statuses about my son, all my photos I've posted over the years. Good times, no?
- And yes, Zen Parenting will also close down at that time. We will lose our community. It would, of course, be restarted, but never the same. And it won't be long until we progress to this step.
To address the solutions that some have offered:
- Yes, I could choose an option that does not allow for a thumbnail to be posted along with an article. That will do nothing to help anyone, however. First, that blames the victim. I have done nothing wrong and will not accept the responsibility for those who cannot handle the cold, hard truth. Second, posts without thumbnails get significantly fewer readers. If I am trying to reach and educate the largest group, the thumbnail is essential. Third, it really has nothing to do with one little thumbnail. Most people can't even see those on their mobile devices. They see them there, are enticed to look further, open the article (or photo or whatever other content there is) and are then shocked and appalled that something goes against their steadfast and misguided beliefs. People report breastfeeding photos that show NO breast, breastfeeding photos that show less skin than a low-cut top, statuses that say "Hey, I don't like you," and articles that offend their delicate sensibilities. It's about changing mindsets, educating the uneducated, changing the world one little blurb at a time. I won't stop doing that. I won't. My son inherits this world after I am gone and I intend to do my best to leave him a world that is better than it was when he got here.
(Below is a photo that caused quite a stir on the page and was, indeed, reported. See what I mean?)
- Yes, I could post more mild-mannered photos, articles, and statuses. I'm not going to, but I could. I'm not here to please everyone. That's not even possible. I have a set of goals. I am striving to meet them. Those goals cannot be met by having a milquetoast page. Even if they could (but they can't), that kind of page would skeeve me out. That's just not me. As Desmond Tutu once said, "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." I refuse to remain neutral or run a page that is neutral just to appease the masses.
- I do have another account, which is how I am able to post on the Facebook page while blocked on my primary account. I have no friends, no photos, no nothin'.
- Everyone always asks, "Who are these people who are reporting you?" Well, like I said, they're your friends and their friends and so on. I once had a friend who stated he "understood" why people report breastfeeding photos and I just shouldn't post them. He was immediately deleted. You know who is doing it. They're the same people who are reporting your stuff, too.
- No, it's not just a "bummer" as some seem to think. It is just Facebook, I understand fully, but I believe wholeheartedly in our community, what we're doing here, the assistance and education we provide, and our mission. Take that away and it's way more than a "bummer." Furthermore, I do have a life outside of Zen Parenting and family members and friends spread far and wide and it's nice to be able to keep them up on my son's life with just the click of a button.
- Finally, the reasons people report material are the exact reasons I feel so passionately about our little page. That there are so many appalled and embarrassed by the normal and natural is the very reason I do what I do. I'm not here to preach to the converted. I'm here to effect change in the rest of the world. The very people who are offended by the truth are the ones I seek to enlighten. Maybe I don't reach all or even many of them, but maybe, just maybe, I reach one or two and that's enough for me. I will keep posting what I post for those few people who need and want the information provided.
Update: My husband is also an admin on the page just as an extra account for me to use in such cases as these. He doesn't post. I just logged onto his account to do something else and found this:
The account from which I am posting now, my tertiary, received its first warning, as well.