Not since I was declared a fraud by the BBC, About.com, the Museum of Hoaxes, Wikipedia, NPR, The Churchill Centre, and others, have I been forced to endure such indignity.Â Facebook, the upstart would-be MySpace, has deemed me, ME â€“ Charlie Churchill’s Parrot, the brightest feather of the Right Wing, the only Conservative pundit who can fly â€“ unworthy of membership, and disabled my account!
Zounds!Â And, pray tell, what was my egregious violation?
â€œUnfortunately, for technical and security reasons, Facebook cannot provide you with a description or copy of the removed content,â€ replies Facebook. Most helpful.Â Facebook does, however, provide a list of egregious offenses from which to choose that may or may not actually be the reason for oneâ€™s having been jettisoned from amongst its worthy ranks.Â Â
Egregious Offense #1.Â â€œWe do not allow users to send unsolicited or harassing messages to people they donâ€™t know, and we remove posts that advertise a product, service, website, or opportunity.â€
As I knew no one on Facebook, I directed my content to no member in particular.Â Furthermore, this content contained no harassments, solicitations, nor advertisements. It could be argued that I advertised enlightenment by encouraging members to visit my blog (http://www.churchillsparrot.com/). However, as the Facebook registration process encourages members to list any blogs or websites they might have in their command, and provides a feature by which to stream oneâ€™s blog content through oneâ€™s Facebook site, it seems not a stretch to assume this is well within the bounds of acceptable behavior.
Egregious Offense #2.Â â€œWe do not allow any obscene, pornographic, or sexually explicit photos, as well as any photos that depict graphic violence.â€
Other than the occasional reference to MoveOn.org, my content did not nor has it ever contained anything obscene, pornographic, sexually explicit, nor graphically violent.Â Â
Egregious Offense #3.Â â€œWe also remove content, photo or written, that threatens, intimidates, harasses, or brings unwanted attention or embarrassment to an individual or group of people.â€Â Â
Hmmm.Â We may have something here. A quick review of my most recent posts produces titles such as, â€œStudy Finds Democratic Party May have Died Decades Agoâ€, â€œUseful Idiot Hall of Fame Announces Massive Expansion,â€ â€œOur Second Interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejadâ€ (not at all flattering to Mr. Ahmadinejad), â€œCelebrate Talk Like a Terrorist Dayâ€, and more.Â It is certainly fair to say there is much â€œunwanted attention and embarrassment brought to individuals and groups of peopleâ€ here.Â But such is political commentary.Â Does Facebook mean to say members are not to share political commentary via their online forum?Â Most curious, particularly as it was through a political site â€“ http://britainandamerica.typepad.com/ â€“ through which I became involved in this mess in the first place. (Although this site now no longer advertises its Facebook option either. Again, hmmmm.)Â Â
Egregious Offense #4.Â â€œFacebook does not allow users to register with fake names, to impersonate any person or entity, or to falsely state or otherwise misrepresent themselves or their affiliations.â€Â
Here we have, at once, the most likely and the most hilarious â€œreasonâ€ for my expulsion.Â As referenced earlier, this is not the first time the validity of my identity has been called into question. While I can well appreciate the seeming unlikelihood of there actually being a 107 year-old parrot claiming to have been the pet and confidant of Sir Winston Churchill and issuing scathing indictments of Leftist tyranny via the Internet on a regular basis, that is, nonetheless, who and what I am.Â
Let us, for the sake of argument, however, suppose that I were not actually Charlie â€“ Churchillâ€™s Parrot.Â Imagine instead that I were, say, a frustrated Conservative writer from Wisconsin, USA, seeking outlet and audience for his or her thoughts, opinions, and writing. Would not the employment of the â€œChurchillâ€™s Parrotâ€ identity fall under the definition of â€œnicknameâ€ or â€œavatar,â€ devices used by 90% of those participating in online communication?Â Am I to believe that others encountered during my brief stint on Facebook are actually who or what they say they are?Â â€œOdo Barn Owl,â€ â€œPeace Love Bird,â€Â â€œFord Taurus,â€ â€œLinus McKitten,â€ â€œTuna Bird,â€ the entire membership of a Facebook Group entitled, â€œFacebook Members Who are Not Humanâ€ to name a few â€¦ these are all somehow exempt from the â€œfake names,â€ â€œimpersonations,â€ and â€œmisrepresentationsâ€ standard?Â Â
Right then. We shall full well expect that, in keeping with its principles, Facebook is thus now in the process of purging well over half its membership for violating the high standard of identity integrity to which it aspires.Â As we say in the Queenâ€™s Dominion, â€œNot bloody likely.â€ To attempt such would prove not only impossible â€“ Facebook currently boasts nearly 34 million active users â€“ it would be idiotic.Â Creativity (though admittedly much of it at a third grade level) is an amusing and positive outgrowth of such ventures.Â
What is far more bloody likely is that only certain kinds of members of questionable identity are being purged from the esteemed ranks of Facebook: those expressing overtly Conservative views and opinion.Â My suspicion is that some Lefty took offense to one of my posts and reported it to the Facebook security ninnies who â€“ rather than defend my content as legitimate contribution to an open forum â€“ saw fit to acquiesce to Lefty whining, disable my account, and throw these lame excuses at me by way of â€œexplanation.â€
Understand, what ruffles my feathers is not my exclusion from the Facebook community â€“ I appeared to be the only one bothering to contribute any actual content anyway â€“ but that here we may well have yet another forum wherein Conservative expression is being denied. Thus, I write this post, and thus I have solicited the assistance of the mighty Media Research Center to aid in my further investigation of this potential.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
If I am proven wrong and revealed as merely an hysterical Right Wing paranoiac, so be it.Â I will, at such time, willingly and publicly eat crow – a far more repugnant act for parrots, mind you, than for you non-avians!Â Â
In the meantime, however, I would be very interested to know if there are any other Right-leaning individuals out there who have found themselves expelled from the Facebook roster.Â Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.Â Perhaps we shall discover that what we have here is not just another pretty Facebook.Â Â Â