Twice I’ve been reprimanded by Facebook’s administrators, banned on both occasions for periods of ten days. Or seven days? — I forget. Slaps on the wrist, anyway, rather than eternal shut-downs. The first time it happened, I never discovered why. The Facebook advisory I received was just too cryptic. (It might have been the word cunt. We must use only the proper scientific term, I’ve since learned, the nice word1 that in Latin means scabbard, as for stowing a knife or dagger.)
“I see that you reported a photo on my timeline.” To this first text no response came. I tried again a little later.
“You understand that your report caused my page to be taken down without warning, and without any opportunity for me to explain or justify the image?”
“Yes,” she replied. “I was very offended, but not for me. Both of my kids could both [sic] see it when my computer was open on the kitchen table. They saw it and asked what it was. I was embarrassed to tell them but I did. We believe in honestly [sic] in our home.”
I paused; paced around my office for a few minutes, waiting till the anger subsided to within sociable tolerance.
“So you’re saying your kids asked you about the image, and then you answered, ‘Children, this is a picture of someone’s ankles.’”
“Ho ho not amusing.”
“I’m not trying to be amusing,” I wrote back. “That’s what it is, it’s a picture of ankles. Of MY ankles! I took the picture! I was sitting on the floor. I wanted to get a shot of my Hello Kitty nightlight. My ankles accidentally ended up in the frame. The nightlight appeared as a useless glowing blur that was barely even in the frame, but I thought the ankle part looked kind of interesting, photographically, so I cropped out the rest.” Evidently, this explanation failed to mollify.
Aargh. I found the image in my iPhoto file and pasted it into the text pane. “Please look at this again and tell me, just for the record, what you think you see. Maybe there was glare on your screen last time.”
“You know exactly what your [sic] doing.”
“Yeah, I’m showing you a picture of my two ankles. My left ankle is on the left, my right ankle on the right.”
“That isn’t what that is. It’s a picture of you-know-whats.” [Yes, plural; no sic.]
1. Vagina, late 17th cent.: from Latin, literally ‘sheath, scabbard.’ (New Oxford American Dictionary, web version)