מחזה הדוקודרמה החדש: זרוק אותו לאיראנים –
איך נפטרנו מאשר גרוניס
Mark Zukerberg, let the "market forces" control the Facebook friendships!
Dear Mr. Zukerberg,
Re: Blocking friendship requests
First, I admit that Facebook is a private enterprise, whose owners have the right to set rules for its use, and people who don't like the rules are free to find other things to deal with.
Yet, Facebook without the millions of users is worth NOTHING, and therefore it owes some degree of fairness to its users – especially those who invested plenty of time in building their Facebook entity – while, in parallel, build Facebook's entity, as well.
Let me be the voice and utterance for them. Let me speak on their behalf.
Let me be the voice and utterance for millions (maybe tens of millions) of Facebook users who are blocked over and over again from sending friendship requests, with threats of being blocked forever from doing so.
If you are blocked, you get this message:
"You're blocked from sending friend requests for 30 days
You've continued to send friend requests to people who don't know you, even though you’ve been warned. Sending friend requests to people you don't know personally is against Facebook’s Terms and could be considered harassment. If you don't change your behavior, you could be permanently blocked from sending friend requests. Learn more."
When you click on "learn more" you get a form of "question and answers". Two of the questions are:
In the past this form gave the option to request re-examining of the blocking. Using this option gave you the feeling of "barking at the moon", but at least you had the hope that someone may read it, and may cure baseless blockings – both yours and others'.
However, today the answer to each of the questions starts with plenty of why-explanations, and ends with the words:
"If you’ve been blocked by mistake, we won’t be able to end the block early …".
Now, let me give you an example how wrong can be the "automatic pilot" that "decides" to make such a blocking. A person whom I know well and he knows me well, but if I send friend request to him or his likes, Facebook will block me with the untrue pretext of sending requests to people I "don't know personally" (though I know them very well!).
I know Justice Asher Grunis, the president of the Supreme Court of Israel, and he knows me.
I know him for about 40 years, and he knows me for almost 20 years from the first time I appeared before him as a judge.
I know him very well, and he knows me very well.
I know him thoroughly, after 30-40 articles I've wrote and published about him – one of them in his favour – and he knows me thoroughly as one should after reading such articles about oneself.
And he knows me thoroughly through my correspondence with him, since he took his current office, a year ago.
According to the rules of Facebook, and under the assumption that both he and I are Facebook users, each of us is entitled to send a friend-request to the other, and the addressee to this request is free, of course, to decline it (a free world, isn't it).
Why should I ask Grunis for Facebook "friendship"?
Because I am naïve to think that if he goes to the public, and if he lets friends to express views on his page, maybe he will agree to have open conversations with me, too.
Now, if Grunis doesn't want to be a friend of mine – nothing happens, but if he reports my request as "spam", saying that he "doesn't know me", and never has heard my name – it is a lie, but you accept this lie as truth, without even asking me!
Yes, Grunis is an extreme example, but it shows the principle I speak about.
Moreover, if some addressees just don't reply to my request, not saying anything evil about me, you regard them as if they positively complained against me, as a "spammer".
Is it fair, Mark?
But what really did upset me is the "innovation" that says "If you’ve been blocked by mistake, we won’t be able to end the block early …".
Is it really impossible to cure the wrong done?
Absolutely not, especially in a well-built website like Facebook, who – undoubtedly – employs tens – if not hundreds – software specialists. Should I really believe that in this entire host of specialists there isn't even one person who can't put an end to a mistaken wrong?
Yes, one can say that in a huge project like Facebook it is impossible to cure "individual" wrongs …
To this argument I have at least two answers:
1. While expanding any project, it's but logical that the staff maintaining it should be expanded accordingly.
2. Don't let the GENIE out of the bottle, if you can't control it thereafter.
Mark, in Yiddish the name ZUKERBERG means A MOUNTAIN OF SUGAR, so why won't you be sweet to millions you and they are inter-dependent?
Why won't you leave the inter-relations between Facebook users to the free "market forces"?
In my next letters to you I shall enter other points of this issue.
Yours, Simha Nyr
דוקודרמה: זרוק אותו לאיראנים – איך נפטרנו מאשר גרוניס
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