Friday, January 03, 2014

Facebook - A Digital Version Of North Korea / Fireworks In Germany

What do Facebook and North Korea have in common? Both have dictatorship-like structures, including a dictator, silence critics and don't respond to your inquiries about things that are wrong (well, I assume... I have never written a letter to North Korea yet, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt).

Here is the thing: I opened a facebook page in order to promote my website about dieting. I also joined facebook groups about low carb diets. In these groups, it is mainly only allowed to post recipes, not guides, tips or other supposedly "spammy" stuff.

So I abide by these rules and only post recipes. However, I do this by sharing a link, because only handing out free knowledge and receiving nothing in return is not why I came to facebook. I at least want some traffic on my website, so I post the link to a recipe which people may or may not click on. In some cases, when the admin of the group says so, I will also type the text of the recipe so that people also get the basic idea of the recipe. Just to be in full compliance with the group rules. I also read these rules very carefully.

Sometimes, it happens that my recipe needs to be checked and published by the admin of the group. In this case, my post will not be published immediately. The only problem: If the admin does not like my post, I usually don't get any feedback from them. So I guess all they do is report me to facebook as a spammer instead of telling me that they don't like my post.

What has this led to? First, I could no longer share links on facebook. I thought this was a technical problem, and facebook even said "oops... we are working on it". But after this kept on happening for weeks and other people happily posted their links, I figured out it must have had something to do with my account. I kept guessing and guessing for days.

And bingo! I noticed I could share links from any other website except for my own. This confirmed my suspicion that facebook had blocked my site without even letting me know about it (North Korea style).

I also, at one point, received a message that facebook considered me a robot - although without mentioning anything about my website. They just "felt" I was not a real human being and demanded that I confirm my identity with a phone number, which I did. I thought it's just their typical scheme of getting personal information about you, so I thought it happens to anyone after some time.

This, however, did not redeem me. I am still considered a robot, although one that is encouraged to spend money on marketing campaigns for my facebook page (lol).

I learned all by myself (couldn't find any help on yahoo answers) that I can technically share links if I post them directly from my blogger site onto facebook, so that works. But then, I have to type in a captcha phrase (different numbers with shit sprinkled all over it so you can hardly recognize anything).

Every time I share a link, I have to confirm - again and again - that I am not a bot.

What did I ever do to be treated like crap? And why is there no way I can defend myself except for writing enquiries to facebook that are never even answered (North Korea style)?

Another thing that confuses the shit out of me: When I write to facebook, the contact page shows text both in English and German. Different text on the same page! To explain, let me show you this:

(English) Please let us know if you have any problems using facebook. We rely on your feedback.

(German) Is Facebook considering you a spammer? Please write in the text below why you think this should not be the case.

Text box (English) Please enter your text here.

Below text box (German): We will contact you as soon as possible.

After clicking "send": Thank you for your information. We will let you know bla bla (English). 

This makes me wonder: Regardless of them not reading my messages anyway (North Korea style) - would it be a German or an English-speaking person reading my message? Is anyone going to understand me anyway? Do they actually have German employees?

And seriously, I was very tempted writing "Dear Mr. Zuckerberg" when I started out with this crap.

Another thing that's very popular in Germany

Maybe you know that in summer, many people leave their kids for dead in the heated car. This is a very popular custom here. Another thing that's very popular is killing or hurting yourself and others around "Sylvester", that's new years eve.

It's the time when many fireworks are used in the streets. And every, every year - people get killed. This year, I heard about at least two people getting killed, one of them was a father who got killed by a firework he built himself. Another person "only" blew off his hand at the age of 26. Even two year olds got injured, and I wonder how this happened.

Even as a child, I heard that our neighbour had once lost an eye or something like that in such an accident. So it's a tradition.

So if you ever come to visit Germany, make sure you check the news in summer for stupid parents who leave their kids in a heated car while shopping, and around new year, make sure you count how many people blew their limbs apart with fire crackers. Hooray!

1 comment:

Aaron said...

The facebook thing happened to me before. Very frustrating, I know. But now I have my own FB page for my film reviews, and it never happened again. At least now I only need to worry about getting more readers.

Parents leaving their children in a heated car and firework mishaps happen over here too, Michael. Just yesterday some guy left his 3 year old in his car while he was handling his other kids' first day of school. Only realised it 9 hours later. Kid died of course. Firework mishaps occur doing Eid mostly, stupid kids building their own 'cannon' firework and losing their fingers in the process. All this is pretty standard here too.