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Nov 14 2011

Facebook’s little jeu d’esprit

Update: Facebook caved, fixed it. Let the experts do the magic realism, please.

Facebook decides to try its hand at magic realism. If cool people like Salman Rushdie can play around with concepts of identity and authenticity and malleability, why shouldn’t Facebook do likewise? And how better to do that than by playing silly buggers with the identity of Salman Rushdie himself?

So what Facebook does is, it de-activates Salman Rushdie’s Facebook account on the grounds that it (Facebook) thinks it’s an impostor. That’s a very silly claim, because if Facebook had taken the trouble to read a few posts and comments it would have seen that it wasn’t. But then it wouldn’t have been able to play around with concepts of identity and authenticity and malleability, so it didn’t.

What it did instead was – here’s where its wit and playfulness become apparent – it told Salman Rushdie he could have his ol’ account back, re-activated, but he would have to stop calling himself Salman and call himself Ahmed, instead. World-famous Booker of Bookers-winning Ahmed Rushdie.

That’s a thigh-slapper, don’t you think?

And that sure is what Facebook is for – making its users stop using their own names and start using new ones that they’ve never used, so that nobody will be able to find them or have a clue who the fuck they are.

All very amusing except that Salman is going to quit Facebook in disgust, and he tells good jokes there, so that would be bad. I’ve been shouting at Facebook.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Comradde PhysioProffe

    Fucke facebooke. Why any grown adult would allow this coporation free access to the deepest most intimate details of her life, and to sell that access to other corporations, is beyond me. I’d sooner hammer a thousand nails through my dicke than putz around with facebooke.

  2. 2
    daveau

    I gotta say this for FB, they do a remarkable job of marketing to my cats. Stay with us Mr Rushdie.

  3. 3
    Physicalist

    I’m with Comradde PhysioProffe on this one.

    F the FB, says FTB.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Well Dave your cats do a pretty good job of marketing Facebook.

  5. 5
    CWayne

    Great move by facebook to get a few people that don’t follow Rushdie on facebook to do so. Clicks/Views/Advertisement… MONEY! YAY for facebook. Yay for Zukertash.

  6. 6
    Josh Slocum

    You know what part irritates me? The fact that you just know the FB staffer who started this is too young and unread to even know who Rushdie is and how significant he is. If he’d been a Kardashian I’m sure this never would have happened. Yeah, I really mean that. It’s that bad.

  7. 7
    daveau

    Where’s my kitteh pix royalties? I think all my friends are tired of my incessant cat pictures, except you, the spousal unit and maybe a couple of others. (Maybe I should friend Rushdie? He hasn’t seen ‘em…) I don’t voluntarily participate in the marketing crap by loading apps or “liking” Coke or anything.

    I know I should intellectually hate FB, but it’s a pretty good way to renew acquaintance & stay in touch with old friends. Care to suggest an alternative medium for that, anyone?

  8. 8
    David Hart

    Is it just me who reads ‘if he’d been a Kardashian’ and takes a beat to twig that you aren’t talking about a Star Trek alien species? On the other hand, if Rushdie really did have the might of an interplanetary empire behind him, I’m sure FB would have been a bit more circumspect.

  9. 9
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    @David Hart — Nope, it’s not just you.

  10. 10
    Keith Harwood

    Dave,

    Nope, it’s not just you. Whenever I come across a picture of Kim I’m always surprised and think, “Why, she looks almost human.”

  11. 11
    Indi

    You know, there is an alternative network growing fast that solves all of these problems with Facebook – the problem of who owns your content, the problem of privacy control, the problem of public identity, etc.. (Pardon the front page on all the Diaspora information sites – one of the four founders died just the other day at age 22, and the whole team is a little shook up about it.) I am not fronting for Diaspora (although I do use it rather than Facebook). I’d just like to point out that complaints like this one are hardly new, nor is this going to be the last of them, and that a solution already exists. It’s still new and a little rough the edges, and missing some of the neater features (although, both Google+ and Facebook have already been swiping ideas from it). Facebook caved for Salman Rushdie, but, frankly, when you have a problem with it, they’re not going to cave for you. You can opt to curse the darkness, or come on over to where it’s shiny.

  12. 12
    NathanDST

    I’m confused: why “Ahmed”?

  13. 13
    Ophelia Benson

    It’s his first name, and on his passport, but he never uses it. I too have a vestigial never-used first name.

  1. 14
    Fucke Facebooke | Comradde PhysioProffe

    [...] Fucke facebooke. Why any grown adult would allow this coporation free access to the deepest most intimate details of her life, and to sell that access to other corporations, is beyond me. I’d sooner hammer a thousand nails through my dicke, pour a million gallons of gasoline on it, and light the motherfucker on fire than putz around with facebooke. Share this:EmailDiggSharePrintRedditStumbleUpon Posted in Uncategorized « Cats Love Lamps And Couches You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. GA_googleFillSlot("Science_Embed1_300"); [...]

  2. 15

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