We really need to abandon Facebook

It’s getting ridiculous. After recent events in which Facebook openly declares that lying in political ads is fine — as long as you pay them — they’re cracking down on…peach and eggplant emojis?

Facebook and Instagram are now prohibiting the use of peach and aubergine emojis in sex-related posts and nude images, reports indicate.

The new rules form part of the platforms’ new Community Standards which were implemented at some stage between 7 September and now, according to adult industry website XBIZ.com.

I’d much rather see people freely posting weakly veiled sexual images with peaches used to suggest genitals, than I would coded posts about killing Jews, but I guess Facebook has those priorities reversed.

I’m still trying out MeWe. It’s far from perfect, but at least it doesn’t have Facebook’s hypocrisy problem.


  1. Johannes Ney says

    Imagery of real individuals with nudity covered by objects. Does that include clothed people?

  2. hemidactylus says

    I never had a Facebook account. I sensed the potential for disastrous trainwrecks having multiple lifestreams crossing paths early on and then when messing around with the netstat utility realized landing on webpages with convenient Facebook buttons sucks you in regardless. That, I think, turned me on to Adblock and Ghostery. Even without a Facebook account those scummers think you are fair game.

    Given Zuckf*ck’s questionable behavior at Harvard I am glad I avoided getting sucked into that hellhole. Hey world here is the guy running your social life:


    And the world mostly doesn’t care as it likes catmemes and moves complacently on.

  3. cartomancer says

    Grindr is pretty much nothing but peach and aubergine emojis and sex photos. Also the only people dressed like Nazis are doing it for fetish, not political reasons. You could always try that!

  4. Ishikiri says

    Facebook is like heroin for me. I know it sucks, but most of my friends and family are on it and I just can’t help but look in on what they’re doing.

    Twitter on the other hand, part me wishes an errant cruise missile would fly into San Francisco and take out their whole block. Not just because it’s President Fuckboy’s favorite site to use, but also that every time I open that app out of curiosity about something, I spend about ten minutes getting enraged reading some thread full of hatred or stupidity and then wonder why the hell I even bothered.

  5. says

    Left FB a couple years ago. Don’t miss it. Probably I don’t give enough of a shit about former neighbors and high school classmates. I never did see the point.

  6. Kip Williams says

    Quitting FB is a long, drawn-out process, and if you fumble any step of it, you’re still in. Even when you’re out, they’re still draining info from your secondaries. After I quit, I was in a college class where I was obliged to start another FB account for class topics. For all I know, I’m still in that damned thing.
    I was quoted in a TIME article a friend wrote on the topic of leaving FB, but some breaking news eased it out of the issue, and all that remains are images of the proofs. Would have been another 3-1/2 minutes of quasi-fame for me.

    Anyway, Facebook Zucks.

  7. Ishikiri says

    It can be a really useful communication tool, it’s really helped with organizing at a labor union I belong to for example. But that’s more due to the number of people using it than the quality of the service.

    I think it could be alright if they offered a paid option that didn’t mine your data, serve you advertising, or mess with your news feed. But that’s probably not going to happen.

  8. says

    In general: this isn’t really news, Facebook has been permitting rapists and Nazis but censoring victims and sex workers for a long time, longer than SESTA/FOSTA.

    @#8, Ishikiri:

    I’d be really cautious using any of the major social media platforms to organize any sort of strike, protest, or other thing-that-is-legal-but-which-the-right-wing-hates. These companies are not your friends, and their various managements would not hesitate for a moment to assist a right-wing group in shutting you down. (IIRC, there already was a documented instance of that, where Twitter helped look for protesters or strikers in New York with a custom list of accounts of people who had used specific terms in a narrow area so that they could be targeted. Can’t find the link, though, so take that with a grain of salt if you like.)

  9. Akira MacKenzie says

    When Google+ died a lot of the tabletop communities I was part of moved over to MeWe. I poke my head in from time to time, but not anywhere near as often as I do Facebook. I’ve been tempted to quit, but most of my friends communicate via FB and there are a few good groups I do enjoy. I could do without the unasked-for ads promoting bullshit from Ben Shapiro and Franklin Graham, though.

  10. PaulBC says

    Facebook is the main way I stay in contact with family members (way back, we used blogger and it suited me better). They’ve been leaving and I haven’t seen a lot of new people coming in. My kids are teens and have no use at all for Facebook. I could leave intentionally, but I suspect I won’t have to. Eventually there will be no point to checking it.

  11. Kip Williams says

    They’ll keep using your contacts and associations to worm more saleable/manipulatable data out of you while you’re not even getting the minimal benefits of the platform.

  12. harryblack says

    Switching platforms is not helpful. If it happens in sufficient numbers to inconvenience Facebook then all we have done is create another large and unchecked corporation that will become corrupted in the same ways.
    Facebook will still likely own half the apps we use on a given day.

    What we need is a strong commitment from elected officials to break up these companies and regulate them with the public interest at heart.
    We need Zuck to have some sort of consequences to his utter failure to answer questions to congress rather than it just being a ritual humiliation that we all feel sated by.
    If my grocer murders people I will certainly go to another grocer, but I will ask myself why the fuck the police have not tackled the murdering grocer (answer- he is rich and white)

  13. consciousness razor says

    A decent first step would be removing their spying tool (the “like button”) from your own website. Even if someone had never “used” Facebook or gave them any consent about anything, they’re still in your face, because others spread that shit all over the place like Johnny Appleseed.
    Maybe if you’re not quite ready for step #1, step #0.5 could be to stop thinking “like button” and to start thinking “spying tool.” I don’t really care how you get there. Take whatever baby steps you need.
    Here’s you (PZ) back in March, over seven months ago:

    There are changes coming.

    But it doesn’t look like any relevant changes have happened.
    You, about two years ago:

    Facebook has become a scourge on the world

    Now for something completely different … from this year’s Paul Nelson Day. You quoted Plato and told him to shut up: “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” (Plato’s not exactly an ideal source, as the originator of the noble lie and so forth, but whatever.)

  14. consciousness razor says

    My mistake: November 2016 (the second link) was almost three years ago, not two…. Either way, that wasn’t your first complaint about them.

  15. says

    My university’s debate club used Facebook as the only place where they posted information about upcoming events. That made it hard for me to get the latest news. I used to periodically ask others, “Are there any upcoming debate tournaments that I don’t know about just because I don’t have a Facebook account?” That sucked.

    My own problems with social media are the opposite of what some people are describing here. I’m an artist, so I know that I should be using various social media platforms for advertising my works. The problem is that I dislike spending my time in these websites so much that I can’t force myself to spend even a couple of minutes per week on updating my various social media accounts.

    By the way, Facebook “real name” policy is extremely transphobic. I wrote about that in detail here https://andreasavester.com/facebook-hates-transgender-people-or-why-i-got-forbidden-from-having-a-facebook-account/ The problem is that in many countries it is expensive, time consuming, and sometimes even completely impossible for somebody who isn’t cis to get their legal name changed. My country won’t allow me to use the name “Andreas,” instead I’m legally obliged to stick to the female name that my mother gave me when I was born. As long as I’m legally female, I cannot have a male name. Until I get every gender reassignment surgery and treatment in existence, doctors and state employees won’t allow me to change my legal gender, because they will conclude that I must be “still female” if I still haven’t gotten whatever procedure they can possibly think of. And when I went to a clinic and asked for a hysterectomy, doctors just told me to go away, and they got away with it thanks to a legal loophole. And I’m a European Union citizen. The European Court of Human Rights had ruled that I have a right to live as a man. In some other countries things are a hell lot worse than what I have to deal with.

  16. F.O. says

    Facebook is still there because it can abuse its dominant position.
    Telcos are forced to provide interoperability with their competitors to level the playing field.
    Facebook should be forced to do the same, e.g. allowing a user of MeWe to send a message to a user of Facebook.
    If it can’t be done, Facebook must to be broken up.

  17. gijoel says

    I keep getting ads for bitcoin scams, where prominent Australian businessmen supposedly claim that they’ve found the key to easy fortune.

  18. Ishikiri says

    @The Vicar, #9:

    I don’t trust FB’s management, and I don’t think the leadership does either (I’m not that involved these days). But from what I’ve heard from the general secretary, it’s been really helpful in making our presence known, getting information out, and recruiting new members. An open-shop union really has to go where the people are.

    Also, we’re not in the US if that makes any difference.

  19. John Morales says


    An open-shop union really has to go where the people are.

    Vicious circle; the people go where the open-shop union is.


    Facebook “real name” policy

    I certainly do not use my real name on FB, not being such a fool.

    A decent first step would be removing their spying tool (the “like button”) from your own website.

    You can’t control websites, but you can control your browser. Plenty of tools around to disable that domain.


    They’ll keep using your contacts and associations to worm more saleable/manipulatable data out of you while you’re not even getting the minimal benefits of the platform.

    Or try to, anyway. I use it, I don’t let it use me.

    (Just ignore the damn ads, for a start)

  20. John Morales says

    [oops, my 3rd entry above was re CR — so, an addendum]

    I note this very page runs facebook, google analytics, google tag services, linked in, pinterest, reddit, sharethis, skimresources, tumblr among others. None are necessary for the content, and if they were somehow, I’d then enable them.

  21. says

    Oh, well, if you are confident you can outwit the rapacious organization that hires all kinds of professionals to determine how to cadge any and all info and weaponize it, as every new leak demonstrates, then that’s probably just fine. You got this.

  22. says

    John Morales @#20

    I certainly do not use my real name on FB, not being such a fool.

    A friend of mine made a Facebook account with a fake name only because he needed to access info about various upcoming events. Some organizations use Facebook as the sole place where they advertise events they are organizing. Unfortunately, it is complicated to browse Facebook without being logged in. So my friend made an account with a fake name not being willing to disclose his personal information to an unethical business. At some point he somehow got reported for using a fake name. Facebook demanded to see a copy of his passport. He refused to comply, so his account was terminated.

    Conclusion: you have to use a plausible sounding name and you mustn’t interact with anybody who knows your real identity and might get pissed off at you for any reason and report your profile to Facebook moderators.

  23. lumipuna says

    In other words, you can’t have a fake or unofficial name in your profile if you use it for building/maintaining social networks… but I guess it’s easy to set up sockpuppet accounts for, say, political influencing.

  24. consciousness razor says

    You can’t control websites, but you can control your browser. Plenty of tools around to disable that domain.

    By “you,” you evidently mean me. But I know about such tools and already use some of them.
    PZ, on other hand, can control what happens here. “None are necessary for the content,” as you said.

  25. Jazzlet says

    I was chucked of facebook for using a false name, and yes the only way they would have let me back again is if I sent them my passport, in my case they wanted to see the actual passport not a copy. I have a good idea who reported me, though how they knew my name was false I don’t know as I’d not met them in real life.

  26. Chakat Firepaw says

    I have a good idea who reported me, though how they knew my name was false I don’t know as I’d not met them in real life.

    My guess: They didn’t know, they just knew that the way FB enforces its oft-racist, oft-transphobic, pointless real name policy is a decent way to harass someone.