Mourning the Facebook Dead

What a crazy week this has been for Freedom… Miep Gies dead at 100. Google decides to phase out it’s participation in censorship in China.

Of course, I’m not going to talk about those “big” things… I just have some thoughts about Freedom in our little world. BTW, can someone remind me what “The Price of Freedom” is? I keep forgetting…

I’ve noted in the past the dichotomy of living RL in a Western Liberal Democracy… and spending your SL in a authoritarian dictatorship. With the new round of Avatar executions on Facebook this week, we’re reminded that Linden Lab is not the only Web2.0 dictatorship in town. And if you need still more irony in your breakfast cereal, consider that the FICTIONAL film “Avatar” was #1 at the box office again this week… even as REAL Avatars are being executed on Facebook!

Within the last week one, still living FB Avatar posted that 50 of her friends vanished overnight… here’s another post from one of the just rejected:

As I commented on that post:

Like Jokay and Micheil I don’t understand why they don’t want us. But I think Caliburn sort of hit that one on the head. Still, avatars spend “real” money in SL and beyond… and I would think in the coming years our economic reach will expand, making us “real” to them.
Interestingly, Friendster thought of itself as a semi dating site… so it kicked off all the “fakesters” and bands, since they couldn’t RL “date”… and MySpace came along and specifically courted the Friendster banned asking, “what can we do for you?”
I wasn’t on at the time, but no doubt, if you’ve just been kicked off by one service, and told your life is invalid, and another one comes along and says, Hi! How can we help YOU? That probably sounded pretty sweet!
Anyway, I doubt Facebook will go the way of Friendster in the immediate future… and who knows about the future of openness on the net & in culture in general… but in the medium run, if we get kicked off Facebook, I think there will be other avenues for us…

Of course, no amount of whining from a pampered ideologue like me can ever compare to the price RL peeps have paid… on Monday the 4th of May 1970 four unarmed American college students were killed by the National Guard at Kent State University. Nineteen years, one month, and one day later, on the 5th of June 1989, “Tank Man,” an unknown man carrying groceries, stopped a column of tanks near Tiananmen Square in China, where somewhere between 250 and 3,000 civilians had been killed.

Events like these sure do make having your “fake” Facebook account cancelled seem like a pretty small thing. Still, it does all illustrate how seriously some people take this “Power / Freedom” business.

(“Power / Freedom” reminds me of Richard Stallman talking about how he bristled when passwords were first introduced at MIT, because he, “didn’t want someone who sat at the computer yesterday, to have control over what someone sitting at it today could do.”)

But wait, SL is a “game,” right? We’re all just here for “fun” aren’t we?
I know, I know, SL is not a game because it doesn’t have “goals” or “rules.” Oh wait, well, then, Facebook is totally a game!

Anyway, enough of all that philosophizing – my prim baby is crying for her bottle – gotta run!

eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty
— Andrew Jackson, Farewell Address, 4 March 1837

The price of liberty is eternal fundraising.
— Geoffrey J. Neale

As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

3 thoughts on “Mourning the Facebook Dead

  1. wow! awesome post! holy cow, you are a passionate writer! nicely done!glad i finally found you (i am not the sharpest fake knife in the drawer) =)

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