Could starting up and running a Facebook Page be for you? Some of the benefits and pitfalls that you may need to be aware of.

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A few weeks ago I started a Facebook page and I must say that the entire process of doing so was an incredibly easy one.

At every stage along the way there where prompts reminding me of what needed to be done and even suggestions as to how to do them more easily.

Yet, whilst the mechanics of if have been remarkably easy, by far and away, the hardest part of starting up a Facebook page has been finding the right ways to express what it is exactly,  you want  your  page to achieve.

In my case, I wanted to create a page that focused on the female experience of living with Asperger’s Syndrome / High Functioning Autism.

Which in itself sounds fairly straight forward but in actual fact  has proven to be far more difficult than I had at first thought.

So simply having an idea, whether it be specific or not,  as to what you’d like your page to be about, still leaves you only half way there and this is because,  even though you may have a clear concept of what it is you’d like to discuss, share or achieve on your page, others may have very different ideas as to how they perceive or wish to interact with your page.

For instance, even though my page is dedicated to primarily expressing and exploring the experiences of women with Asperger’s, it has been joined by several people who are  either the parents of daughters with Asperger’s Syndrome or the partners of someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.

This is fine by me and for the most part I applaud parents for being open enough to listen too and learn from,  where relevant, the experiences of women who have been in their children’s shoes, but, there are times when either I myself, or someone else, will share a post or a comment, that whilst not designed to hurt the feelings of non-Asperger’s women or parents, never the less, becomes perceived as doing so.

In such cases, the negative comments made by those who feel slighted, often effectively shuts down  any and all further discussion surrounding whatever the topic of the post may have been.

This remains an issue that I am unsure how to confront, as even those people who run Facebook pages that have taken the time to make it very clear that they are designed first and foremost for a specific purpose, still find themselves  in the predicament of having to try and clear up other people’s misconceptions of their comments or posts.

It seems that no matter what you do you can never please everyone, yet I’m  still far from convinced that this fact alone means that one should settle for the potential of offending everyone either.

fblikeAnother issue that has  become somewhat of a quandary to me is the way in which “likes” for particular posts are being both attributed and distributed by Facebook.

For instance, running a much smaller page on Facebook I’ve found that often the bigger pages will pick up on one of my posts and “share” it on their own pages.

Now I don’t mind this happening at all, after all the aim is to spread awareness, and when it first began happening I thought it was a good thing as it was providing my page with exposure.

However this turns out to be less the case because in the process  of the bigger pages doing so, the “likes” for whatever post they’ve chosen to “share”  end up becoming  attributed to their page’s alone.

This means that although it’s may be my post, from my page, that people may be “liking”, the  fact that it is being distributed on a larger page means that those “likes” never make it back to or become attributed to, my page.

Normally this wouldn’t be so much of a problem, however, the way  in which Facebook chooses to promote  ‘not for profit pages’ makes it so, as the capacity of any such page to reach new members , depends entirely upon the amount of “likes” it receives.

The more “likes” a page receives, the bigger the page becomes and the size of the page decides how high up on the list of recommended pages, it will appear on Facebook.

The higher up the list a page appears, the more likely it is that it will continue to attract new members and therefore grow.

So, under this system, if  bigger pages continue to be the sole beneficiaries  of the  “likes” they receive  for “sharing” smaller pages posts, then effectively the  bigger pages will continue to boom and the smaller pages will continue to remain just that, small.

This to me sets up a kind of dog eat dog system of promotion, which is something to bear in mind and be prepared for, if you are thinking of starting up a Facebook Page.

So although Facebook makes it incredibly easy to start your own Facebook Page, these are  just  some of the issues associated with starting up and running a Facebook page that you need to be aware of.

In the end, whether or not you choose to start-up a Facebook page, may well all come down to a matter of deciding what it is you want to achieve and whether or not that goal can best be achieved via Facebook.

 

Trolls and Anonymity on the Internet. Should Trolls have their identities protected under freedom of speech or do their actions/words represent a new form of abuse that should be treated accordingly?

The recent spate of media coverage over the online attacks on opinionated Fashionista and social commentator Charlotte Dawson have seen many people speculating on just how far the protection of anonymity  should go on-line.

Should people who write death threats to others, under the protection of anonymity on the internet, be allowed to continue on their not so merry way, whilst avoiding any and all consequences for their actions, simply because of the medium through which those threats are made?

In real life, if a person wrote another person a death threat and sent it through the mail to be delivered, regardless of whether or not it was signed, the act of doing so would be considered a crime.

The recipient of the death threat would have the right to call in the police and the police in turn would have the right to try to figure out who the perpetrator of the death threat might be and to treat them accordingly under the law, should they be found.

Yet somehow on the internet, that same act, because it is seen to be carried out anonymously, is not considered a crime. Why?

If an anonymous death threat, sent in hard copy through the mail can be considered actionable, then why aren’t death threats sent anonymously on-line also considered actionable?

Both are anonymous actions yet only one form of action, due specifically to the medium through which it is carried out, is seen to be protected by ‘the right of anonymity’.

Surely if the action itself is wrong, then the ability to identify the perpetrator should make little to no difference as to whether or not the action itself should be pursued as a crime?

After all, we don’t not bother to track down bank robbers simply because they may have been wearing masks while robbing the bank and didn’t conveniently leave their contact details behind for a follow-up Q and A session

Instead we find ways to identify and locate them.

So why can’t we do the same with the internet?

Don’t we all have these little things called internet providers? Don’t we all have to provide them with information? Aren’t cookies and alike attached to users accounts?

How hard can it really be to track and trace anyone on the internet?

Personally I find the distinction that we are being asked to draw between the real world and the virtual world in cases such as these, to be at best little more than smoke and mirrors and at worse an absolutely draconian defense of abusive and bullying behavior.

The simple truth is that whatever happens in the virtual world is first and foremost the consequence of an interaction that is initially being carried out in the real world.

After all, in order to post a death threat on-line, a real person has to first sit at a real computer and type real words with their real fingers and hit send.

Just like writing a letter.

Though the medium may no longer be paper pen, the actions and therefore the consequences, should still be considered the same.

God knows it’s taken long enough for the message that abuse, in any form, is never OK to be acted upon in the real world.  So why on earth would we want to foster yet another atmosphere in which the same battle for justice could occur?

Isn’t the idea of wilfully protecting those with bullying or abusive personalities who use their words to harm others something that we are taught to abhor in modern society?

Aren’t such actions now called psychological or emotional abuse?

Why should we now be asked to draw a line in the sand between verbal or written abuse in the real world and verbal or written abuse in the on-line world?

When in essence you can’t access the virtual world unless you first carry out the required actions in the real world to do so.

Therefore wilful intent is clearly involved and the recognition of that wilful intent to cause harm is all that is needed in the real world to persecute an abuser for their actions.

I don’t see why actions of hatred, harm and personal abuse on the internet should be treated any differently.

Do you?

 

Writing is it an Art Or a Craft? Acting is it an Art or a Craft?

crafts

Art –  Creating an original piece of work.

Craft – Adapting that which has already been created in a uniquely personal form.

I am, as some of you are aware, a very literal person.  So when someone suggests an understanding of the world that does not ring true to me, I tend to hold it up to the light of examination in order to try and figure out why it is I view things in a different way.

In this case the topic under examination is whether or not writing and acting should be considered arts or  crafts.

To me, writers are artists.

They create pictures with words.

Transforming a blank page from a piece of paper into a previously undiscovered world.

Populated with newly created characters.

But what of actors?

They too use words to create characters,

But are those word pictures their own?

Are they artists, in the sense that they create something new with their adaptations of the words of others?

Or are they crafts people adapting the words they’ve been given in order to produce a uniquely personal interpretation of a writer’s art?

Is writing an art and acting the craft of bringing the written word to life?

Or are they both one in the same thing?

Art or Craft?

What do you think?

 

Murdoch’s Minions The Power of the Press

English: Paperboy, Iowa City, 1940, by Arthur ...

Trawling for fresh victims,

The bodiless jargon,

Of journalism,

Treats not all of us,

The same.

As Murdoch’s minions,

Trade,

In the insolvency,

Of trained minds,

Absolved of both memory,

And blame,

Entrenched in such formality,

The weaponry of words,

Becomes yet another game,

One that steals all peace,

From the victims,

Who continuously endure,

The betrayal,

Of their own,

Name.

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PETA’s New Animal Rights Campaign Fishing Abuse

English: Cover of a comic book created by PETA...

created by PETA as part of a media campaign. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Animal rights group PETA have launched their new campaign ‘Silent Scream’  linking fishing with domestic abuse and bullying.

Is it just me or is the world going somewhat off kilter?

How on earth can you draw an analogy between fishing and domestic abuse?

And if their message is that fishing practices are as horrific as domestic abuse, then why on earth aren’t they standing up for the rights of  those who are currently experiencing domestic abuse, instead of comparing them to fish?

Has their media campaign crossed the line or do you think it’s valid ?