When I was a child, I was a science fiction weirdo. I read Buck Rodgers stuff and believed that someday we’d put a man on the Moon and be able to put a roomful of computing power in our pockets. I’m afraid I haven’t outgrown it. I find myself dreaming of a bizarre futuristic Facebook: We could choose the way our pages look! We could easily have a different userpic for each post! We could edit our posts in a large, easily correctible typeface! When a discussion popped up, we could move it out of the way. If we didn’t want our short posts to appear in big letters, we wouldn’t have to! Someday, humanity will reach these distant dreams.
Jim Wright, as he so often does, wrote an alarmingly sane post about the annual 9/11 hysteria. Facebook banned it, presumably because someone somewhere was offended. Some of us linked to it on Facebook, and mine at least has not been taken down. Here it is, and it’s worth reading even if you don’t want to tell Facebook to go zuck itself.
Facebook is a city with many neighborhoods. Every so often I realize that the low opinion of the populace that I get from what my friends link to is overly optimistic. We're getting word games (with thousands of Likes and comments) on the elementary school level. A current one is "Betcha can't name a word that begins with C and ends with P." I guess it's like the people who read the tabloids are part of the elite minority who read at all.
A social network cannot enforce a Real Names policy consistently because nobody wants to sign up for a virtual police state. One big reason Google + lost to Facebook is that it pretended harder. Not of course leaving well enough alone, Facebook has decided to make its own pretense a teense more convincing by picking on targets of opportunity: people whose Facebook names don't match the gender they're supposed to be. (Bad laws are always enforced against the most obviously defenseless.) Queerty has the story.