Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Another reason to loathe Facebook

For reasons that have long surpassed my understanding, I have for some time maintained two separate but very similar pages on Facebook. The first is my personal profile page, and the other was my Official Author Page.

Ostensibly, the benefit of the latter type of page is that anyone can join it — for instance, if they like my work but don’t necessarily want to to “friend” me and reveal all of their personal data in the process. I was okay with this.

Then Facebook had to go and ruin it all.

Facebook, on its own initiative and without asking me first, changed my Official Author Page to a Community Page, a sort of public forum that anyone can create. This removes certain features, takes its content out of people’s newsfeeds, deprives me of official control over the page, and generally makes it sort of useless. It also makes it harder to distinguish from Facebook’s automatically generated info pages.

I might have restrained my response to an angry sigh and a shrug except for one thing. In the page’s top bar of information, they altered a key piece of information. It now reads “Community Page about David W. Mack” — complete with that link. That’s right: those morons at Facebook linked what had been MY OFFICIAL PAGE to one about the OTHER David Mack, the creator of Kabuki. And they did this FOR NO REASON. And left me NO MEANS OF FIXING IT.

As anyone who has ever had a grievance with Facebook knows, this $50-billion-valued corporation has no live chat support, no customer-service phone numbers, and no real means of submitting detailed complaints. They just run roughshod, do whatever they want, and unless one happens to be a megastar with a million Twitter followers or a TV or film celebrity or a major politician, there’s nothing one can do about it.

If I delete the page and try to start over, they’ll probably bar me from using my own name on an official page, since it’s already taken by this community page, which apparently is about someone else, anyway.

How I despise Facebook.

More Mendacious Misadventures

The march of the memes continues on Facebook. Two of my closest friends, Glenn Hauman and his lovely wife, Brandy, posted the invitation for fraudulent first-encounter tales in their status updates, and these are the flights of fancy I fabricated for them.


You had just stepped off the stage at Pedro’s Bijou after receiving a standing ovation for your matinee performance, and I stopped you so I could shake your hand. “That was amazing,” I said.

“Well, thank you. You wouldn’t happen to have a spare Pepsi, would you?” I fished an ice-cold can from the mini cooler under my seat and handed it to you. As you popped the tab, you sighed. “Gracias.”

In awe, I watched you guzzle the entire can in one pour, and then you ate the can. “So, you’re a method actor.”

You nodded as you finished chewing. “Yup.”

“Well, I have to admit, that was amazing. Until tonight, I’d never have believed a man could take the place of a donkey in one of these shows.”

Shrugging with feigned modesty, you replied, “Well, I’ve been his understudy for years. I just had to wait for him to get sick.”

“With what?”


My brow furrowed with confusion. “Whose mouth?”

“Carmelita’s.  She bit down and refused to let go.”

You started to leave, so I followed you out into the teeming, sewage-stinking streets of Tijuana. “Where you headed?”

“Terceira Axila. An after-hours club on Via Barranca. All-you-can-drink two-dollar pitchers of Chango.”

“Isn’t Chango just bottled piss?”

“Yeah, but it’s all you can drink for two bucks.”

I nodded. “When you say it like that, I guess it is a bargain.” A stray thought skittered through my consciousness. “Do they have a show?”

“Best in Tijuana. If you like orangutans, that is.” You glanced my way. “But we’d better get you a poncho. I’ve got front-row seats, and it gets messy.”

And with those words, I had a new best friend.


I knocked on your door and stood on your back porch, shivering like a monkey fresh from the sea.

It seemed an eternity before you opened the door. I admired your mint-condition, vintage 1950s French Navy frogman wetsuit, accessorized with a strap-on rubber phallus. From behind your SCUBA re-breather, you mumbled, “Yebth?”

Lifting my hands, I showed you the police handcuffs that bound my wrists. “Can I borrow a hacksaw?”

You plucked the re-breather from your pouty lips. “Do I know you?”

“Not yet. I’m Dave.”


“I’d shake your hand, but…” The cuffs’ chain jangled as I waved my hands.

“Hang on.” You turned away, the flippers on your feet slapping your kitchen floor. “Glenn!” Over your shoulder you added, “My husband should be able to help you with those.”

“Thanks.” An awkward moment stretched out between us while we waited for your Brobdingnagian lummox of a spouse to extricate himself from the upstairs toilet. I offered up a nervous wrinkle of a smile. “What’s with the, um…”

“It’s a sex thing.”

“I figured.”

You pointed to your living room, wherein I caught a glimpse of a children’s wading pool overflowing with $240 worth of pudding and flanked by some Klieg lights and a video camera on a tripod. “Care to come in?”

“Don’t mind if I do.” I followed you inside and shut the door behind me.

You shot a suggestive leer my way. “Mind leaving the cuffs on a bit longer?”

“I don’t see why not.”

An approving nod. “Like pudding?”

“Does Michael Jackson like little boys?”

“I don’t suppose you know how to run a video camera.”

It was a stroke of amazing good fortune. “Are you kidding? I have a degree from NYU Film School.”

“Dave,” you said, wading into the pudding, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…”

Mendacious First Meetings

A curious meme making the rounds on Facebook finally found it way last night to me. Here was the text I saw in a few friends’ status updates:

I want you to comment on this status about how you met me, but I want you to lie. That’s right. Just make stuff up. After you comment, copy to your status so I can do the same.

I was intrigued by this notion, as it’s essentially a community challenge in creative writing. I posted a few snippets for friends, and then, when reposting the challenge to my own status, I tweaked the text slightly:

I want you to comment on this status about how you met me, but I want you to lie. That’s right. Just make stuff up. After you comment, copy to your status so I can ignore it and you can feel like we’re socializing.

So far, so good. I’ve even seen a few of my acquaintances propagating my version of the challenge.

This is where it starts to get fun. (more…)

Calling all Facebookers…

Let’s say you have a profile on Facebook. And, for whatever reason, you have not yet added me as a friend. “What would be the point?” you ask.  It’s a fair question.

Well, if you’re a fan of Keith R.A. DeCandido, or if you’d just like to see me and several other bestselling authors of Star Trek tie-in novels embarrass ourselves as amateur stand-up comedians, here’s a reason: I have posted the edited video of The Shore Leave Roast of Keith R.A. DeCandido on my Facebook profile. It is, however, only viewable by people who are my “friends” on Facebook.

How do you become one of those friends? Easy: just ask. All are welcome. Come and join me on Facebook, watch the vids, and leave a comment if you like.

(Why, yes, I am utterly shameless. … Why do you ask?)

The Muddy Realm of Online Privacy

Apparently, while many members of the United States’ liberal blogosphere were focused on the illegal secret warrantless wiretapping being carried out by the NSA, only a few of its keener legal eagles were paying attention to the possibly illegal public wiretapping of electronic communications being conducted by Facebook.

From the article on —

When The Pirate Bay released new Facebook features last month, the popular social networking site took evasive action, blocking its members from distributing file-sharing links through its service.

Now legal experts say Facebook may have gone too far, blocking not only links to torrents published publicly on member profile pages, but also examining private messages that might contain them, and blocking those as well.

It’s a fascinating article; it touches upon the fact that the law regarding these activities is maddeningly vague and difficult to apply in this case.

Part of Facebook’s defense will likely hinge on how it screens users’ private messages. If the messages are reviewed and blocked in-transit, they might be in violation of U.S. laws on wiretapping; if it happens as part of the client-side preparation of data packets for transmission, then it’s possible that it might not qualify as actual signal-interception.

The article’s authors make a good case for the need to pressure Congress to draft new legislation that deals with these increasingly thorny legal technicalities.

I get it now… Why I’m on Facebook

A few days ago, I wrote a post called “Why did I join Facebook?” In the past few days, I have received my answer.

Joining FB and filling out such information as where I went to high school and the year I graduated enabled me to find and make contact with an old friend from high school, someone I always liked very much and whom I’ve always held in high esteem. During a tumultuous period of life changes about a decade ago, we lost touch, and for the longest time I feared that I had offended my friend, or that perhaps I had lost my tenure in that social circle.

Then I received a reply to my tentative Facebook greeting, and it was like the sun shining through a window after a long gray winter.

I know, this kind of sentimentalism must seem unusual to those of you who know me well, but as a few of my confidantes will no doubt attest, beneath my cold gruff exterior there beats the heart of a big moosh. (Though I like to pretend, as Lord Blackadder said, that there beats the heart of a “cruel, sadistic maniac.” But that just isn’t true.)

So thank you, Facebook, for making my world look a little less empty today.