So, I got a disturbing and unwelcome surprise when I went to log in to my Facebook account today. Bottom line: the platform locked me out of my primary profile until and unless I am willing to upload a copy of my photo ID.
Ya, no. That’s not going to happen.
I have chosen to stay logged into my Facebook account in one browser so that I don’t have to log in with my email and password every time I go there. Normally, I simply start typing “face…” into my browser window, and my computer goes, “Oh, yeah, you want to waste a bunch of time on social media again. Let me make that super convenient for you!” And I’m immediately logged in. Easy-peasy.
But not today.
Today, when I typed in “face…” it still took me to the platform…but I wasn’t logged in, like usual. Instead, I was greeted with this ugliness –
I’ve maintained a Facebook account since…oh, I don’t know, for sure (you know…since I can’t log in and check those kinds of facts and figures now…le sigh!) at least 2007? I remember working on building a following as early as 2009 when I started publishing my Eighty Percent Raw online magazine. So, even if we start with that date…it’s been more than a decade.
And in all that time, I’ve never had to upload a copy of my photo ID to create or maintain a presence.
Now, here’s the interesting part…
I have two personal profiles. And I can still get into my “non-primary” account, which I use for most of my business building. That’s the account most of my business pages are attached to. My primary profile is the one I use for connection with family and friends. And where I also happen to express more of my thoughts, feelings, and opinions on many social issues, including politics.
It’s where I post and re-post my Conservative/Republican views on topics like the current scamdemic, vaccines, mask-wearing, and other issues.
And I still have a Trump 2020 frame on my profile photo on that account.
That’s the account they locked me out of.
I DON’T SHARE THOSE OPINIONS ON MY OTHER ACCOUNT
I’m not nearly as active on the other profile and keep it intentionally pretty neutral.
And I can log in and socialize on that account, as of this writing (11:58 am January 5th, 2021), no problem.
Is that just a coincidence?
Many of my Conservative friends have had their posts censored by Facebook’s “Fact Checkers” and have even had their accounts locked because the platform doesn’t approve of their opinions.
Normally, I would say that we can’t complain because Facebook is a private company, and they don’t charge a fee for participation in their free service.
THAT USED TO BE TRUE
But that was before Facebook became the huge media mogul it has evolved to be. According to Statista.com, the number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 3rd quarter 2020 was a whopping 2.7 billion. They are the biggest social network worldwide. During the last reported quarter, the company stated that 3.14 billion people used at least one of the company’s core products (Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, or Messenger) each month.
And like many other people, I use the social network to stay connected to those who matter most to me; to share family photos, tasty recipes, music and funny cat videos, thoughts, and feelings. I also share ideas and opinions about issues that are important to me, such as truth, freedom, and liberty. Issues imperative and consequential to the health and well-being of a free society.
BUT FACEBOOK IS SQUELCHING THOSE MESSAGES
I can’t be sure why my main profile has been locked and now requires a photo ID to access. But I do know that I can’t opt-out of that new requirement. And the other, less-opinionated, more politically-correct account isn’t requiring the same level of “security for my own protection” as the more visibly-conservative account does.
Coincidence? You decide.
I’d love to hear about your experience with Facebook. Should they be able to censor free speech on their platform? Should they be allowed to promote one point of view while stifling an opposing message? Are they still just a private business with the option to approve or deny service based on their own preferences? Or have they become more of a public utility that the general public depends on for communication services?
Please share your opinions below.
And if you’d like to learn more about me, my background, business endeavors, and other issues, you might enjoy my ABOUT ME page.