Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Kittenzilla 1 and 2: The Return

Facebook hacks: or, why it is so depressing to be a blogger

Well, first of all nobody buys your books anyway, even though you forced yourself to start a blog to promote the book. Which everyone told you you HAD to do.

It's all a  popularity contest based on views and followers, meaning 98% of bloggers will beat you every time.

The only really enjoyable thing is writing the posts, which is considered the least important.

But no. THAT is not the thing that pisses me off today.

At the top of my Facebook page, a yellow bar appeared today that I cannot get rid of. This yellow bar has a little triangle with an exclamation point inside it, and it wants me to give my phone number to Facebook "to help secure your account AND MORE." The "and more" is never explained.

I do not want to give my phone number to Facebook. At all. EVER. No matter how many reassurances they give me that it will be kept private, it won't be. Things are being hacked all the time, daily, things which, incredibly, are even more important than Facebook.

This post is a sad little thing. I wrote a nice fat juicily angry one backed up with lots of articles from The Guardian, etc., saying that I was right and should NEVER give my phone number to Facebook, no matter how much Facebook tells us it's all right.

Facebook telling us it's all right is supposed to make it all right, or at least make us THINK it's all right.It isn't. All right.

Phone numbers and a lot of other personal information is for sale on the Internet, and Facebook, or, sorry, no, somebody PRETENDING to be Facebook, might be selling it even as we speak. This information is being tossed to advertisers like herrings to hungry sea lions.

That's still not the worst thing. This yellow bar won't go away and is still sitting at the top of my Facebook page and has no "no" option, though it appears to. It has a "dead" x that does nothing in the corner, giving you the illusion you have a choice and can turn it down if you want to. You can't. You can't even click it away so you don't have to look at the stupid mocking piss-yellow thing any more.

But it gets even worse. In trying to write a blog post about that yellow bar and the evil it represented, that selfsame yellow bar (incredibly) transferred itself to the top of my blog home page. It was greyed out so I couldn't get rid of it or do anything with it. At all. I know it was the Facebook yellow bar because it had the Facebook "head" symbol on the left side, but no lettering on it. Then Internet Explorer told me I didn't even have a blog any more, that it had been completely wiped. I clicked around and managed to accidentally delete the post I've been working on all day. It's gone. But the grey/yellow bar is gone, too.


Like a virus, that unwanted "invitation" to give my phone number to Facebook jumped to my blog home page and destroyed a post about me NOT wanting to give them my phone number.

From the Deep Web (a sort of Twilight Zone of creepy cyberstories) to the Cloud, which may or may not actually be suspended in the sky, the internet just gets scarier. Soon it will develop consciousness, like HAL in the movie 2001, and spew astronauts out in space with no oxygen supply.

Meantime my magnificent post about Facebook's attempt to hijack and pirate my privacy has disappeared. Hey, I'M not saying Facebook had anything to do with this. But it's possible their little ghouls read my mind, or my blog, and decided to wipe the whole thing clean.

Or not. But FUCK how I hate having to reconstruct a post which I KNOW will never be as good as the original.

POST-BLOG GLOB: So here's what they told me! Facebook's "response" to my query about their request for my phone number:


Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback. We’re constantly trying to improve Facebook, so it's important that we hear from the people who use it. Unfortunately, we can’t respond to your emails individually, but we are paying attention to them. We appreciate you taking the time to write to us.

If you're having any problems with your account, please visit the Help Center ( where you'll find information about Facebook as well as the answers to many of your questions.

Thanks again for your feedback,
The Facebook Team

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