Today I posted "content" in an attempt to use Facebook Timeline in a humorous, narrative way; I was kidding a little, but I thought it could be fun to really use the software to create a comedic, serialized micro-narrative made of short status updates. The post was commented on by a couple of friends, and then removed by someone other than me. I then discussed this in another status update with those same friends. That was then promptly removed by someone other than me. I then reposted the content twice, and now I do not see any of this on my page. If Facebook would like people to care about its IPO -- and that's a foregone conclusion, they do, because billions of dollars are concerned, but let's talk about regular people -- they should not delete writers' attempts to use their tools to create and engage with an audience, in jest or more serious ways. The aforementioned content (copied below) is far from genius and merely average, but I posted it here, which is less "buggy" a virtual "place" and likely watched by fewer programmers who police and react to user content. Perhaps this was all just FB software problems...but if so, who can trust FB with content you do not backup elsewhere. I mean, what if this stuff was actually good?
Here is the attempt at humor I posted, related to the ABC Show Revenge. Do you find it inappropriate?
"When I was 10, a high-school senior in my Monte Cristo-like neighborhood was hired to hang out with and shoot hoops with me before my parents returned home from work. One day, the kind young man suggested I find someone to buy me a tape of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run.” So, I did, and the next time he appeared, he “borrowed” it, never to return or answer our many calls again. Now, as a rational adult, I plan to use Facebook Timeline, narratively, to track down this man for a final confrontation. Would any of you care to follow this meaningful adventure? I shall call it “My Facebook ‘Revenge’ / Season One: Born to Run.”
I shall move slowly, follow clues, keep my emotions at bay, and friend anyone close to this man and his especially heinous crime, crossing each one off my list one by one. It will be sweet to one day recover this low quality recording, if it still exists, uncompressed and possibly warped. But the ultimate prize will be hearing this man sing under duress the lyrics: “The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive / Everybody's out on the run tonight but there's no place left to hide.”
AFTERNOON UPDATE: Facebook was briefly down this morning, and I wouldn't want to think they'd target one person, so it's quite possible that's what happened. Still, the "dangerous" keywords used in my posts could have triggered a moderator or bot to remove them at different times (people observed their staggered removal individually), and the critique and untraditional use of Timeline the day after FB's IPO announcement is definitely something they might try to quash.
The important issue remains: Can we trust FB to hold our original life-content as Timeline promises? I'd use a few backups, and make sure you already own the rights to anything you publish anywhere.