I’ve Been Unliked

Bizarro is brought to you today by Big Brother.

I’ve been in Facebook exile for the past 24 hours because I responded sarcastically to a childish insult left on my page. bz panel 12-12-13

This has nothing to do with the fact that today’s cartoon happens to be about Facebook; that’s just a coincidence. Evidently, one of the words I used in my reply to a comment left on my site is banned by the FB gestapo and I was given a “time out.” My response was removed, even though the reason I used the word was because I was sarcastically repeating a childish reference that the original commentator used. His openly belligerent comment, with the so-called offending word, was not deleted. The message I saw yesterday said I was banned for 12 hours. This morning, 24 hours later, I can view my page but I cannot “like,” comment, or post on it. They don’t say how long this particular punishment will last. (UPDATE: I’m back to full functionality on FB as of today, more than 48 hours later.)

There is no list of approved words, you just have to intuitively know what might offend The Almighty. I’m not making more of this than it is, but it is worth noting that the very first thing a totalitarian regime does is limit speech.

Here is a screen shot of the comment left on my page. My original, sarcastic reply was this: “Even retards need comics, Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 9.07.25 AMDonald. I hope you’re enjoying them.” My comment was removed and resulted in a ban of indeterminate length. Meanwhile, Mr. Russ’s comments remain.

I think it is worth noting that the allegedly offensive word I used––retard–– is not violent or hateful in the context in which I used it, as a callback to the childish insult of Mr. Russ. This word is on the invisible list of banned words purely because it may hurt someone’s feelings, regardless of context, apparently.

In the larger scope of things, perhaps the most popular bragging right of the United States is our freedom of speech, and it is worth all the hullabaloo. But as a free nation, we’ve imposed upon ourselves language restrictions in the form of “political correctness.” Ask yourself if you really want to live in a country where you are not allowed to say anything that might risk hurting the feelings of anonymous someones, somewhere out there. I find this notion childish and offensive, especially as a humorist and artist, whose job, as I see it, is to push social buttons and challenge the thinking of the populace. This is exactly the value of freedom of speech and it is utterly disabled when we try to regulate what others say, no matter how distasteful we may find it.

Companies like Facebook and Google are fun and useful, but if you think they are not in a position to control the world, you’re not paying attention. Just saying.

Should the Facebook Taliban decide to reinstate my right to use my page, I’ll be posting again. If not, I hope you’ll remember to check my blog without my FB reminders.

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120 Responses to I’ve Been Unliked

  1. Museum Guard says:

    I will refrain from leaving a sarcastic reply here using certain words so WordPress won’t ban me.

  2. Rob says:

    Isn’t there an option to report a comment as offensive? I’m guessing he had the gall to report your comments as offensive before you did so to him. It’s kind of like when the bully is hitting you in school, and you hit back and he calls the teacher on you.

    • Piraro says:

      I’m guessing that’s exactly what happened. I don’t believe in reporting offensive comments. I could have deleted his comment entirely but left it because I believe in letting people express themselves, no matter how childish they are. Now that I’m on probation, I can’t report his comment even if I wanted to.

      • Jull says:

        I agree.
        And this is just unbelievable. It’s the same thing as if you called the guy retarded somewhere on the street and a cop came by and told you, you’re not allowed to speak for the next 24 hours…

        • Piraro says:

          Good analogy.

          • TimBo says:

            Much as I enjoy your blog and the comics I gotta disagree that this is a good analogy. There’s a difference in expressing yourself in a public space and in a commercial website. I note the irony that my comment here won’t show up until approved by the moderator. Recently I had one that didn’t show up (it wasn’t very funny, and I wasn’t too surprised). I realize that censoring that unfunny comment doesn’t stop me posting here again (if this makes it past the censor), and doesn’t cut me off from communicating easily with my “friends”, but I think it’s only a difference of degree (also I think there are good reasons for moderating your blog).

          • Piraro says:

            Thanks for your thoughts, TimBo. The only reason I would have neglected to post one of your comments is if it contained a gag idea. I never post those, in case I decide to use them; I think it could ruin the joke for other readers.

            I started moderating comments because a small handful of cyberbullies took over my site and began harassing everyone who posted here. My readership dropped, so I stopped them from posting their illiterate nonsense. Since then, there is only one reader that I regularly censor and it is because all of his comments were the same belligerent attack on my choice to vote for Obama. They are boring and childish, I warned him to cool it, he didn’t, I banned him.

            I agree that there is a big difference between censoring in public and private, but Facebook has become, by its ubiquitous nature, a primary means for people to communicate personally and for business reasons. When FB shut me down, my blog readership plummeted because so many of my fans are used to reading it after they see a FB message. This power that FB has is a new, gray area. I never thought about it before, but FB’s ability to damage the business and personal life of hundreds of millions of people gives them a dangerous amount of power. I’m not sure what the answer is, but it’s a problem we should be thinking about.

          • Linda Marshall says:

            Yes, Dan, I remember your blog when I first started reading it several years ago – there was some of the most offensive stuff I’ve come across in the internet in the comments section – and anyone who knows the internet knows that that means it was pretty darn offensive.

            As for the word that prompted all of this – I’ve worked with a lot of developmentally challenged kids, and I hate that word. Those who use it lose a measure of my respect.

            And that, I think, is the way we ought to deal with offensive language – by letting people know we find it offensive, and by expressing our dislike and disagreement.

          • Piraro says:

            I agree. Social pressure and humor is a much better way to fight discrimination, racism, and offensive name calling than banning the use of certain words anywhere.

          • Dave says:

            The funny thing about the word retard; I’ve never associated it with someone who has a mental disability…I’ve always reserved it for someone who has the capacity to be more intelligent than their current/past actions..myself included sometimes. People are far too sensitive these days…how many more words are we going to blacklist? People will just make up new ones to replace them.

          • Piraro says:

            Agreed. Someone with Down Syndrome is mentally challenged––Snooki from “Jersey Shore” is retarded.

    • wanda leach says:

      yes everyone has the right to mark any thing you post as offensive.

  3. Tom O'Connell says:

    Facebook is NOT “fun and useful.” It is a curse on our lives, a pain in the ass, and to be avoided at all costs.

    Stick to the blog – we love it.

    Tom

    • Jazz Pickle #9 says:

      I tend to agree with you about the scourge that is facebook… That said, I fully expect Dan Piraro will someday be the inspiration behind world peace, vacations on the moon, and the cure for the common cold. If Facebook gets people to this blog, as it did for me, I guess it can’t be all bad.

    • Fred Courtright says:

      Actually, I am led to this blog all the time through Dan’s updates on FB. I would only come here a fraction of the time if it weren’t for that. It is, in fact, useful in many ways, despite being an easy timesucker, a honey trap for satire taken as real news, and a place for the latest “Obamacare FAIL!” nonsense by sore losers.

    • Michael KTUF Bagby says:

      Tom, FB is whatever you make it to be. It’s a template. Fill your site with smart friends of many different varieties and it’s a great time. I’ve made friends with people I never would have met and have learned a lot from them. I’m very happy Piraro posts his comics on my FB page. Even when they are not fall over funny they are always clever and bright. There are not many in the comics section like that anymore.

  4. Gary says:

    Can you post a link to the guy’s comment? I’ll report it as offensive.

    • Piraro says:

      It’s on my Bizarro FB page. Look at the last comments on the cartoon featuring Santa Claus Frankenstein on my Bizarro FB page. https://www.facebook.com/bizarrocomics

      • Heather says:

        I guess his original, very offensive, comments were removed. He did chime in again to say you were a “looser.” In the future I would say that if people post inflammatory comments, you should consider deleting those comments and blocking that person. I believe in freedom of expression, but some people are just perverse trolls. Thank you for taking the time and energy to post stuff, when a few [redacted redacteds] make the world seem so hostile.

        • Piraro says:

          I agree. It’s not worth the trouble it causes. Thanks for your comments. :^}

          • wolfshades says:

            I’m glad you agree. I’m like you: preferring to allow people to post comments, regardless of whether I agree with them or not (actually *especially* if they disagree – I can learn a lot from them). BUT…I have zero time or respect for trolls. If they want to spout their garbage they can do so in their own living room, not in mine.

          • Dorian says:

            I agree that the blocking feature on FB is very useful. Disagreement is one thing. Offense is another. I have a few FB friends who were in FB jail for various periods of time. One was put in FB jail twice for 30 days each just for friending people. The darn software system suggests people you may be acquainted with, and then if you friend too many of them, FB gets upset. (Word to the wise: if you friend someone, say “Yes” to knowing them outside of FB. Saying “No” upsets the FB analogs.) I have myself reported someone who was instigating violence and posted that it is now open season on killing Obama. I was not the only person who reported him. Some reported the guy to the secret service too. My first automatic FB report that came back to me within 60 seconds of my report stated that FB did not see any problem with this guy’s post. I reported it again, and again, within 60 seconds, I got an automatic responder that said their was nothing wrong with the post. But a couple of days later, I got another message from the FB reporting dept, stating they had reconsidered my report and had deleted that post.

            News sites and blogs do reserve the right to not post, and to moderate. While FB is a forum for anyone who wants to use it, FB does reserve the right to delete anything they find objectionable. They have a list of rules that published, should one want to review them. For instance, bullying and inciting violence is strictly prohibited, and it should be.

        • David Franks says:

          The use of “looser” was in keeping with the original reference to “anal prolapse”. Apparently even your belligerent, less socially ept commenters have some instinct for thematic content.

        • mrroach sir says:

          I usually compliment them trolls on their perceptiveness, give them a like an tellum to have a nice day. Kinda deflates their whole reason for posting.

  5. Aaron says:

    And now this guy, who appears to be a sad, bitter little man is now exposed to the world of Jazz Pickles as such. Retribution is sweet. I wonder just who he thought he was messing with? Go Poobah!

  6. Corvus says:

    I think your guy has retreated, his page is blank. Karma baby, she a ______. (Just to be on the safe side, BB is always watching!)

  7. indi says:

    What makes this particularly maddening is the uneven application of an opaque zero-tolerance policy. Facebook is a private company and can impose whatever rules they want. The only real constraint is the more capricious they become the less they will be used by the public at large.

    And the gag was actually funny :-)

  8. swanksalot says:

    Good thing you didn’t post a photo of a woman nursing her child, you might have been banned for life! Even the venerable New Yorker got banned by the Facebook Taliban for daring to display Eve with nipples. (Their reporting on the matter: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/cartoonists/2012/09/nipplegate-why-the-new-yorker-cartoon-department-is-about-to-be-banned-from-facebook.html )

  9. sc says:

    :O ?? That is a really inappropriate behaviour of whatever fb algorithms….
    now i added your blog post and drawing to the history of Like-button-design :
    http://sensiblochamaeleon.blogspot.com/2013/11/facebooks-like-button-geschichte-design.html

  10. Craig L says:

    My strategy for dealing with Facebook was to totally delete my account there several months ago. I see no positive reason for playing in Zuck’s Closed Garden when there is a Whole Internet out there. That’s why I love how creative folk like you have WordPress blogs.

    • Piraro says:

      I’d be happy to abandon it altogether, but it’s a good way to promote my blog and cartoons. That’s the only reason I (reluctantly) began playing their game.

  11. Chris McKillop says:

    Free Dan! Free Dan!

  12. RobGriff says:

    What is an anal prolapse pussy?

    • Piraro says:

      You’ll have to ask Einstein. I’ve no idea.

      • Kayle says:

        If I may hazard a guess, with the help of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons website, I’d say that it is a condition in which the anus is stretched out of normalcy and into the shape of the female organ.

        “Rectal prolapse is a condition in which the rectum (the lower end of the colon, located just above the anus) becomes stretched out and protrudes out of the anus. Weakness of the anal sphincter muscle is often associated with rectal prolapse at this stage, resulting in leakage of stool or mucus.”

        I believe few would correct me in the speculation that Donald M Russ has intimate knowledge of such a condition as this was the path he took in being birthed from his father.

    • Pseudonym says:

      I’ve experienced one of those. It cost a fortune in vet bills.

  13. Michael Roth says:

    Just to let you know: I’ve just left a message for Mr. Russ on your Facebook site. The picture I’ve added the link to is REALLY from the guy’s fb page! — My best, Michael

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/q71/1450064_562355593833113_1192234971_n.jpg

  14. 88TF says:

    I also recently got banned from Facebook.

    I am yet to find out why.

  15. Cindy says:

    What I don’t get is why wasn’t that dumb ass kicked off for saying the original “retarded” comment? He started the whole stupid mess. Maybe big bro didn’t like your comic from yesterday, and suspended you for the dayish? Maybe they didn’t like the “like”, like any of them have a funny bone. =)

    I’m a pickle and proud of it, in the jazzy kind of way. Missed ya, you big Pooh-bah.

  16. Steve Petkus says:

    Just so you know, Dan, I for one don’t ever rely on Facebook posts to alert me to a new, vital blog entry of yours. I am, to the contrary, “old school” (hard to believe I’m using that term for this): I have your blog bookmarked in Firefox and check it on average once a day. Sorry to hear about your being abused via, and by, FB.

    (For anyone to whom the term “bookmark” sounds as archaic as “23 skidoo!”: it’s a generic term referring to a whole class of reminders, including the twist-tie around the finger while sleeping, the half-peeled orange in the microwave, the spring-loaded arm tipped with a steel-toe boot that greets my chin each morn as I roll out of bed… And for anyone to whom the term “Firefox” is unfamiliar: it’s the only-slightly-graying uncle of Chrome; it also claims to be the bastard great-grandson of some guy named AltaVista.)

    • RL Marcum says:

      I’m a Facebook user & I, too, read your blog directly. I enjoy your writing and your “sponsor” links, and your WordPress commentors are in general much more appreciative & civil than some FB responders. I didn’t know about the FB kerfuffle until I saw the link on today’s blog post.

      I agree that FB is a useful promotional tool. I also agree that they seem in large part to be a bunch of grossly overreaching anal retentives with professionally stunted imaginations. I wonder if applicants have to exceed a control freak threshold to get to work there, or demonstrate an otherwise unhealthy appetite for slavish obedience. Repressive regime indeed!

  17. Cecilie says:

    I reported three hateful comments of his that I found on your page as offensive, and none of them have been removed. I’m actually really shocked. I knew Facebook had some weird rules, but I thought they were at least somewhat consistent.

  18. that’s because only retards use facebook but that shit was pretty funny Dan, i enjoy your comic and your blog so i don’t need a fb reminder. thanks for sharing…

  19. John R says:

    As I have understood, some people on Facebook have made the decision to commit suicide due to “cyber-bullying”, and as the report has been circulated far and wide by the media, FB has taken a very strong stance on censorship to avoid offending people – unfortunately as their enforcement is managed by dumb computer algorithms it often does more harm than good. Personally, I avoid Facebook, but it’s admittedly very hard to avoid, as so many websites are deeply integrated with it.

  20. Paul Kneeland says:

    Unbelievable, in light of all the “Hate Pages” that Facebook allows to remain up.

  21. Richard says:

    Dan, you should be able to delete comments on your own page. Hover your mouse to the right of a comment, and you should see an “X” become visible. Click on that, and shut the fools up instead of getting down into the mud with ‘em.

    • Piraro says:

      I’ve never been one to delete comments unless they attack other commentators. Attacks on me are fine, I usually respond in a more civil manner and it makes them look like the idiot. I thought I was doing that here but didn’t know the word I borrowed from his comment was banned. (sigh)

  22. Mary C says:

    The person who made the nasty comment reported you. These things are report driven. FB doesn’t have a robot searching for words. I will go report that guy and they will delete his post and ban him for 24 hours as well.

  23. What an eye-opener. Ridiculous!
    Such a talented artist should not be restricted in any way.
    Welcome back!!

  24. Kevin says:

    I love your work (job), you make us think, and maybe the non thinkers take offense to that. America does have some great freedoms but it is turning into the United States of the Offended. I don’t understand why the other guys comments were not deleted as some of those words your can’t say on TV. HHMMM…….

    • Piraro says:

      I’m guessing he reported me so they only looked at my comment. Someone else reported him and his comments were deleted. He probably received a “time out,” too.

  25. Matt says:

    I think its crazy you got banned. I hope it dont discourage you from posting more. I always enjoy it :)

  26. Ulrich says:

    Just in case you are still having doubts: YOU are right, FB is WRONG!

  27. Fran says:

    My Bullshit-o-meter is in the red zone. Maybe the Pickles should launch a campaign to report the offender’s offensive remarks. Let him get suspended, because damn, there is so much wrong about the stuff he posted. I’m offended for sure. Plus imagine having the job of babysitting Facebook for what might be offensive. Who gets sent to the time out corner & who’s OK! Maybe for the sake of job creation, they should have spelling, syntax & grammar police. Hell, just the wrong use of they’re, their & there, as well as to, too & two, could entirely restore the unemployment situation. Let’s take this to the next level & get FB users at least up to high school level proficiency. Jobs for teachers in America!!!

  28. if you are the moderator of that facebook page, you can hide, delete and/or report offensive users comments yourself, just start by hitting the X next to their name

  29. David says:

    Ah well…..it didnt really affect my readership. I guess you were right even retards need comics, ppl tell me im a retard with weird sense of humour and I LOOVE your comics !! You rock bro !!

  30. Fearguth says:

    If the Supreme Court continues down its present path, some day soon only corporations will have First Amendment rights.

  31. Kari says:

    My goodness! That is simply terrible. The original posters words ARE offensive, especially his response. I happen to be female and as such find his ‘insult’ to be particularly insulting!!!! Your deleted response was fine!

  32. Shaun Haney says:

    I wonder about Facebook’s policies and how they implement them more and more everyday. It seems like they simply respond to whoever complains. They don’t actually ever look at the situation. Ever notice that so often, the baby who’s crying is the one with the hammer in its hand?

  33. Warren Lunt says:

    Censorship is fear. One cannot anticipate the fear of a social media audience without assuming they must totally shut up. We should never fear others fears because we all have so many of our own. Keep up the the good work. You offend me sometimes and it’s good for me.

  34. Brian Mora says:

    I can commiserate, Brother Dan, on account of I have been fighting Fascistbook censorship for more than two months myself and yes it is similar to what you have been experiencing. Since the night of 2013/10/03 I have been censored from posting on Fascistbook pages, liking others’ comments on Fascistbook page-generated material, or even sharing expanded links in Fascistbook groups. I have tried appealing repeatedly to no avail AND I have even had to contact the authorities and even my Congressional representatives for some relief. Maybe enough folks will generate enough pressure to get a Social Networking Bill Of Rights in place to protect the freedom of speech and freedom of expression on social networking sites like Fascistbook. Maybe we need to find out who owns shares in Fascistbook so we can get them to dump FB stock and drive down their value. Maybe a couple of billion in lost stock value will make Mark Fuckerturd and company wake the bloody hell up and smell the reality.
    PS Hey Dan I apologise for the vulgarities but internet censorship makes my blood boil. I took MySpace to court years ago over that and lost…but let the online world know that social networking censorship is a real problem that needs to be addressed.

    • Piraro says:

      Wow, you sound like a real rabble-rouser.I love it! And I agree that a change is needed. I’m guessing the gov will be in hearings about this kind of thing in the not-too-distant future. Of course, do we really want the government (any government) decided what can be done on the Intertubes? It’s a tough question.

  35. Shawn Lewis says:

    I would normally try to have something witty or at least strange to say, but hearing about your ban just freaks me out.

    Something about the blindness of the “justice” where a truly offensive original poster’s comments remain while yours (not my cup of tea, but hardly the end of the world) are removed and you are banned from FB makes me feel paranoid.

    Perhaps we’ll be saved and the UN will declare access to FB a human right.

  36. George Leddick says:

    Wait! How come I’ve never been banned from Facebook? I demand my rights! And where can I buy the T-shirt Dan? On your blog?
    And parenthetically amidst the blizzard of catalogs sent to my house I spotted sheets printed completely in gherkins– I thought of sending you the reference in case jazz pickles everywhere wished to equip themselves and their boudoirs… But then my wife tossed them all. Sorry.

  37. Sara says:

    While I’m not a fan of Facebook censoring comments in general – I do question your use of the word “retard” in response to this guy.

    I used to feel like you somewhat, but you and me both know that words matter – after one of my friends who works at the Special Olympics talked to a small group I was in about using the word retard I have retired it from use in my vocabulary.

    I’m not trying to be “politically correct” – I’m trying not to hurt people unintentionally with my words. Here’s the Special Olympics page that gives more information. http://www.r-word.org/r-word-why-pledge.aspx#.UqzZvvRDuSo

    -a fan and fellow vegan

    • Piraro says:

      I don’t use that word publically, either––in this case I only used it to point out the childishness of his own comment, since he used it. I understand your point, though. Thanks for your comments.

  38. Tom Johnson says:

    Absolute Horsepucky.

  39. John Bigboote says:

    Ho! And if you think Big Data is all just virtual tomfoolery, look what they own now:

    http://www.neatorama.com/2013/12/14/Google-Buys-Boston-Dynamics/

  40. Amazing Kris says:

    It seems to me that the person you replied to is the one that reported you. It’s a lame (sorry to all with limb impairments) tactic that some people use to get their way. Folks who have absolutely no control over their own lives tend to tool around with other people’s lives. It’s just the way they are. Hardwired, or learned behaviour; I don’t know. I wouldn’t even suggest that they need help. I avoid them at all cost.
    I had people report me for inappropriate content, and they certainly were not stepping forward to tell me they were the ones who did it. Nor do I feel they should, necessarily, although I would like to know. I take responsibility for those times, knowing I was way out of line.
    Certain people know that Facebook is a headless chicken, and will arbitrarily shut you down with little to no explanation at the slightest peep from someone else. Facebook has virtually no moderation, and if they had a paid staff, they still couldn’t keep up with the minute-to-minute complaints people would put up.
    Next time someone harasses you via Facebook on this level, be sure to report them– IF you think this is a game worth playing.

  41. Louisa Dell'Amico says:

    Some anonymous person recently reported Dr. Michael Greger’s youtube videos (www.nutritionfacts.org) as offensive, and all of his hundreds upon hundreds of straight-up nutrition science videos vanished! He was in the process of transferring all his videos to another site, when youtube apparently reviewed his website and deemed his videos as acceptable to community standards. I think someone didn’t like all the bad news about meat and dairy!

    • Piraro says:

      That is fucking crazy. I’ve seen his videos and cannot believe that anyone found them offensive, other than people from the meat and dairy industry. That REEKS of political influence.

  42. Chris Farrell says:

    All your pickleheads still love you.

  43. Louise says:

    Don’t you sometimes feel like you’re a kid in school again when you use Facebook? Facebook is the principle and adults behave like bratty, spoiled little children when you don’t agree with you don’t always take their side. You just got to laugh and rise above it – it’s so ridiculous really. That Donald Russ fellow is obviously an angry person, he probably hit that report button 10 times, lol. We love you Dan, your comics totally brighten my day!

  44. LaRue Watts says:

    If only you dyslexics would learn to spell “trader!”

  45. David says:

    F*ck is OK, but r*tard is not?

  46. AdmFubar says:

    Never trust any of the “cloud services” … they are controlled by corp/groups that have their own agenda..
    check out groklaw and grokthelaw, The FSF, the EFF, techrights .. and opensource software..

    also on a different note… there is another site.. that is kinda like a real world bizzaro. take a peek at Dangerous Minds.. which alway makes me think of Dangerous Mimes….. if there is anyone who could draw that it is you… :)
    if you dont think any of the sites i mentioned are worthy of the discussion here you can edit them if you like.

  47. Jane Shigley says:

    Pick your battles. From a free speech point of view, sure you should be able to say what you wish. However, the R word is actually offensive to a lot of people. I maintain that it is not good manners to use it unless you can make sure it is clearly used without malice. If it had been MY page, I would have simply deleted the comment from Mr. Russ, and gotten on with my life. I had a similar experience recently with our local newspaper. A person used a racist comment in a public meeting. I used the same comment in a website reply, but it was not published.

  48. Jan MacKenzie says:

    Facebook should not have blocked you from your own blog, especially when the troll’s comments far outweighed yours in offensiveness. Agree with you on not censoring the comments, however it is your blog and your Facebook page. If you had an obnoxious uninvited guest in your home, you wouldn’t hesitate throwing him out. Don’t waste any more thought on these boobs and bullies. You have readers that appreciate your perspective and love Bizarro!

  49. michael gorman says:

    Unfortunately, Facebook is all about the ‘squeaky wheel.’ Their philosophy doesn’t entail justice, and their methods punish only the person being complained ABOUT. Had you complained about Mr. Russ first, he’d have been on the receiving end. To paraphrase a Supreme Court justice who’s name escapes me, “The law is not about justice, it’s about order.” Apparently, Facebook agrees.

  50. Marty Beedell says:

    Wow, if they are so enjoyable – Where can I get one of these “anal prolapses” that the reply poster speaks so highly of!

  51. Marty Beedell says:

    Ha! Re: his final response calling you a “looser” – I guess that is a down side from the “anal prolapse” then…

  52. Crusty Ol' Bastard says:

    I found your story of being banned from Facebook disturbing and saddening. Your conduct was no different than the other guy’s. Well, except for the fact that yours was funny!

    A few years ago I had a blog about my building my house. I had Google AdSense ads along the right margin. If someone clicked on one of those ads, I got a few pennies. After a year or so, I had accumulated about $7.00 in my account. (Retirement, here I come!).

    One day I got an email from Google. Quote: “While going through our records recently, we found that your AdSense
    account has posed a significant risk to our AdWords advertisers. Since keeping your account in our publisher network may financially damage our advertisers in the future, we’ve decided to disable your account.”

    Wow… I felt so powerful! My little blog with a readership of a hundred people was “posing a significant risk”. To this day I have no idea what happened. I avoided clicking the ads myself, since that can easily be tracked by IP address if necessary.

    There was an appeal process; which was a questionnaire of about 30 questions. I received a terse “Denied” on that.

    The part of all this that really pissed me off, was that there was nothing I could do about it. It’s not possible to physically speak to anyone… to reason with an actual person. I couldn’t care less about the $7… it’s the principle that counts. (Yes, I know… it’s a cliché… but it fits.)

    I think it’s just wrong that these companies can do things on a whim like that. The problem is that they’ve gotten so big and powerful… they “can” just do what they want, and there’s sweet F.A. the average Joe can do about it. Bloody frustrating!

    • Piraro says:

      I completely sympathize with your story. The fact that I had no recourse, no one to appeal to, no human to explain to me what had happened or how long it would last made me feel I’d been arrested without charges and no phone call to a lawyer.

      What makes FB so dangerous is that because of it’s insane popularity, there is no other game in town that is worth playing. If you use it for self promo, as I do, nothing else comes close to the reach. In effect, they have a monopoly. The power this gives them over our lives is immense.

  53. TooManySheep says:

    What a bunch of Morons at RetardBook! That space is getting so lame anymore… Thanks for a great comic, always!

  54. Mike Wolf says:

    I kind of take it as a compliment when idiots say bad things about my work. I loved Far Side but I look forward to your stuff and its just as smart with better drawings.

    • Piraro says:

      A much appreciated comment, Mike. Because I’ve made but a small fraction of the money Larson has, I sometimes feel swept under the rug. :^}

  55. Steve says:

    You are correct in that if there was a list of words that are off-limits, we would have some guidelines to follow to stay out of trouble. But, since the whole thing is a big mystery, based solely on how big a hissy fit some lame ass can throw, we are all vulnerable to the wrath of “the moderator”. I don’t like it a bit. And considering the name and (sometimes) subject of my hobby page at FB, I am plotting my exit. We should all be defending our right to offend. Keep up the fight, Dan.

  56. Mark Keating says:

    I feel sorry that Facebook seem to respond seemingly on automatic instead of reading the context of the complaints they get. I guess there is now an semi-automated system whereby they just use minimum-wage employees to auto-block almost without real understanding.

    But the whole system is basically messed up. I liked your point that as a artist you use your imagery to poke at social buttons. As a sometimes-writer and lover of the language I get upset at people who get offended for all the wrong reasons.

    Consider the sentence, ‘that is retarded’. Say that to a lot of people and it hits their emotion switch, they will say ‘I am not a retard,’ or ‘don’t mock those with an issue with that language,’ et cetera.

    Here is the rub, the word simply means to hold back, to detain, to decelerate. In that usage I am simply implying that the matter is not evolved by but un-evolved by, held back, retarded.

    But let’s dig a little deeper, what the hell is wrong with calling someone ‘retarded’? I will give you two examples:

    Anne comes from a poor area of the world. Her country has no formal education, health or support infrastructure. She has suffered from famine and war. On a global scale her level of education, wealth and health are all sub-normal (another hated term for people), in this manner she is retarded. Held back by society.

    Mike was born with below average intelligence and a learning disability. Mike went to a good school where they supported his disabilities and gave him the most complete education they could. Mike’s country has a strong support network to enable him to do the best he possibly can. Mike gets annoyed not when people call him retarded, as he was born that way. He gets upset as they think ‘retard’ makes him less of a person than them.

    We place too much value on normal. So much so that we fear anything that doesn’t fit into that instead of embracing it. I personally would love to see people reclaiming these sensitive terms in the way that we ‘reclaimed the n-bomb’ or ‘made gay okay’ – I still think broad society needs to accept these hence the quote marks.

    Anyway, sorry to rant and digress a little, hope you don’t stop poking at those norms and hitting buttons.

    • Piraro says:

      Thanks for your thoughts, Mark. For the most part, I agree with you. When a word has an innocent, original meaning, I hate to see it driven out of the lexicon because bigots and bullies misuse it to the point that it becomes profanity.

  57. TwoOptions says:

    The King of Wordplay didn’t get a worthy mention amongst all this mêlée. By the way, I for one am a genuine blog-only reader; absolutely detest FB. And why isn’t anyone questioning the absence of the thumbs-down dislike button on FB? Totalitarian gestapians.

  58. Abraxis says:

    I gave the following feedback to Facebook admins”

    You recently banned “Dan Piraro Bizarro Comics” for responding (nicely, I might add) an offensive comment left by another person. You did not remove the offensive comment, but you did remove Dan’s response and put him on a kind of “Facebook probation”.

    Your actions prove that your policy results in acting like an overbearing, immature, and unfair mother that likes to beat up the intelligent and reward the idiotic.

    Shape up! Ban “Donald M Russ” permanently! Stop being such an authoritarian power. We, the public, shall seek alternatives as quick as we can code a peer-to-peer supported networking application if you continue this madness.

  59. Xak says:

    Well, I reported him and foolishly included the option to inform the user that I found the comments abusive and to remove them. I got a lovely message from him this morning from another account he has, as well as a message back from Facebook saying that they reviewed the comment and did not find that it violated their precious “Standards”.

    Sorry for the language, but this is his message to me in full, and unedited:

    12/14, 2:53pm
    Stained Glass
    hey sorry you didnt like my comment on my other profile heres one for you FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FAGGOT RETARD also i have all your pics downloaded and am busy making accounts on many different porn sites ps you have a lovely home

  60. Steve Holland says:

    I do hope you’ve blocked that asshole from further commentary on your Facebook account.

    • Piraro says:

      Yes, be he’ll just start another page under another name and come back. He’s actually been cyber-stalking me for years.

  61. Richard Prichard says:

    We congratulate you for standing up for free speech. You expressed the situation nicely in your article. As always we invite you to join Zombiesexbar’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zombiesexbar We would appreciate your input.

  62. Mary Johnson says:

    Here’s an easy way to block haters: install a program that blocks people who can’t spell, use correct grammar, and don’t understand caps.

  63. Lance says:

    Just put all potentially derogatory words in quotes, then you can argue you didn’t really mean them.

  64. having been banned on FB for 14 days recently for simply asking for likes from friends and acquaintances (I think i must have crossed an invisible threshold) I empathise with your observations about the regime! – it is stupid that someone can use obscene posts and you get exiled for responding with something less obscene … I agree that this is the first signs of a totalitarian state. I like you humour so do not stop.

    can I use one of your cartoons for an internal humorous take?

  65. TP says:

    You were put on hold because your comment was reported (by Donald M Russ, of course).

    It’s no use trying to use sarcasm, common sense or reasoning with people like this.

    They live on the attention you give them.

    Just report the comments and carry on.

    Thank you.

  66. Kerry Grimduke Earl says:

    You should do a ‘anal prolapse pussy’ cartoon! (there’s a joke there somewhere surely?)

  67. Rita Wolf says:

    I was just punished by Facebook for posting a photo of a child on an elephant that was taken by her parents, who are professional nature photographers. The child is now 16 and included this among her childhood photos in a children’s book that was just published. I shared it from a review in the Huffington Post that had Facebook “like” and “share” symbols next to it. When I tried to post the photo I received a message that it contained inappropriate content. I thought that had to be a mistake so I tried again. It failed to post and I received a message that was banned because it exploited children and I would be prevented from posting photos for 14 days. This was a lovely photo and I still don’t understand why it was banned, especially since I reported a photo of a naked woman being stuffed into a pot on a stove and Facebook allowed it to remain posted.

  68. Pingback: Jason Kottke: The blog is dead, long live the blog at B12 Solipsism

  69. Joe Galatha says:

    I think the reason you were banned is because Mr. “anal prolapse” probably REPORTED your comment; as such Facebook felt compelled to react to what they assumed (had to for legal reasons, I’m guessing) was a person with delicate sensibilities who was aghast at what you had said.

    His comment, however, probably did not get deleted because the rest of the adults on FB realize that dickheads and assholes are abundant (and prolific) on this site, and such is life. If we spent all our energy banning everything that pissed us off or offended us, we’d have no time left to shit on those who started it.

    In other words, this clown is the worst cross between Gary Perkins (Family Research Council, who petitions the FCC for every human act they think offends god or his followers) and a pyromaniac who doubles as a volunteer fire fighter. He runs around leaving flaming bags of dogshit on everyone’s front porch and then ringing the doorbell; then calls the fire department to report a pyromaniac who’s setting fire to everyone’s front porch.

    In other words, he’s a bored little ***k who’s mom found his porn collection, and now his new hobby is trying to get other people’s internet taken away.

    Facebook is the new world headquarters for schadenfreude.

  70. jeje says:

    I was just kicked out of a huge group for defending myself from these bullying ppl. I left fb completely. I’m actually quite happy without the drama (With ppl I dont even know). Their racist sexist comments were ok but me commenting back was not.

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