Monday, January 18, 2016

Facebook Update

It's been a month...a MONTH! (31 days) since I last had access to my facebook page.

I was asked for ID on the night of Thursday, December 17. I sent a number of forms of ID, including:
  • Costco Card
  • Business Card
  • Foreigner Registration Card (aka Gaijin Card)
  • State ID (expired since I haven't lived in the US for years)
  • Japanese Insurance Card
  • Old Gaijin Card (the same card I sent in 2007 when my name was changed by facebook staff to First Name, First Initial of Last Name)
Until December 22, I got copy/paste replies from facebook signed with a Japanese name (three different names in total):
  • Tanaka (田中)
  • Ito (伊藤)
  • Watanabe (渡辺)
Click to see larger picture. All information sent matches what is on my account. What's the problem, facebook?!
Each name appeared as above, first in English and then in Japanese in parenthesis. The Japanese names made me assume that whoever was looking at my case was in Japan, so, I started writing replies in Japanese. The copy/paste replies continued in English until they stopped. 

To say that I'm pissed is an understatement. This is fucking bullshit. Each reply was some version of: "We cannot see your ID clearly." However, every. single. picture I took was either taken outside on a sunny day, or inside with sufficient lighting. Unfortunately for me, I was NOT using a fake name. My name in English, which is the name that's been on my page since 2007, is my name. I've even confirmed my account with a phone number and other confirmations in the past with no problem.

My name in Japanese is a combination of my first name and a nickname used by Japanese coworkers. I probably wrote it in some time in 2010. In my reply to the facebook staff, I explained that and said they were free to delete my Japanese name if they so desired. 

No reply.

Some things about my facebook page:

  • My profile is set to the highest settings
  • My profile does not show up in Google search
  • I only friend people I actually know
  • I don't participate in "facebook mining" apps...ones like the "what words have I used most this year?" 
  • I don't allow other sites to access my facebook page and I don't sign in to other sites with my facebook page
Basically, my page is for me and select friends. 

Since losing access to my page, I missed an end-of-the-year party with former Japanese co-workers because they organized everything through facebook. I missed meeting with friends in America when I went home this time because I didn't have their private contact information.

The biggest annoyance has been not having access to my friends. Most people contact each other through facebook and not email. Messages, everything. Living here in Japan alone, this experience made me realize that if I died tomorrow, there was no way that anyone could contact me. The majority of my facebook "friends" are either outside of Japan and have no idea about my daily life. The ones in Japan don't even know where I live, they don't know the names of my family members, they have no way to contact me outside of facebook. 

And that makes me uneasy. 

I have been able to contact some friends through Instagram and LINE, but really...this is bullshit. Fuck this shit. Facebook was way better when you needed a .edu address connected to a few select universities to sign up. Opening facebook to, literally, everyone and their mom, has meant that quality has turned to shit and we have to go through all of this shit because other people are idiots. 

grr....

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