Good God Almighty. I am guilty, guilty, guilty of exactly this sin: Hijacking somebody else's Facebook post.
Facebook can be a tough place to navigate, it really can, even for the most technical savvy. It is easy to forget where we are in a virtual world. If you are tagged in a photograph or a post it shows up in your feed, or more accurately, the feeds of the people you most often communicate with and sometimes you just pop up randomly. When you are tagged in a comment you might pop up also but that's a less likely situation.
If a photo album is public everyone can see it if they can find it but for the most part they cannot comment unless they are a friend or have a friend tagged in the photo. Once you are tagged or a friend is tagged in the photo, all bets are off. So who's to say the photo above doesn't belong to me? The comments are open, right? Really you just need to look up at the top and process the profile pic and the name but that's probably not going to happen. Maybe. Maybe not. I don't know. Maybe I'm excusing too much.
After participating in a conversation string last night that was in the Contra stratosphere; I really had to tread lightly because I wasn't likely to have much to contribute of value - but I did, and it turned out to matter - I went to the photographer's page just to have a look at him and realized he had actual photographs of the Fall Ball and there I was! Finally. Damn. I requested a tag. It was pretty late too. He doesn't have any reason to know who I am other than my contribution to the conversation. About 30 minutes later he accepted the tag. Within 10 minutes an acquaintance from high school had something to say. I cringed. People started hitting the like button which pretty much insured that the photo was going to stay in the feed for awhile. The conversation in the comment section could have gone down hill very quickly but it came back up ok. The owner of the photograph jumped in and everything was OK. Eventually I called it a night and walked away feeling that even though the comment section of the photograph had been hijacked (which just doesn't seem to happen in the Contra community) it had turned out alright.
Until this afternoon. I couldn't have been signed on for more than 3 minutes when a friend. A friend, thankyougod... also pretty well known, copied and pasted the last comment of the night into a Facebook message. OMG!!!! WTF. Holyshit. REALLY?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Were you sober when you typed that? We went back and forth for a minute and I realized I was going to have to ask her to remove it. There was absolutely no redeeming value. If there had been, I'd have let it be but it was flat out rude and offensive. I understood where it was coming from but it flat out wasn't OK. I also understood there was no way she'd processed that the photograph wasn't mine. Or that the comment was going to show up in somebody else's stream.
I sent the message as gently as I possibly could but you know what? There really is no gentle way to say, hey, that was really offensive and what you posted is going to be read by an entire community because this guy is huge. And those other people tagged in the photo? Well, at least one of them? She's the daughter of the godfather of Contra in the Northeast. I didn't mention that part. I explained that I had to request the tag and that he had no idea who I was (I didn't explain being part of a conversation because I expect he would have allowed the tag anyway) and accepting the tag was sort of a trust thing. I also tagged the Faery Princess. Sigh.
Anyway, she couldn't find it to delete it. I couldn't find it in my comment list from last night either which sort of panicked me. Good lord, the man has not only removed the comment, he's untagged and blocked me and I'm going to be banned from.... noooooooooooooo... that's not really very likely.
My Contra friend sent me the link and I sent it to her and she removed the comment. The photo is still there, it's still tagged and I can still comment in the string. I can only hope he didn't see it. Highly unlikely. They're at it again having the gender neutral/gender balanced Caller conversation trying to come up with gender neutral terms to get past the ladies and gents thing that causes such a problem when gender swapping happens to balance out the roles when there are too many women in the room or sometimes too many men. I would imagine he's seen it removed as well.
So, we all blunder, lord knows I do and I guess the best we can do is clean up after ourselves to the best of our ability. She certainly accepted the blunder better than I did. I think.
Now. I need gender neutral terms to replace ladies and gents or gents and ladies. Gents are on the left and Ladies on the right. Gents "Lead" and Ladies "Follow" although the only actual leading and following is in the swing and the courtesy turn. Everything else is gender neutral. They've tried bands and bares (the leads wear bands on their arms) but that makes it hard to switch back and forth, Left and Right is really hard when you have the Leftie Left Allemande on the Right diagonal.... aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh.... Navigators and Drivers.... but something is needed to shift the culture that doesn't suggest dominance and submission and is gender free. That's the exercise.
The photograph above, by the way, is late in the evening and I believe it's from a square. I hate squares. I really do. I suck at them plus there's a lot of standing still waiting to see what's going to happen next. Plus people who are good at them get really mad when people who aren't good at them mess them up. That's probably why I hate them. I'm still grinning like an idiot. Look at the guy waiting to jump right back in. He looks like he's ready to catch a baby or something and he doesn't want to miss. I love that.