Sunday, December 14

The Facebook Blackout

So this "Facebook Blackout" thing is today, and I have several issues with it. First, the morons who created the event seem to be... er... moronic. Here's the description from the event:

.•*´¨`*•. THE FACEBOOK BLACKOUT.•*´¨`*•.

Friends account deleted, Limited in sending message or poking, stupid new layout !

Administrators don't care about what we think !
But what will happen if we all decide to stay off of facebook for 1 day !

Please invite all your friends in this group so that we could really make an happening on December 15th!

Starting @ 6 PM (GMT+1) on December 15th to
6PM (GMT+1) on december 16th

Now, I'm just going to let the grammatical mistakes stand for themselves, but even beyond that, the people used asterisks and other punctuation to prettify their event. Who does that after 7th grade and out of the context of dumb chain letters?

Beyond my own opinions about the general idiocy of the people running this thing, I have problems with the idea behind it. They're putting on a protest - of not signing onto a website for one day - because... they don't like the layout? Fine, if they want to protest, they can protest. But what do they think they're going to accomplish? I mean, it's true, if they hate Facebook, there's nowhere else they can go on the internet to post pictures or videos or have a personal account or chat with friends. Oh, no, wait, there's a dozen places they could do that. So if they're so bent on protesting, why not just get rid of their FB accounts and just move to another site? Not signing on for a day isn't going to prove anything to anyone.

This "protest" and the "Day without Gays" that happened last week (or something like that) both seem to think of themselves as having something in common with the bus boycotts of the 60's. Now, unlike the FB protest, the Day without Gays has an actual point - help with the Prop 8 aftermath, show people how important Gays are to the community/economy, stand up to bigots everywhere. I'm down with all counts. However, both protests have the one huge fallibility in common - they're only for one day.

The reason the bus boycotts worked, the reason the sit-ins and other protests worked during the Civil Rights Movement, was that they counted on not only public support - but patience. Doing something for one day, a blackout or a day of not contributing to the economy/work force, doesn't make an impact. When men and women refused to use the city's bus system for months on end, the bus companies noticed because of the loss of revenue. Even if every gay person in America should decide not to shop for the one day, the companies all know one thing: they'll be back tomorrow. (Plus, by trying to strike at every part of the economy at once, they don't affect any one part enough for them to notice and therefore get upset.) Even if we all got off Facebook for the one day - we'll be back the next! We'll probably be on for even longer to make up for what we missed. If any protest is going to fix any problem, the people protesting have to be ready to deal with some sacrifice, up front, for their cause. It's lazy and arrogant to assume that giving something up for a day is going to change anything. It's even more arrogant to associate these pathetic attempts at a "movement" with the Civil Rights Movement. Pitiful, people.

No, I don't have any solutions to the Prop 8 problem (at least, not ones that don't include voting or judicial overturning of laws) but I don't pretend that staying home for a day (or taking part in a protest when you should be working, which was the original point of the Day without Gays) will fix anything. People who do are chumps. Vote next time, instead of assuming that because it's California, laws pushing gay rights will pass. In fact, I take back what I said before: actions on one day CAN change things. But that day is voting day. You have the right, fucking use it.

But back to the original point of the post: the doomed Facebook Blackout. From the event page:
1,336,979 confirmed guests
4,234,301 not attending

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1 comment:

  1. My favorite part is that they're using facebook to organize an event against facebook. The new facebook layout has probably made it easier to organize a protest against the new facebook layout.