Thursday, March 5, 2015

Facebook is purging again

Facebook is again enforcing its "real names" policy, with several extremely popular and active members of the Sideshow and Burlesque communities having their profiles locked up, removed from view, or simply deleted.

In a way it's understandable. Facebook is a business, but the product it sells is the personal information of its users. Most of that information is freely given by users, from dates of birth and hometowns to schools attended and places of employment. Some of it is derived from online behavior, such as sites visited and pages "Liked." All of it is valuable, and there are buyers willing to pay for this information. The value of this information depends in large part to its ability to be  linked to a specific individual. If that individual is known only by a pseudonym, that value drops tremendously.

Many performers have created sites of their own, independent of Facebook and not bound by its rules. But Facebook has been so popular and easy to use, a lot of people have become almost exclusively dependent on it. This is a mistake. Mark Zuckerberg giveth, and Mark Zuckerberg taketh away. I created this site as a way of having a single place where the websites of Variety Arts performers could be linked from, safe from the whims of Facebook. If you're involved in the Variety Arts and I haven't linked you yet, please let me know so I can link your site.

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