I had an interesting experience this week…I went to jail.
Don’t worry, though: I wasn’t remanded in custody for a crime.
I was in Facebook Jail.
It seems that the digital robotic algorithm which constantly monitors posts for things it has unilaterally decided are hateful, offensive, or against its ‘community standards’ picked off a meme I reposted from someone else and decided that it violated ‘community standards’.
I thought it was funny, and so did several other people. In fact, I can’t imagine who would have found it anything but funny. But the algorithm doesn’t share my sense of humour, apparently. So I couldn’t post for 24 hours (probably not a bad idea anyway), and I can’t go ‘live’ or place an ad on Facebook for 30 days. I guess this is the equivalent for getting 2 minutes for roughing and a game misconduct…from a blind referee.
Thankfully, I don’t rely on Facebook for anything except mild entertainment and the opportunity to post spiritual encouragement, so the repercussions are not life-altering for me.
It’s almost impossible to hit a moving target – which I deem Facebook’s algorithm to be – so I will have no idea whether what I post in the future will be targeted. So I will have to be much more judicious in what I post. It will mostly be ministry-related. (Hopefully, they won’t start targeting Christians for spiritual things!)
I couldn’t find a means for appeal, but if I could, I would encourage Facebook to alter its algorithm so that it has at least a mild sense of humour. After all, if we can’t laugh, especially at ourselves, life is not as rich.
Make sure you get in a good laugh today, even if it’s not at something I post on social media, because, as the Bible says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength” (Proverbs 17.22, NLT).