I have a Facebook account in my own name – John Thomas Fleming.
On it I post links to articles which I think are interesting and/or funny.
The Daily Mash is a satirical British website.
Today I tried to post a link on my Facebook page to one of the Daily Mash articles.
The Daily Mash’s satiric article was headlined:
MUSEUM OF 1970s SEX EUPHEMISM TO OPEN IN LEEDS
My comment accompanying the link was… “Surely it should open in Bristol?”
A reference to a jolly British euphemism for a lady’s breast.
My post was blanked-out by Facebook because:
“This post goes against our Community Standards on nudity or sexual activity”
and I was banned from posting on Facebook for 24 hours.
I am not sure if Facebook objected to my use of the word ‘Bristol’ or the Daily Mash‘s somewhat risqué picture which was a still from one of the 1970s series of Confessions of… films… These were ‘naughty yet acceptable’ films in the genre of the Carry On… movies.
Britain has a long tradition of family filth Stretching back to Shakespeare and Chaucer and certainly including – perhaps most surprising to Americans – the traditional (ideally utterly filthy) British Christmas pantomimes for children.
The Confessions of… films were more permissive than the more innocent Carry On… films. But were still considered middle-of-the-road even then.
Obviously Facebook’s image-searching computers and more puritan-minded American tendencies need a re-tweak.
The worrying thing is that I was given the name John Thomas Fleming by my innocent parents. I was named after my two grandfathers. I believe the origin of the phrase ‘John Thomas’ is Lady Chatterley’s Lover, a novel which I nor I am certain my parents never read.
I now fear for the good citizens of Bristol city, who face a potential blanket ban from Facebook for living where they do: a conurbation which shares its name with an example of Cockney rhyming slang.
This is all a bit reminiscent of the early days of censorship on the internet when farmers found that innocent references to their common farmyard creatures were getting them banned as pornographers… in particular, any reference to their cocks.
Oh, alright… the bloody Facebook image-searching computers actually took exception to the photo… But, really, do me a favour.