Reflections on Facebook

The necessary task of building a Facebook catalogue as a required staging post in the creation of our Instagram Shopping facility has reminded us just why it is that we have always disliked Facebook so very much and why it is that it is held in such low esteem by so many intelligent people. Dissuaded from using it in the past on account of it’s unwanted intrusiveness coupled with endless crass invitations to advertise, we have now encountered a further source of irritation whilst attempting to list stock.

Given the bad press which in recent times the company has quite deservedly received, together with the huge fines for abuse of its market position imposed upon it by the European Commission, it is wholly understandable that it should now adopt a more cautious approach to the material that it publishes. There is however a balance to be struck between caution and common-sense, and whilst fully understanding and indeed applauding the channel’s need to enforce reasonable Terms and Conditions and sensible commerce policies, we have found Facebook’s wooden, mechanical, and no doubt computer driven interpretation of it’s own policies to be apparently devoid of human involvement and review to such a degree as to render some decisions regarding the vetting of goods to be nothing less than puerile.

Davenport Ironstone Imari PlateSTW Pewter PlateHere illustrated are two examples of items recently submitted which in each case have been rejected as offending against the channel’s commerce policies, each on the grounds that the sale of illegal services, prescription or recreational drugs or items that promote the use of drugs is contrary to those policies. Both items are collectable antique plates, the one pottery, the other pewter, neither of which can by any stretch of the imagination be remotely associated with the use or promotion of illegal substances.

It would appear to us perfectly clear that Facebook needs to review it’s existing vetting procedures, perhaps taking lessons from other organisations such as Selling Antiques and Love Antiques, both of whom manage this everyday task perfectly well, and to introduce a greater degree of intelligent human discernment into it’s operation.