MinXus Mail Bag: From Jesse Edwards (Villemoustaussou, France) + A Message for Facebook Friends

Jesse - 7.6.2015 - 1

Mail art by Jesse Edwards (Villemoustaussou, France)

We believe correspondent Jesse Edwards continues to travel in Europe this summer. Fortunately, he provided us with a backlog of material that we will share until he returns to his home and continues with his usual, prolific output.

Jesse - 7.6.2015 - 2

Many thanks to Jesse Edwards! But no! We are not Moan Lisa, which might possibly (but not necessarily) have something to do with the following:

Our Facebook Fiasco

Apologies and thanks are due to Tenderfoots who have contacted us back channel concerning our sudden disappearance from Facebook (specifically the DVS profile).

The account has been “disabled,” and we are attempting to restore it.

On July 4 (ironically) we attempted to log into the account, only to discover we were denied access. We have a form email from FB saying they suspect DVS is not DVS, that the account is possibly fake and we must provide “government identification.” Despite a strong impulse not to do this, we have complied. We have hundreds of images of artwork by DVS and others in our FB albums. Should we at least be allowed to “clean out the desk” before being locked out? The corporate world usually allows that much. So, in short, FB has confiscated our art.

We have discovered FB has almost no customer service, and their information is uniformly vague. We have no idea when our “case” will be reviewed. Yes, suddenly they are using the word “case.” We have not the slightest idea why we are a “case” and find the situation exceedingly embarrassing and humiliating. Mostly, we post pics of mail art and news about contemporary poetry. Some have suggested that someone had to have reported us for a violation. If this is the case, we would like to know what that alleged violation is, if it is more than the charge of DVS being a fake person. There is an appeal process we will pursue if the “government identification” we sent is not sufficient. Reports concerning the appeal process are not positive either.

Some of our FB friends are people we have known for years. Some are current coworkers. (We use the FB account for art and professional (which overlap) and communicate with family elsewhere.) The account is not fake, and friends can attest to that. Yes, we admit to having a sense of humor. However, we have provided FB with accurate information and followed the rules to the best of our knowledge, so the disabling of the account comes as a surprise. The assumption of guilt – the disabling of the account with minimal explanation and no timeframe – is unlike anything we have encountered in cyberspace before.

A quick search reveals that people report disabled FB account issues are resolved from a day or two to never. What looks like a large segment of posters claim they submit the required information to FB and never receive a response and the accounts remain disabled. Even without an official ruling on guilt or innocence by FB, the people with disabled accounts are not permitted to open new accounts, based on online information. So we are not sure when, if ever, we will be back on FB. Actions like this by FB must be devastating for people who use the site for commercial purposes or to keep in contact with family members – not people guilty of an infraction but innocent people who suddenly find themselves frozen out with little explanation or recourse.

Clearly, IUOMA-Ning is not adequate any longer for the great work of MinXus-Lynxus. We will continue to post and participate at IUOMA-Ning, of course; but we will look into establishing a presence on Twitter, Instagram and other similar venues. We will return to FB if possible, as so many friends are there.

After this Orwellian and Kafkaesque experience with FB, all we can advise Tenderfoots: “Watch your back.”


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