So I was sitting here at SFO a few hours ago, trying to get to New York but getting the “slow no” from United, when I decided to log on to Facebook. My Wall has become a surprising source inspiration and information, so I check in often to see what’s new. But what I found waiting for me was neither inspiring nor informative.
I’d call it pornography, but that doesn’t quite do justice to what I saw. There, nestled between ideas for my show, requests to run for elected office, and the usual batch of good-natured memes, were a flurry of images that would have left the authors of The Kama Sutra dazed and confused. I’m telling you, these photos would have made sailors blush and doctors queasy. I’m not talking about desperate selfies of pouty girls in push-up bras begging us to “like” their page – I’m talking about imagery that would never stimulate in normal adults the kind of reaction we all know respectable smut is designed to achieve.
One tableau in particular really jumped out. It featured a group of enthusiasts engaged in the usual activities you might expect to see at a traditional bacchanalia. But this particular scene was so deviant, and the participants so…enthusiastic, I was reminded of that Hieronymus Bosch painting – In The Garden of Earthly Delights. Except, these weren’t paintings of people – these were actual people, doing things to each other that defied gravity and the presence of a skeleton. It actually made me gasp, along with the woman sitting behind me in Terminal 3, who learned the hard way that reading over the shoulder of a B-list celebrity can sometimes have unintended consequences.
I’m not a prude, ladies and gentlemen – far from it. Nor am I inclined to condemn those who enjoy dirty pictures, or produce them, or sell them. But I’d prefer to keep them off my page, and after several weeks of asking, it’s become obvious that Facebook is incapable of maintaining my PG-13 preference. For the last few months, my good friend Shari – dear sweet Shari – has been attempting to stem the tide of obscenity, but I’m afraid her best efforts are no match for The Great Unwashed. Now, I’m afraid I have no choice but to take the matter in hand, (so to speak.)
Rather than this constant “whack-a-mole,” (as it were,) I’ve adjusted my settings, (if you will,) and asked Shari – assuming she’s not too traumatized – to take a quick glance at every post BEFORE allowing it to appear on The Wall. This doesn’t mean you can’t post. Nor does it mean you’ll be edited, or forbidden from telling me I’m a no talent corporate sell out or telling me how much you hate certain news networks. It just means you won’t see your post appear the minute you get it up, (stop that.) And if you post porn, it means you won’t see it at all.
Apologies. I’m a big fan of The First Amendment, and a general opponent of censorship. But I’m a bigger fan of good manners. Until or unless Facebook can find a way to keep the barbarians at the gate, I’m afraid we’re gonna need a better gate. A wall for The Wall, if you will.
Have a nice evening,