Warned By Facebook

Most Facebookers with 5 or 6 friends will never see the message so for their edification, here’s what the warning says:
You are engaged in behaviour that may be considered annoying or abusive by other users. Facebook Systems determined that you were going too fast when adding friends. You must significantly slow down. Further use of site features may result in a temporary block or your account being permanently disabled. For further information please visit our FAQ page.”
Then it shows you two words in a patterned setting and tells you identify BOTH words below, separated by a space. (Being a writer, I keep trying to determine if they are drawing these words from a specific text or just random pieces of paper lying about the house – notices from teachers, examination instructions, old recipes, the backs of dogfood containers…
I really don’t intend to be a scofflaw. I intend to follow the rules but it seems impossible to determine exactly when or how you are going too fast. Ah, says Facebook. Whether or not you deserve a warning is determined by ‘speed, time and quantity.’ So there is no way to tell you’re about to be in violation. Except, when I have been adding about 5 minutes, I feel it about to descend, a large hand clapped on my shoulder.
Then there’s a site to answer 5 questions you might have about what being warned means: Why you were warned – or why your account was blocked or why your friend was warned or blocked or your page disabled.
After that, there is an additional site to display more detailed points about warnings. You can’t say they haven’t told you and I’m trying my best to be a good little facebooker but it’s hard when they keep dangling these ‘add friends’ in front of you who look most enticing.
I’m checking out my potential friends much more closely these days, adding more slowly but I tell you, that 5000 are a hard-won group of friends. I hope they appreciate all I am doing for them.
Wonder what’s beyond the 5000? Beyond the numbers. A great many seem to have reached it and stayed on, asking for fans. And what’s that like, I wonder?

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