Friday, 1 August 2008

Wiped from the Face (book) of the earth

"Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you." No longer, thanks to the Facebook fascists!

It seems that due to a number of complaints from Labour party members [including a reasonably well-known UK blogger; a Labour Special Adviser; and a member of the National Assembly] and one from a member of Plaid Cymru, my Facebook account is no more.

Those that want to spread a little affection can still join the Miss Wagstaff Presents blog network.
I noticed on 17 July that my account had been disabled:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I have just been informed that my account has been disabled without a warning or explanation. Would you be so kind as to explain the reason why.


Pippa Wagstaff (Wales)

On 21 July 2008 I received this response from Facebook:

Fake accounts are a violation of our Terms of Use. Facebook requires users to provide their real first and last names. Impersonating anyone or anything is prohibited. Unfortunately, we will not be able to reactivate this account for any reason. This decision is final.

Thanks for your understanding,

User Operations

Fair enough, I thought! Wrong use of "Thanks for your understanding" was another. But why not raise the question with me of the possibility of 'real and fake names' in the first instance - before deactivation.

I wrote back with the following:

Thank you for getting back to me. I can assure you that I am not impersonating anyone or anything. Pippa Wagstaff is my real name, and I have even noticed - to my surprise - that there are others with that name on Facebook.

I hope that you will reconsider.

Kind regards,

I should have known better and atleast I'm happy with the name Pippa Wagstaff. I'm slightly disturbed that they haven't even asked me if this is my real name. As I've mentioned, there are others with this name on Facebook - I was curious and looked them up. In fact, there are plenty with some weird and wonderful names on Facebook that haven't been deleted, and I say good luck to them.

I can only imagine that this will put others off from joining Facebook, if their genuine names and account can be deleted without a hint of warning, and with such contempt for the person who joined in the first place. I just hope that like me they don't rely on the social network to keep in touch with others, or they could be in for a shock some day.

In the real world they shouldn't have done this without checking all the facts first. I expect it's too late to reinstate in my case.

Banned internally by the Welsh Assembly Government. Now erased from Facebook without them even questioning me about my identity. I don't know what the world is coming to, but admit that thankfully I will now have an extra 20-30 minutes spare each day. This got me thinking about how much time some of us dedicate to online networking, and maybe we should take note and all free up some extra time in our daily lives and do something more meaningful.

This is a non-aligned blog, but the evidence demonstrates that it must be getting under someone's skin. It's just a shame that I know who - it spoils the surprise!


Peter Black 1 August 2008 at 09:30  

Well that explains why I was unable to tag you in a note yesterday. I am astonished at the level of paranoia demonstrated by the attempts to silence you. Keep blogging please.

Hen Ferchetan 1 August 2008 at 10:04  

How do you know who complained?

Anonymous 1 August 2008 at 10:28  

Facebook have previous on this sort of thing - they deleted Steve Webb, Lib Dem MP last year.

Surprised that Peter didn't remember this!

Al Iguana 1 August 2008 at 10:41  

Given the amount of "false" accounts on Facebook (I know lots of people who refuse to sign up using their real names, and use cartoon pictures as their avatars), for you to be singled out smacks of a directed campaign against you. I would stand up for yourself: instead of blaming Facebook (who are just following procedure), blame the buggers who are smearing your good name. Take it all the way to the top if you have to.

Peter Black 1 August 2008 at 10:59  

It wasnt me who asked anon, it was Hen Ferchetan.

Rhetoric Innes 1 August 2008 at 11:54  

Crumbs, this cannot be tolerated. Keep blogging Miss Wagstaff. Yours is one of the most interesting reads out there.. that facepad I wouldnay go on that.
I'll stick to writing my tuppenny pence on the blog!

Anonymous 1 August 2008 at 12:11  

Banned internally by the Welsh Assembly Government. Now erased from Facebook without them even questioning me about my identity.

Take these as compliments. It shows you are scrutinising things that probably need scrutinising.

Dr. Christopher Wood 1 August 2008 at 13:44  

I am shocked, but not surprised. Please keep blogging.

Given the increasing importance of social network sites are now playing in our daily lives it is time, imho, for Parliament to give members of the public hurt by such arbitrary and capricious actions "due process" or some independent appeals process.

You must feel hurt and shocked at being banned in such an arbitrary manner and plain wrong manner.

Will someone set up a group "Reinstate Pippa Wagstaff"? I hope so.

Steven 1 August 2008 at 14:37  

Life seems harsh in the Welsh political blogosphere these days. This makes you wonder if the Welsh Assembly Government cannot stand critism of any kind. Someone should suggest that they join the modern world.

assembly minor 1 August 2008 at 14:39  

I wondered why my Facebook friends went down by one.

Dr. Christopher Wood 1 August 2008 at 16:08  

Steven> couldn’t agree with you more. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is isolating Wales from the modern (global) world (community). I marvel at how WAG’s incompetence is insulating Wales from the global market place. Examples abound. One that has received some coverage of late has been the disbursement of that portion of Objective One funds aimed at developing innovation in Wales. A no brainer one would think. But no chance, not when WAG is in charge, WAG has failed miserably to meet targets. Heads will role? Yeah sure, but only if the sun goes out. The sheer level of incompetence is horrendous, Wales deserves better.

Charlie James 1 August 2008 at 18:09  

Hopefully someone will take Dr Wood up on his suggestion to set up a Facebook group. I wonder how long it would take the administrator to deactivate the group:-

"Reinstate Pippa Wagstaff"

Anonymous 1 August 2008 at 20:35  

Ceri Williams should have better things to do with his time than try and get you banned from Facebook.

Anonymous 1 August 2008 at 22:56  

Up the Valleys blog has made some good points on this story.

Anonymous 1 August 2008 at 22:56  

P.S. So has Peter Black. Take a look if you haven't already.

Dylan Jones-Evans 2 August 2008 at 07:55  

Whilst some are astonished at this turn of events, others who have bene the victims of such blatant abuse of power by this so-called open government will not be.

There is a determination to stamp out any dissenting voices and this is yet another example of such Stalinist tendencies at the heart of Government in Wales.

Perhaps all AMs and their special advisors and researchers should have Voltaire's dictum nailed to their office walls. I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it?

Keep up the good work. If you are pissing them off, you must be doing something right.

Welshwalker 2 August 2008 at 11:00  

I reckon that although Facebook is currently the most popular of social networks, there is a very high 'churn' or attrition rate. Young people especially are not at all loyal and will migrate like flocks of birds from site to site. MySpace, in particular, has suffered this and who ever hears about Friends United anymore?

My point is that even though you may have been nailed by Facebook there are other networks so it is not a disaster and, as you imply, activity on Facebook is pretty meaningless use of your time anyway.

As you already understand, blogging is the way forward for you but be aware that the large free blogging facilities like Blogger and Wordpress are also under increased scrutiny by the minions of the anti-Christ. So if you are serious about political blogging then maybe you should consider some of the professional blogging facilities out there like Typepad,WordPress and so on. These use your own hosting so it is much more difficult to close you down.
Just a thought.
Pob lwc!

Anonymous 2 August 2008 at 20:07  

Bizarre - yet I have two bogus Facebook in the name of a fella apparently called Mutts Dogley...

Anonymous 3 August 2008 at 11:20  

its a shame that happened and i hope you keep on blogging Miss W as you give a good indight into what goes on in the Bay.

I echo Dylan's comments you must be doing something right for those in power to be acting so petty towards you, keep up the good work and doing it for the girls.

Damon Lord 3 August 2008 at 15:52  

Hell, even if the Monkey with a Blue Rosette can get/keep a Facebook account, why can't you?

By the way, you've won an award

Miss Wagstaff 3 August 2008 at 21:07  

Thanks everyone. I won't be able to let you know the names. Partly because I don't want to stoop to their level, and partly because I could do without the fuss it would cause.

Facebook group sounds an amusing idea - there's a group for everything else.

Keep on blogging.

Anonymous 4 August 2008 at 13:03  

well Pippa, same happened to me a few months back, and I often get some really nasty mails. But hey thats the life of a blogger - I think face book was a distraction anyway , may be we should start an aggregated blog of those who are being singled out - that could be fun

bethan 5 August 2008 at 00:40  

Miss Wagstaff- don't listen to the criticism. Keep on blogging. I will take it up with the WAG if need be. There is no reson why you should not be able to take part in debate online.

Anonymous 5 August 2008 at 22:25  

Looks like some Labour dickhead - probably the same one who had a go at you - is now targeting Dylan Jones-Evans. Sad, really sad.

Miss Wagstaff 6 August 2008 at 17:36  

Thank you all for your comments and advice. They're much appreciated.

Bethan - I think Matt Wardman of the Wardman Wire has a proposition for you in one of his posts. He sees Peter Black and yourself as Champions of the Assembly bloggers.

Anonymous 16 August 2008 at 17:00  

Peter Black is either being totally hypocritical (which I don't think) or he doesn't know what's going on under his own nose. He is the Assembly Commissioner responsible for ICT but the Pippa wagstaff Blog is banned in the Assembly Commission. Why Peter?

Limited Mandate 18 August 2008 at 17:22  

Wag really do have the big FEAR. You see this manifested in their day to day ways of working, the utter lack of ministerial challenge and now it seems, in their Chinese approach to FOS. This makes sense if you're subjugating billions but seems rather laughable as a means to protecting Gone Wales and the Woealition.

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