This week’s postcard is actually from several places.
It’s from Menlo Park. But it’s actually from East Menlo Park. To be more specific from the campus of Facebook in East Menlo Park.
More specifically it’s from the cyber location called Facebook Jail.
No, I’m not in jail, but in the last few weeks a couple of my friends have been placed there, so like in Monopoly, I’m just visiting. I get to pass Go and collect $200.
It’s the algorithms I tells ya, they rat you out before you can even finish the comment.
Take my friend Don. Nice guy. We used to write together. We even wrote a musical for him to star in.
He’s the blonde on the left. If you’re thinking to yourself I know that face it’s probably from one of his many commercials or appearances on Letterman. He semi-gave up the glamour of show business for the academic life a few years ago and now teaches creative writing at a college in Connecticut. Which makes his crime even more, what’s the creative writing term for it, ironic.
Why is he in Facebook Jail? Because he had the temerity to make the following comment as a reply to someone else’s post:
We have more stupid Americans than at any other point in my lifetime.
That’s it. That’s all. For making the rather obvious statement of fact/opinion that a huge swarth of the American public are stupid. If I’m not mistaken Tucker Carlson has built an entire career on the basis of that assumption. The Repugnicant party as well.
I can hear you now saying to yourself “self, what’s so bad about saying a great number of people are stupid? It’s not like he called a specific person a particular racial slur or maligned an entire group of people by saying all were stupid, he just said there are a lot of stupid people living in America.”
Well self here’s the answer. The algorithm Facebook uses to check for hate speech on it’s site considers the word “stupid” to be hate speech. Why? Apparently because some people still use stupid as a derogatory synonym for mentally challenged, hence stupid in the context of other human beings is hate speech. Stupid in the context of The Bachelor is okay, though don’t call whoever is the bachelor on The Bachelor stupid even if he was mentally challenged enough to go on a reality dating show.
But stupid has other meanings in relation to humans.
- “A benumbed or dazed state of mind” as in “I was rendered stupid for awhile after I fell off the ladder”.
- “Tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense” as in “This party is stupid”.
- “In a state of stupor” as in “I am stupid from staying up all night”.
- “Annoying or irritating” as in “This recitation of all the meanings of stupid is stupid”
So Facebook, do I go to jail for saying “Man last night I was so stupid from going to that stupid party that I tripped on the curb, hit my head, and got stupid for so long that I was stupid to the guy who gave me a ride home”?