Recent photos and some thoughts about Facebook

A few weeks ago my Facebook account was hacked. It wasn’t the ordinary kind of hack where someone (or something) sends lewd pictures to your friends via Messenger. Instead someone used my account to post something so egregious that Facebook immediately shut down my account for violation of terms of service. I was told my account was restricted for thirty days and a Facebook bot wrote to me to acknowledge that I’d been hacked, but a few days later, a picture I posted on Instagram showed up on Facebook, and I found I was able to post.

This is the image I posted on Instagram.

I thought the issue had been resolved until a couple days ago when I received an email from Facebook telling me that my $250 limit on paying for ads automatically had been reached. It turned out that my Mama Ganache ad account was attached my private Facebook account and that when we turned over the Mama Ganache page to the new owners, the ad account remained in my name.

Now someone had ordered $2000 worth of ads. If I hadn’t had a limit on automatic payments, the whole amount would have been withdrawn. I immediately wrote to Facebook, deleted the fake admin on my ad account, changed my passwords on my account, my PayPal account and my bank account, reduced the limit on automatic payments to $2 (the lowest I could), and removed all viable payment methods from my Facebook account. I wanted to close the ad account entirely, but the restrictions on my account didn’t allow me to do that.

The next morning I saw that the $250 had been refunded to my bank account through PayPal, and I closed my Facebook account.

I’ll miss Facebook. There are lots of people I kept in touch with there that I won’t be in contact with now. And even though I can’t deny its dark shadow, the connections I’ve made on social media, many on Facebook, have enriched my life. Cartoons on Facebook made me laugh, I mourned friends’ losses and cheered their successes. I used the local buy, sell, trade site, and I connected with neighbors. Facebook offered me a window into the lives of dear friends and relatives I rarely see, and resources for news I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.

My mentor, Alice O. Howell, loved social media. Though Facebook gained prominence late in her life, she embraced it. The Internet was part of the Age of Aquarius, she used to explain, because Aquarius is an air sign depicted by the symbol of waves. She was thrilled to see electronic communication blossom.

I may open a new Facebook page in time. But for now, I’ll be posting here more often, though – if the ex-president’s blog is anything to go by – a blog will never have the same impact or response of a Facebook post.

All the same, here’s a window into my life over the past couple weeks:

Last week we had guests. Mocha enjoyed Oona’s company very much as long as Oona didn’t try to eat her food or want her to play too much. Mocha is nine now, and Oona is only two.
We were so happy to have young friends from Paris here too.
Dear friends from Vendée cleaned up and moved into the vacation house they bought here. We’re so excited to share this beautiful place with them.
A view of Albi from the Château de Castelnau-de-Lévis.
The tower at the same chateau.
We were sad to say good-bye to our friends (well, maybe Henri IV wasn’t so sad) but we know we’ll see them again soon.

19 thoughts on “Recent photos and some thoughts about Facebook

  1. Wonderful to hear from you in this format! Speaking as a non-Facebookian, your return to communicating via the blog brings you back into very welcome focus. One issue: I don’t know if it is just my computer or if others are having the same problem, but for me at first the photos didn’t come through, only the descriptions of the photos. I was able to remedy this by visiting one of the archived posts, where the photographs were present; when I returned to your current posting, the photos popped right into place. I hope others who may have the same problem are able to get relief from the same solution.

    The embedded video with Alice Howell also came through, and is VERY timely and worthwhile. I note that the warning she gives at the end, about the threat of depersonalization, or losing respect for the individual (Unitarian Universalists speak of the inherent worth and dignity of every person) of loss of human CONTACT, of the forces of mass depersonalization, is central to the problems of an entity like Facebook, which profits from mass data-mining, and from the replacement of genuine human I-thou relating with algorithms and the tallying of “friends” about whose individual natures a Facebook user may be completely ignorant, even though able to count “friends” like money in the bank, like Age of Taurus grain in the granary. Alice Howell’s warning is also central to the threats embodied in the direction the response to the pandemic is taking society. Much of what is going on is highly inappropriate to the situation, and observing this does not make one a “virus denier” any more than recognizing the inappropriateness of invading Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11/2001 makes one a terrorism denier. A website I have found very useful in understanding this is Alison McDowell’s “Wrench in the Gears,” which sees the encroachment of a biosecurity state based on data mining as the latest phase of settler colonialism. Particularly illuminating are the videos she made speaking with Kevin Jenkins of the Urban Global Health Alliance, one in late December, one in February, and one in March. We cannot let real community based on human contact be replaced by a digital simulacrum that allows continued upward transfer of wealth through “Social Impact Investing” and other mechanisms for entrenching and profiting from the powerlessness and misfortunes of poor people the same way commodities traders profit from spikes and dips in the price of corn.

    I just witnessed a very impressive eclipse of the Moon; now the Sun is rising over a drought-stricken but luminous Central California. Jupiter and Saturn, who changed places at the Winter Solstice, are now the brightest beacons in the sky when the Sun and Moon are absent or eclipsed; it does feel as if the heavens are manifesting some sort of passageway; will humanity stumble dazedly into the Age of Aquarius, or dance in with vibrancy? Henri IV appears to be scanning the horizon looking for clues!

  2. Eve, Sorry to hear of your facebook chaos. Sounds like you’ve fixed the basic problems.

    It’s good to hear from you. Hopefully I’ll see you this Thursday for our regular Thursday zoom. I’ve been visiting our sons in Manhattan Beach and Mammoth and family in Phx, AZ. But Lanny and I are home now and getting back into our regular schedules.

    I recently joined the Tuesday women’s dance group by zoom, with Joy Becker and Josephine and many other new faces. And some old friends I have not seen for a while. This internet mode of communication has enriched my life in many ways during this pandemic. Our Thursday friends group has been a gift in so many ways. I’m so happy to be getting back to Thursday zoom.

    Hope you and Tom are getting to enjoy your newest grandson. What is his name?

    Photos and videos enhance our long distance visits with Ada 14 mos. in Manhattan Beach and Maya 5 months in Sydney.

    We send our very best to you and Tom and your favorite furry family members Mocha and Henry IV!

    Barbara (and Lanny)

  3. Eve, So sorry to hear about your troubles with FB. 😫 I’ll miss you there but will happily follow your fascinating Adventures in pictures and words wherever you are! 😊

  4. Great photos. Facebook hacking story reminds me of how many animals visit my garden to munch and how many people are trying to eat off of others these days. Just have to weather the darkness with light. Kathy Bornino

  5. Thank you again for sharing this with me/us, Eve. It is still good to hear from you by whatever “air” waves you use.😊 -Lin The photos look like paintings. It’s that artistic eye of yours. ❤

  6. I’m so happy that you love living in Cordes-sur-Ciel Eve! And you know that I love your photography and statements about this special part of the world!

    Please do make at least one or more books of your photos! You are doing so much in your life as is Tom and your precious pets!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Nancy Koren

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