Facebook moderators lose all sense of humor

My firewood stand apparently doesn’t meet Facebook guidance

When the builders built my house, they took out a lot of tall trees in the front yard so that wind storms wouldn’t drop really big trees onto my new house. Rather than pay to take the trees away, I had them leave the trees and I chopped them into firewood. Since I had so much firewood, I built a little stand to sell it by the main road. It’s an honor system, and so far only one jerk has stolen a bundle.

To advertise, I’d post a funny ad on Facebook Marketplace. In one case, it was about how politically-neutral the firewood is. In another, it discussed how my firewood was totally vegan and free from animal-testing. Simple, but humorous.

But recently, not good enough for Facebook moderators. COVID-19 has taken many things from people, and apparently it has taken the sense of any humor from Facebook. I posted about COVID-19 free firewood, and the ad ran for a while, getting good laughs from people otherwise stuck at home. Two days ago, Facebook shut it down, saying I wasn’t advertising something for sale. I protested, saying that I indeed did sell firewood, hence the picture. No dice, the moderators have removed my ad. Here’s what I wrote, judge for yourself:

So life is collapsing all around you due to Corona Virus. Your favorite sports team is canceled. Toilet paper is being rationed. Your local Karen is trying to make hand sanitizer from essential oils. Everyone has gone mad with COVID-19 fear. In these trying times, you need some security.
You need…firewood.
Yes, firewood. Think of its magical properties. Instead of huddling in your house worried about what paper remains to wipe yourself with, you can light a fire in the fire stand you bought from Home Depot, but never found time to use. Those flames licking into the sky are mesmerizing to watch and take your mind off of the craziness surrounding a virus with a less than 5% chance to kill you.
Even better, the fire from firewood burns viruses. If you left COVID-19 on a piece of my firewood and set it on fire, the virus would die. Firewood has a better track record than Karen’s essential oils and anti-vax children at cutting down on viruses.
Plus, you are guaranteed that my firewood has never traveled to China, Iran, South Korea, or any other CDC-listed country. It’s also never been to a wet market!
If you navigate to ——, right outside the —— complex, you’ll find the firewood stand. Unlike any large store that gouges you for firewood, my stand only asks for a twenty dollar bill for a full wheelbarrow of anti-viral, morale-improving firewood. Even better, its always available, since you don’t need to knock on my door (please don’t, I’m practicing social distancing). If you wake up in horror at your impending doom at midnight and need the reassurance that only a stack of firewood can give you, you’re in luck, because you can pay for and pickup the firewood at any hour, thanks to the light I installed.
Best part: I’m using the money to build a nice playground for my kids, so that while they aren’t at school they can entertain themselves without driving my wife crazy.
So swing by today, grab a stack of firewood, and face the impending Coronapocalypse with firey gusto!
Please share this post! People need a good laugh with the craziness. And it helps me sell wood. #firewood #COVID19 #coronapocalypse

Facebook’s response:

Request denied peasant!

When we talk about free speech, censorship and violating ill-defined rules, it becomes a big deal to the small people of the world. If I needed that firewood money to live on, Facebook might be crushing my ability to make a living. What about a restaurant that hires people? Can they not use humor, or will that disgust moderators?

And the word “appeal” is misleading. It implies I had some process, when in reality I clicked a button, wrote a few sentences saying that I indeed sold firewood, then off to the ether with my request, which was promptly denied. I never met my moderator, never talked to him or her on the phone, or even chatted. I highly doubt anyone complained, given the popularity of the post. And its not offensive by any stretch of the imagination.

If someone is friends with Mr. Zuckerberg, maybe you can ask him to restore my firewood post? Otherwise, I might have to use Craigslist again.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Leave a Reply