Olympics, and Facebook restored (sort of)

Other volunteers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics I’ve spoken with have not yet heard what is to become of us since spectators in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures have been banned. I just finished my venue training at the Oi Hockey Stadium and was scheduled to attend July 24-28 and August 3-4. But rumors have it that we should expect some sort of cancelation notice, or suggestion of reassignment of some kind.

I wrote the Olympic Committee and suggested this:

With the new announcement of no spectators, I don’t know what will happen with volunteers. I suppose we will receive an email soon.

I have a suggestion though. How about letting the volunteers who are fully vaccinated be spectators? We can look after ourselves at the venues.

That will add some Olympic spirit and require the minimum of management.

I did get a reply:

Mr./Ms. Douglas Lerner This is Tokyo 2020 Field Cast Office. Thank you for your valuable suggestion. We will share it with our office. Thank you for your understanding. Best regards.

I doubt anything will come of it. So just standing by with my credentials, uniform and other Olympic goods, and a dog sitter scheduled to come and watch Pao those days.

Meanwhile in Facebook land, my disabled account has been restored. Sort of. Like back in February, I can now get in, post in my feed, use Messenger and so on. There was no explanation from Facebook about what happened, and no rule violations listed anywhere. But, like last time, there are some groups I can no longer post in, and some I can. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. I can post in the Tokyo Expats group. I can’t post in the Whole Food Plant Based health group. Last time it took months to sort out. I’m using Reddit for groups in the meanwhile, and continuing work on my own social network. But it’s difficult to get people to join a new social network these days. Facebook pretty much has a lock on things. I have told my Messenger friends how to reach me outside the Facebook ecosystem though.

Pao is doing ok – but our afternoon walks have gotten shorter because of the heat. We’ve been taking an extra evening walk instead, weather permitting. I think rainy season in Tokyo will be lifting by the end of the week.

Facebook & Messenger accounts disabled again

This happened earlier in the year. Then, like now, there was no explanation. My Facebook and Messenger accounts are disabled. I sent in the requested ID – again. Now I’m waiting.

What’s the expression? Once burned twice foolish. It’s been twice now.

I will not use Facebook Messenger again, except to reply to tell people how to reach me elsewhere (assuming I’m let back in). I was in the middle of some nice conversations with friends from undergrad school and, unfortunately, we didn’t bother to share other contact information.

I’m unapologetic about enjoying sharing: photos, bits of humor, what’s going on in Tokyo, other items of interest in the arts or politics or whatever. I also use Reddit. And of course I’m upgrading my own social network at lifemind.com – but it’s basically impossible to get people to join extra social networks unless they are really special. I can’t post photos and bits of info every day to my blog – it would really annoy my subscribers-by-email. I’m not sure what to do about that.

My Instagram account still works, even though they are also owned by Facebook. But the only only reason I have that account is because it’s a one-stop sharing site that mirrors the photos I post on Facebook too, so I can easily reach friends on both. I don’t really feel like using Instagram only. And unless it’s an emergency, I don’t want to use WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook. Facebook just controls too much of our daily lives.

I’m not sure what to do really. Reddit is also nice, and I participate in some groups there.

I need to think about it.

But for personal communications, going forward I will not use Facebook Messenger. People can reach me the following ways:

(1) You can send me an email. I check my email all the time.

2) Anybody in the Apple ecosystem (Mac, iPhone, iPad) can use standard iMessage to reach me, also using my personal email address.

(3) Android users in the U.S. and Canada can send text messages to my U.S. phone number.

(4) Everybody can chat with me using LINE – the most popular Japan-based chat app. It’s ubiquitous here in Japan, but it’s also on the US Apple and Google Play.

If you need my personal email address, US phone number, or LINE ID to connect, just reply to this email and I’ll give you the info.

Oh – feel free to share this post to help me catch people I’ve lost contact with.



Strange reversal by Facebook restores my account to normal

Before going to sleep last night I saw this message from Facebook.

I checked the acknowledgment and continued. After that, I saw I could again post in all the groups I was unable to before.

They never once said what the initial problem was. Or if they didn’t like my United News Reports page and unpublished it why that had the side effect of initially disabling my entire account for over a week, and then after letting me back in blocking me from making new posts (but not comments) in more than half my groups – but not all my groups. There was no pattern to it at all.

Anyway, things are back to the way they were now. Still, I don’t trust Facebook and have revived multiple alternate venues of communication including this blog, the social network software made by my company (great for private-labeled social networks for places like schools, churches, non-profits, clubs, etc., who want control over content and design and features), and also Reddit, which has very supportive diet and health groups I’ve been using since the Facebook troubles started.

I’ll continue to use Facebook, but just not rely on it being there. There is no user support (not even bad user support – there literally is none), and it is obvious we are their product and not their customers.

At any rate, things suddenly returned to “normal” (as normal is defined in the Facebook world).

Facebook has no support – think what that means

There is no user support in Facebook. Think about that. No user support to contact.

If you go to what is listed as support the best you can do is leave feedback and are told that personal replies are not possible.

One-third of the population of Earth are members. But there is no support. No humans to contact.

Are we crazy for using Facebook or what? I am feeling like a sheep that is part of a herd being experimented on.

I’m having real reservations lately.