Report to the Facebook Operations Police (FOP)

My Dear Colleagues and Associates at FOP,

I congratulate you on creating the intelligence operative’s surveillance dream that is Facebook Nation. A controlled environment within the controlled environment that is the Internet itself — oh, what fun I and my fellow informants might have had with such toys when I was but a pipsqueak Spaeiouk (or “pip-Spaeiouk,” as some of my less decorous — downright insensitive, actually — comrades nicknamed me) back in “the day!”

The Good Citizens, for the most part, bore each other, as their parents bored guests in a previous age, with home-movies and fun photos of real-time friends, family and pathetically submissive, most often neutered, domestic beasts known to the citizenry as “pets.”  The typical Good Citizens of Facebook Nation are optimistic, patriotic, hard-working (employed!) and above all very, very happy.

Many, in addition to having their own “pages” and “Timelines,” join cliques or “Groups” where they share observations and experiences — usually related to some form of media or publicly accepted/acceptable activity — and show appreciation for group members comments, photos, “links,” with votes of approval, known in the Facebook parlance as “Likes,” by simply pressing an icon.

But there are groups of dissidents, hobbyists, enthusiasts of this or that cultural artifact or type of arcana and other odd-balls.  Some of these groups might be considered dangerous by the Facebook Operations Police (FOP) and duly noted.  Such groups are to be watched, automatically as well as by human FOP operatives more closely than the average Good Citizen of Facebook Nation, which is of course easily managed.

Of course you know all this, FOP being a component to its oversight and orchestration, but I must admit, these methods of control in which the subject voluntarily submits with fervor and the illusion that his opinion is not merely noted, but equated with participatory action (as in the cases of “friending” and “likes”) is as strange and new to me as the virtual controlled community itself.

As part of my research for this report, I posed as a so-called “dissident” — though I did not state any overt political affiliation, merely went slightly “against the grain” — as well as a typical Good Citizen, using aliases and false emails easily obtained.

In my role as Good Citizen, I posted the typical notes and images as cited above and joined various groups supporting the usual sports and entertainment phenomena.  I received many “friend” requests by strangers, and accepted all, soon finding myself friends with well over a thousand individuals (or perhaps other researcher operatives) whom I had never met.

To the credit of FOP, I was not so popular in my “dissident” incarnation, or rather, not allowed to be. While “friending” members of the various “outsider” groups I joined was easy enough, when I attempted to friend Good Citizens outside these groups, even ones who were suggested to me by the Facebook apparatus or other so-called “friends,” I was first  given warnings that I mustn’t attempt to contact people I did not know personally, then after a repeat transgression, suspended from seeking new “friends”  for a number of days and only re-admitted to full citizenship status after following a brief but desultory on-line tutorial regarding Facebook rules, etiquette and ethos, and signing off digitally on various forms. Not unlike losing then regaining one’s driver’s license after a rather serious infraction.

Excellent work!

My compliments to the designers of whatever software is intelligent enough to isolate Good Citizens from the contagion of dissent and unpopular opinion (or any opinion that has not been informed by the general Media narrative outside and within Facebook Nation). After all, Facebook Nation is positively crawling with children. I in my “dissenter” persona might have been offering narcotic candy from my long silicon trench coat (and wearing nothing underneath!)…

I assume, unless Facebook Nation is surfeit with politicians, Avon ladies and conventioneers that, like my own Good Citizen persona, few Good Citizens have actually met most, if any, of their two, three, even four thousand “friends.”

Both FOP and the administrators of real-time security will be interested to know that, using my dissenter alias, posting to persons I actually know, even relatives, incurred considerable anxiety, dissembling and concern. Though their outrage over my specious incendiary posts was no doubt fueled by compassion, many were convinced I was in dire need of psychological counseling — or Oprah. I couldn’t actually BELIEVE the “alternative” news reports, books and other materials I referenced, for that would mean our Masters and their Military/Media machine — and quite possibly “Good Citizens” like themselves — are evil.  Chapeau to the odd and various Ministries of Information in their successful education of the Good Citizens of Facebook Nation and its brick-and-mortar paradigm.

I found few “denizens of Facebook Nation” (can one actually live in an imaginary “place?”) who are aware that everyone, even the Good Citizens, are Accused, if not by Facebook Nation itself, then by the “brick-and-mortar” entity for which it serves as online proxy.  I am not speaking specifically of the excellent work done by FOP, but the NSA’s Data Vacuum that sucks up every email, phone call and love-note passed in high school Math class.  It’s only a question of tripping the wrong wire and bringing attention to one’s name, or worse, social security number, to cause a volcanic eruption from The Database of everything the citizen of inquiry has ever written, said, thought, or thought about saying, writing or thinking.

Well done! My congratulations to FOP and its real-time, brick-and-mortar models in the National Security apparatus.

Though I would be remiss if I left out of this report some particular comments of note found of one of the more egregious dissenting group pages:

“I’m sure all the cockroaches in my Brooklyn tenement (an old abandoned Coffin Factory) are constantly grousing via antennae (precursor to the Internet?) about how stingy I am with crumbs, my ruthless pursuit of chemical warfare, the concentration-camp conditions of those hidden roach traps, etc. But… I’m not all that worried about a roach revolution any time soon…

“That’s where it gets tricky. They not only have immense firepower but also now have omnipresent 24/7 surveillance, anti-mobilization weapons (sound blasts and other devices) and new laws against public “treason” (dissent). The Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam protests did not create the kind of power-shift that actual rebellions and revolutions created through secrecy, to the extent it was possible without moles, spies, etc., not to speak of state-of-the-art audio-visual surveillance technologies.

“But let’s remember, the U.S. is still a democracy in the classic Greek sense. As in ancient Greece, a small minority of white, adult males (five percent of the population? ten percent?) are free, usually land-owning citizens with the right to vote on all aspects of control within the society. The rest of the population — women, children, “foreigners,” paupers, etc. are property and/or slaves.”

I am sure the dissenting citizen who wrote these comments, as well as his group, are already known to you; nevertheless, I include his name, as part of my official report, for you to verify with your records:

“Yitzak Maplebury,” or “Yitzbury” as he tags himself by user-name.

Also of note was the internal messaging system’s summary of the year’s activities — for both my “good” and “bad” incarnations — with the title, “See Your 2012 Year in Review: Look back at your 20 biggest moments from the past year.”  A wonderful perception management device that this particular researcher commends for its subtle invasiveness and deviously “homey” usurpation of the user’s perception of his alleged “Self.” Indeed, this researcher found it exceedingly humorous. Droll, positively droll.

I hope you have found this report satisfactory and I look forward to working with FOP in the future.

Most Very Sincerely Yours,

Dr. Octavius Spaeiouk, Ph.D.

Dr. Spaeiouk (pronounced "spake, speak, spike, spoke and spook" according to both class and dialect in various regions of his native land), has been a researcher and perception manager since immigrating to The Nation many years ago. He might or might not be working on his memoir, "Spaeiouk, Memory," which might or might not be plausibly denied. Don't know him? Not to worry. He most certainly knows you. Very well. Very well indeed... Read other articles by Dr. Spaeiouk.