So… I’ve waited about a full week to really write anything here about something that is just so annoying and frustrating to me. Facebook foreskin restoration groups. I’ve written here a number of times, having used or been inspired by things I come across in one of what used to be two Facebook groups which were made for those of us restoring or our supporters. Truly, despite the presence of emotionally reckless people and drama starters and the occasional pervert, the groups have been an incredible and invaluable resource. If nothing else, the groups allowed people to connect with each other and know that we’re not alone. Beyond that, though, members of these groups often shared links to various sites they found or alternate ways of approaching a certain technique might be shared. It was good. Really good, actually.
There was one group which didn’t allow any content beyond what might classify as “PG-13” and from there members could be added to another group wherein content of a far more mature nature was allowed – with the understanding that the member requesting to be added accepted that they understood the nature of the content and verifying that this was no issue. Some months ago there was a rash of content reporting in the mature-content group. It wasn’t anything on a massive scale and seemed really kind of random as far as who and what was reported. I hadn’t posted in a while, but I was reported then. In fact, the content of mine which was reported wasn’t anything that would actually be considered the same as those others whose pics were reported. A link to this blog was reported and I received Facebook’s equivalent of a slap on the hand. It was painless enough, really. I just had to re-acknowledge the terms and conditions for using Facebook and that was the end of it – probably because it was my first ever offense. Still, it highlights that you didn’t necessarily even has to post a progress pic (pic of your penis) to be reported. My content was, after all, a link to an external site, a blog – this blog. Whatever.
At that time, although relatively small in scale, it caused quite an uproar. People felt violated and unsafe and probably the worst of it all was that the Admins and Moderators of the group were really at a loss about what to do to regain security. It was around that time I decided that I’d focus most of my “posts” to be on here instead of on Facebook. For one, it will help build this blog as an independent resource for others to view and isn’t limited to “approved memberships.” And another perk of posting here instead of on Facebook is that no one can report me. Before starting this blog I contacted the “powers that be” here at WordPress and jumped through the necessary hoops they outlined. But still, for inspiration as well as access to the resources there, I stayed as member in the groups. (To be clear, the PG-13 group mentioned above is pretty inactive and mostly useless.)
But then, a week ago, someone went of a reporting massacre spree and brought again more havoc to the same group. and on a far larger scale than before. I have no idea if this was the same person / people or not. The admins/ mods of the group don’t seem to be sure, either. Many were reported for having posted content to the group. Some of these were reported in the first round of drama and so since this wasn’t their first offense, people were being blocked for varying periods of time depending on how much of their content was reported. Again, I was a victim of this nonsense. I was reported twice and, luckily, received only a one-day ban. Others were banned for longer. Throughout most of this recent mayhem I remained in touch with a guy who lives in Indiana and is also an Admin of the group. He gave me some valuable insights into what the Admins were going through and just how much at a loss they were with regard to saving the group. At one point, they were trying to take content down to prevent it from being reported but it was being reported faster than they can do that. When there are a handful of people going through and trying to take down content and it’s still being reported faster than they can work, then it seems pretty obvious that the one doing the reporting was pretty much just clicking on anything and everything and reporting it all. So malicious and petty!
This led to the mature-content group being hollowed out almost entirely. A new, third group was created basically to replace the second group. I was the sixth member of that group and when I was added four of the six members were Admins. The next thing I know, the membership of the second group had ballooned and shortly after that the third group was deleted…. or so I was told. Then next, the second group was deleted.
I’m generally a cynical person and I’m not sure I fully believe that the other groups were really and truly totally deleted. SO many people were interested and wanting those groups, despite the risks involved. So the cynic in me feels like I’m being lied to. This isn’t case, as far as what I’ve been told by the Admin I’m closer to. A big part of me believes that and I think even if the slate were wiped clean from the other two groups and a super secret group was established that I’d be added into it. But then that cynic in my mind speaks up again. So basically I go back and forth between trusting what I’m told and feeling like there’s somehow some kind of suspicion about the nature of my own character. This bothers me a lot since I’m sincere. I can point to a dozen members in these groups that I think, for a number of reasons, SHOULD be investigated but for somoe reason aren’t being checked into and what’s worse is that one or two of them are even being made Admins of these groups!
It’s easy to point fingers from where I sit. I know that. But there’s still some things that really ought to be so obvious – and yet don’t seem to be obvious to those it would matter the most. Even Helen Keller would be able to see that history is doomed to repeat itself in these groups so long as the admins and moderators remain as clueless as they have. And that’s sad. I do have some suggestions, and I’ve touched on them a bit with the Admin I speak most with. Unless I’m approached as a valued member of that community for my ideas on how to crack down and safeguard the future, I’ll keep my other ideas to myself.
At any rate, until the restoration community on Facebook stabilizes I’m not terribly interested. It surely hurts to be excluded (if that’s at all what’s happening to me, and it probably isn’t, but whatever) but in reality as long as things don’t change with Admins the only thing I’m really missing out on is risk. I’ll be happy for now to stick with my own space here as well as the restoringforeskin site.
Thanks for reading.