This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

October 16, 2016

Why you've been accused of doing something wrong on Social Media

There are a lot of bad guys out there. People who steal, lie and cheat. But they're really in the minority. Most people have no reason to be bad guys, no reason to do that awful stuff that gets people thrown in jail, or kicked off of Social Media. And if you've been accused of doing something wrong on Instagram, or YouTube, or any Social Media, and wondered why, you can blame the bad guys, and the system that is designed to catch them, and often catches innocent people, too. Robots.

Everything from Instagram to Blogger has rules and regulations of appropriate behavior. No, you really don't need to study them carefully, they're mostly common sense. Don't be a bad guy. But since this is a war between computers (yes, the bad guys are using computers to generate a lot of bad stuff), real live human beings can often get caught in the cross-fire. Please let me explain.

Contrary to popular belief, there aren't people sitting there monitoring everything that's posted on Social Media. It's just not humanly possible, besides it would be pretty boring. So robots do it. They're called 'bots, by the way, and they search out suspicious stuff. They look for certain keywords, they check to see if too many comments are made, or too many posts are created, or too few. They're looking for robot behavior.

As a respectable citizen of cyberspace (and I'm not a robot), I've been caught in the dragnet several times myself. And it's always the same thing - some 'bot has decided that I'm spamming (maybe they don't like the mention of dachshunds too often?) and I get a message. In the case of Google, I've been able to reply and things are restored just about right away. I know that I haven't done anything wrong, but it's still disconcerting.

"Guilty until proven innocent" isn't how most people think, but it's how the 'bots think.

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