Posted in complaint department, Open Letters, Real Life, The Internet

Fake FB Warnings and You

Please, dear God, stop copying and pasting false info about FB privacy and/or usage charges. The things they claim aren’t true, and you’re feeding the misinformation machine.

The reason they want you to “put your finger anywhere” and copy and paste the text into a new message is because “sharing” allows FB to remove the original and kill it down to the roots, but new posts won’t be deleted. That’s what the creators want – it’s a kind of game they to see how much traction their silly posts get across the application.

I can try to answer questions about how opt-outs and privacy policies really work, if you have questions. I’m not a legal expert but I am currently the IT Product Owner for a website with millions of users and am currently working on a data privacy project. I know how our preferences work. At my previous job I worked on web projects. I can speak to a lot of the things in these posts.

The only way to opt out of the anything in the user agreement is to stop using the software or website.

If you want to stop getting targeted ads, there are ways to do it, but simply announcing it to your friends isn’t one of them. NEVER click on Accept All for cookies. Set your site-specific preferences. If you did previously go to the website and accepted marketing/advertising cookies, clear your cookies and cache and reject them when asked. Use ad blocking software. Set up your privacy preferences on the websites you use. Configure your browser to reject 3rd party cookies.

If a website says you can’t use it without allowing their non-essential cookies then YOU are the product they are selling to make money. If you live in CT, CA, CO or any other state implementing strict web privacy laws, congrats, they can’t do that any more. You can tell them you won’t allow them to sell your data and if they don’t comply the AG would love to hear about that. Fines can be big, the bad publicity worse.

Read privacy policies and end user agreements BEFORE you agree to them. If you don’t agree, don’t use the site because your agreement is binding. If you change your mind later, delete your photos and your account.

Note: User agreements are broad to allow for changes without needing to update the agreement (which requires users to re-agree). FB has said they don’t use your photos, even though the agreement gives them the right. And they probably won’t, because honestly, most of us aren’t professionals. If you really want to stop that from happening, watermark your photos so they aren’t usable by them or anyone else. I’d be more worried about the people who make all their posts public. Anyone can steal one of your photos. It happens all the time.

FB would not be able to just start to charge people “next week” or any time soon without a whole lot of press and updated user agreements and notifications to users. I’ve seen some fake posts that say “they will just start charging you” and I am no consumer lawyer but I was on a debit card product team and just charging amounts someone’s card without their agreement or permission is fraud.

Despite the above, they have every right to charge, especially as state laws start to restrict their ability to sell your data to advertisers. Chrome is about to start blocking 3rd party cookies across the board, which means FB won’t know that I was on a Subaru website looking at electric cars. So they can’t give their advertisers that info for them to target me for other energy efficiency products. There’s no such thing as free lunch. They can charge, and in return you can decide to either pay or not pay. But if you decide to not pay, they can show you the door. Business is business.

The fact that Meta is a “public company” is a financial designation, meaning it answers to shareholders and anyone can become a shareholder. It isn’t referring to the general public, or even the Government. First Amendment rights don’t apply.

All I ask is that before you re-post anything that told you to copy and paste instead of sharing, think about why. New posts get more visibility than shared posts. Shared posts can be deleted en masse. Check to make sure you’re not feeding the trolls who created the message. And if someone proves to you you’ve posted fake information, just remove it. It’s so much better than leaving it up on the off chance it might be true even though multiple sources have proven it’s not.

And as hard as this is to say, be careful of anything that says “I’ll bet none of my friends will repost this.” A lot of us won’t on principle (it’s like an old school chain letter, and I didn’t reply to those either) and I assume some folks may become hurt when their friends don’t play along. I’m sorry, it’s not about you or addiction or dementia or suicide prevention. It’s about not having their own posts go lower the algorithm. It doesn’t measure how your friends feel about YOU, it’s about not wanting to be a person who spams their friends and family with posts created with the intent to go viral. Please don’t hold it against us when we don’t copy and paste, and we’ll try not to hold it against you when you keep doing it. But I can’t guarantee people won’t mute you.

Posted in humor, Open Letters

Response to Your Fan Letter

Hey there, Fan!

It was a real thrill receiving your fan letter! As you can imagine, there are days when I get a lot of fan letters, and it is hard to write back to anyone personally because I have that Psychosomatic Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, which is aggravated by actions like responding personally to all my fan mail.

I always thought it would be fun to receive giant bags of mail like you’d see on the Monkees, but it turns out that I haven’t hit that level of fame and fortune yet, so your letter arrived with the normal mail. Kohls is having a 3-day sale and I’m invited, so I should try to hurry up and finish this note so I can go look for my car keys. I normally keep them on the counter but I don’t see them there, and they aren’t in the bathroom so they could be anywhere. Maybe in my purse. Or perhaps still in the car.


I hope you don’t mind that I’m sending out a generic response that addresses most of the standard questions and comments that I receive from my many many fans on a nearly regular basis. I apologize if your question or comment is not directly reflected upon in this reply. If it helps, you can replace some of the key terms in this response with something more appropriate for your initial communication. For example, if I say “I like popcorn too!” but your fan letter mentioned cake, you may replace “popcorn” with “cake”. However, if your fan letter discussed most vegetables, you may want to replace popcorn with “food” because that’s a true statement, where “I like brussel sprouts too!” is not.

Hey! I’m so glad you wrote to me! I was sitting around, wondering which wall would be best for putting up another mirror, when the mail arrived. So many questions and comments from a person such as yourself! I do enjoy being me. I think I’m really good at it, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be me. I don’t think I’ll be in your town any time soon unless you actually live near me, in which case, “cool!”

My favorite crayon color is orange. My favorite fruit? Blueberries. I drive a red car but I have never been stopped for speeding. I do like pets and yours is just swell! Unless your pet has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, in which case I’m very sorry to hear about it. [Why are you writing me a fan letter about your dead pet?]

I do like pizza and roses and funny movies. No, I will not go on a date with you; I’m not that kind of girl/I don’t even know you/I have cooties. I do not dress like a hobo, that’s a pretty insulting thing to say for a “fan!” I’m starting to think I don’t have anything more to say to you unless you were going to offer me a book deal or some kind of maid service, in which case, keep ’em coming!

Very sincerely yours,

The Object of Your Admiration

Posted in Open Letters

Open Letter to the US Mint


I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that you can ease up on the pennies. I’ve got way too many of them. I’ve got enough to last me for the rest of my life, to be honest. Plus, they are only worth a penny each, so it works out that I spent more on the bank that holds them than the face value of the contents. That doesn’t really seem fair. I have heard of charities who do penny drives, and I will certainly keep my eyes open for one near me, but in the meantime, I have pennies everywhere. Every surface is a great place to put a penny. I’ve got them in my wallet, in the console of my car, on my bureau, and in my change jar. They are on top of my CPU at work, as well as in the pencil tray. Gosh, I wish there was a penny candy store around the corner so I could unload these puppies and get something really cool in return. Like orange-flavored Tootsie Roll Midgees. Or Sixlets. You know, the best candy you can buy for little or no money.

My biggest problem for the past two years was keeping them away from my son because there have been reports that of all pocket change, pennies can cause some sort of poisoning if ingested. Of course, this would make for an interesting episode of “Diagnosis: Murder,” don’t you think? Kill someone by making them eat a handful of change!

So all I’m asking is that you declare another penny shortage so that I’ll feel really good about all the hoarding I’ve done the past couple of years, and the bank won’t look at me sideways when I bring in my jar.

Posted in Open Letters

Open Letter to Martha Stewart

Dear Martha Stewart,

I hope I’m not interrupting anything particularly urgent. I assume you’re taking a short break now that the holidays are over. You do seem to have a lot going on at the holidays. Does anyone ever invite YOU over?

Anyhoo, I know that there are a lot of people taking up your time these days, so I’ll keep this brief. I was reading my “The 365 Stupidest Things Ever Said” Page A Day calendar (I know, I know, I should make my own) and on Jan 5, 1999 they had a quote from you. Do you remember saying

“I catnap now and then…but I think while I nap, so it’s not a waste of time.”

I haven’t been very successful at doing anything during my naps. Well, other than getting pillow marks on my face. What kinds of things do you think of? The other night I “thought” about my house suddenly being part of a retirement village and everyone was pounding on our door because they wanted to borrow our wet-vac. Is that what you mean by thinking?

I’d sure love to clear this up. Feel free to drop me a line.

Posted in Open Letters

Open Letter to My Lawn

Dear Lawn

Okay, let’s cut with the attitude, shall we? We started the season as friends. You were green and growing, and we watered and mowed you and said things like “Wow, it looks like a golf course, doesn’t it?” just to make you feel good about yourself.

Then due to your primary caregiver’s horrendous travel schedule, you didn’t get the Scott’s Phase One when you were supposed to. By the time I went to buy it, the guy at Home Depot wouldn’t sell it to me. Hey, Phase One means phase one, and if you pass through the International Phase Two Dateline, don’t expect to find a single bag lying around of One. But I digress.

I bought the two, and some other things I thought you might like, including a new spool of trimmer line, and brought them home. We fertilized you, because we wanted you to be happy.

But that wasn’t good enough for you, was it? Now we had dead patches everywhere, and not the “burned from fertilizer” brown patches. These were odd. Grubs? Some sort of ice burn from the late snow? Who knows.

So now it’s July. And you kind of look green again, which is nice, don’t get me wrong. But you’re green because every square inch of you is covered with crab grass. Not a blade of Kentucky Blue or Bermuda. Crab grass. And if we kill the crab grass, we’ll look more like a parking lot than a putting green. So cut the crap. Or I’m going to invest in some cement and just pave you right over. THEN who will be having the last laugh? Well, the neighbors again, but you know what I mean.