I usually don’t keep track of how many people I friended on my Scarlet Victoria account on Facebook. It’s usually around the 200-somethings. This morning, Facebook purged what they believed were fake accounts. This was done with no warning. Many people were shook by this rude awakening to find their accounts to be completely purged. Status updates from Pacific Media Expo, Cosplay in America, and mutual friends posted the news regarding the purge. The knee jerk reaction is upsetting, but there are cosplayers who plan to take action against Facebook in the form of letter writing and petitioning. It is uncertain if these methods will be effective, but only time will tell.
The artist, cosplayer, photographer, steampunk, lolita, etc community has a large presence in the social media site. While yes, it is against the Facebook Terms of Service to have multiple accounts, people feel the need to have separate accounts for hobbies and real life. Facebook is also a nice medium to stay in touch with family members we do not get to see very often and old school friends that we thought we lost touch with. However, many cosplayers can vouch that family and friends outside the hobby may not “get” what is lolita (does it have to do with ageplay?), cosplay (is that some weird Japanese fetish?), steampunk (have these guys lost touch with reality?), etc. Or perhaps we’re part of a profession where things like cosplay and lolita are just seen as fetishes, not as an art form or type of fashion. The older one gets and further someone needs to go in life, the greater the need is to separate the two.Filters on Facebook aren’t like the filters on Live Journal.
The obvious solution is to create a fan page – or a page where people can hit the “like” button. I respect anyone who has decided to go this route. If you feel the need to create a fan page to display your awesome work and convention adventures, good for you! However, there are cosplayers who like to stay social and interact with friends. So the only solution for them is to make an account apart from a real life account. There are cosplayers who feel the need to filter out the creepers and be aware of who’s looking at their postings, so an additional account is the logical way to go. Either route is understandable.Personally, I like interacting with cosplayers and giving constructive feedback to friends on their profile. I like to be “social” in this form of social media.
The other obvious solution is to take away the word “cosplay” out of the surname and out of the Facbook URL. I had to change scarlet.cosplay to HausOfScarlet. The situation is frustrating for many. While there has not been an official number of how many cosplay accounts got taken down, the community is certainly feeling it. Imagine spending all that time and effort posting progress photos, waiting and uploading photoshoot sets, writing out how you made the cosplay, making friends with people in the hobby, etc and all of that got taken down overnight without you knowing.
However, this is not the first time Facebook has had sketchy practices. I know people were upset about the new newsfeed, but people eventually warmed up to it. People got upset over the timeline format, but we all sucked it up and just rolled with it. Time will tell what the general reaction would be. Plenty of us want to see Facebook revive our accounts so we could back up all the photos, just so we can regain what was lost. It’s understandable for Facebook to get rid of silly pet accounts, accounts pretending to be fictional characters or celebs, but this was unannounced and we were not giving any warning to an overnight purge.
v @ scarlet-rhapsody.com
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