Facebook Called me a Pet


Bruce BatDog Lane

Bruce checking his Facebook page.

Facebook wants to sell advertising.  To sell advertising they have to accurately account for the number of real “humans” that advertisers will be reaching when the buy ads on Facebook.  Who wants to pay to reach inactive or duplicate accounts? That’s reasonable.

Facebook’s share price dropped below $20 at the beginning of August when they admitted to reports of  “slowing growth” and “an admission of an alarming number of fake accounts.” Facebook has grown to have 955 million users this year, and according to figures reported by mynbc.com, where I learned all this and more, as many as 83 million of those accounts are fake. That includes as many as 5% which are duplicate accounts, 1.5%  are likely spam accounts, and then Facebook went on to blame “people who set up accounts for non-human entities, such as pets” when explaining the number of fake accounts. They singled us out.

Pets. That’d be me by their definition. Why they’d call me a pet, I don’t know.  I’m a member of my family:  while I may not have a birth certificate, I do have an AKC certificate documenting my name as Bruce BatDog Lane, certifying my parentage and date of birth. I get birthday presents and Christmas presents, I go to day camp, school, on vacations, and obviously have my own blog — what makes them think I’m a pet?

I jumped to a BatDog conclusion fairly quickly that pets would soon be high on the list of Facebook offenders and decided to see how they intended to accommodate pets with profiles, after all there are humans with pets using their site. I started snooping around Facebook looking at the page descriptions available to my “pet” friends when they decided to convert their profiles to pages.  Facebook offers six categories when creating a page and none of the descriptions include pets, dogs, cats, flying pigs, parrots, or anything similar as far as I can see.  Then a lightbulb went off and I decided to investigate the page Mark Zuckerberg created for his dog, Beast, and uncovered that page is set up as a “Public Figure”.  (This offered me some measure of solace as my Facebook page was created under the Public Figure designation also and therefore puts me in good company with Beast.)

On Sunday, August 26, I read a blog report on Socialeyezer.com sharing that Facebook really is deleting all inactive and non-human accounts. I deduce that shareholders and maximizing advertising revenue are two powerful motivators for Facebook to get serious about their Terms of Service (TOS): a handy-dandy little agreement that allows them to close your account without notice.

My detective work leads me to these two suggestions if you believe your Facebook profile might be placed on the “non-human” offender list. First, download your Facebook profile so that you have a backup to reload your content if needed and then quickly convert your profile to an appropriate page as soon as possible.  Woof!

Own Your Woof®

BatDog on Saving Taxes

BatDog™ on Saving Taxes

Bruce BatDog Lane™ discusses the upcoming Sales Tax Holiday

This weekend, August 17-19 is a “Sales Tax Holiday” here in Texas.  That means shoppers save about $8 on every $100 they spend on clothing, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. Since the first sales tax holiday in 1999, Texans have saved about $626.9 million in sales tax on these holiday weekends – well the 2-legged Texans have. Dogs have been excluded from this tax savings.  I call this a gross miscarriage of justice. Fall is back to school time for us too since many take time off from training during the hot summer months.

Let’s just take a look at the basic supplies needed for every class:  I have to bring my own treats like Zuke’s or Tricky Trainers for use in perfecting heeling, stay, and other obedience disciplines. Carrying my training treats to class requires a treat pouch that Mom has to wear.  And for agility, you have to bring your own toy – something highly motivating for mastering weaves and jump maneuvers.  And then, there is Recallers Class that needs a distinct toy that makes me so crazy I’d chase Mom all over God’s green earth to get it from her.  Along with a leash, these are just the basic necessities required for my classes.

Now let’s move on to homework.  Yes, I have homework.  I’d like a set of those rally obedience flashcards to study all the course exercises and some orange cones for practicing my moves at home. For agility, I need three more sets of jumps – that would give me a total of six.  I also need a 2-on/2-off contact trainer to practice my finishes on the A-frame, Teeter, and the Dog Walk.

For field trips, I need a new portable kennel to take to the fun matches around town to gain agility experience.  This is really an entire set up:  water bowl, landing pad, lawn chair for Mom, and a blanket. And I need a backpack to carry it all.  I can make double use of this backpack when I go on Therapy Dog observation visits, which are required to get my certification. But that brings up another point; I need a short leash for Therapy Dog training and a flat collar.

Now we’ve arrived at the really important stuff:  back-to-school attire.  Collars! Bandanas! Leashes!  Woof!  I need a lot of them to keep me in style and performing at peak levels in all my pursuits.

Just look at all the spending us 4-leggers could generate to help boost the retail economy in one weekend getting ready for back to school.  Let’s heel our way to the Capitol and talk about it. Woof!

Own Your Woof®