Thursday, December 18, 2014


Nowadays, almost everyone is on Facebook, including me.  Or, at least I was.

Face Book has a policy requiring that people register using the name they use in "real life".  Their policy states:  "Facebook is a community where people use their authentic identities. We require people to provide the name they use in real life; that way, you always know who you're connecting with. This helps keep our community safe."

Most people do use their "real" name, but nobody takes the policy too seriously; we all know plenty of people who use a pseudonym, including "Palin Smith".  (Also a victim of Facebook revenge.)

Earlier this year, I started using the nickname, "Shanty Irish" in order to give myself a little anonymity and privacy.  "Shanty" was my grandfather's nickname, and I was called Shanty after him, from the day I was born.  "Irish", well, I'm an Irishman.

"Shanty Irish" is a derogatory term used to describe the poor, ignorant Irish immigrants who lived in makeshift homes, called shanties.  A shanty amounts to a shack, like we see people in third world countries living in.

Shanty Irish is a term that I am rather proud of, in spite of its derogatory origin.  To me, it represents the fighting Irish spirit.  My Irish ancestors fled poverty and starvation in Ireland, wrought upon them by the tyranny of the British Empire.  They came to America with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs, the desire for freedom and opportunity denied them in their homeland and a will to succeed.

When they arrived on these shores, they were greeted with contempt and disdain.  They were discriminated against at every turn, yet they persevered.  They were denied housing and employment; "No Irish Need Apply".  So, they took jobs nobody else wanted; the most dangerous and demeaning jobs; firemen, police officers, coal miners; chamber maid and servants.

The Irish were treated worse than blacks.  The American Negros hated the Irish, too and were the first to call them "white niggers".  Being Catholic only added to the insult.  Yet over time, the Irish assimilated and spread throughout America, taking their work ethic, nobility and pride with them.  In many cases, they rose to great power and wealth, one eventually becoming President of the United States.

Thanksgiving Day, I came home from dinner to find my Facebook account suspended.  It was suspended because, "it seems you aren't using your real life name".  Facebook demanded that I provide documentation of my identity.  After briefly giving them some grief over it, I finally capitulated and provided them with my government issued identification, with my photo.  Yet to date, they have not restored my account.

The "real name" policy is not enforced unless someone reports its.  Someone, evidently, reported me.  There is only one reason to do such a thing, at least in this case, and that is to get back at someone.  During the last election cycle, I stepped on a few toes.  Politics is a dirty business and there are those who are petty enough to take cheap shots at those with whom the disagree.  The desire to hurt someone, regardless of the hurt it causes to innocent parties not otherwise involved, overrides any sense of ethics or morality.

And Facebook is complicit in meeting out revenge.  They refuse to reinstate my account, even though they have the documentation they asked for.  They refuse even to respond to my correspondence via my "support dashboard".  What could possibly be the motivation for this; I simply do not understand.

Could it be that Facebook really does discriminate against Conservatives?  I created and manage several Conservative and Tea Party groups, a family group and a group for people who grew up in my hometown.  I also belong to a variety of other groups, including two that keep me in touch with the people I served in the Air Force with.  Facebook must be aware of this, since they have "reviewed" my account.

Were it not for the fact that the hundreds of people belonging to my groups would be effected and that we have become dependent upon Facebook as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family around the country and around the world, I might just let this go and drop out, altogether.

But, no; what they are doing is an injustice.  If they can do this to me, they can, and certainly do, do this to others.  To quit would go against my Irish nature not to back down from a fight and an insult to my ancestors.

Please consider exposing the injustice and discrimination against Conservatives by sharing this on your Facebook page, Google+ page, or elsewhere.  Using #Facebook,, #ShantyIrish, and +ShantyIrish will help get the attention of Facebook and others.


William Boylan, AKA Shanty Irish, AKA BillBoy Baggins

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