Looks like the Joker won’t be poking Princess Peach again any time soon: Facebook admins have finally gone after the social network’s most insidious sub-group: cosplayers, those among us who dress up as cartoon or video game characters and attend conventions in costume. To be clear, Facebook doesn’t seem to have a problem with the act overall, but rather is targeting users who register accounts as their cosplay alter egos in an attempt to cut down on spam, multiple and false accounts that don’t use real names. And with an estimated 83.09 million fake Facebook accounts out there, who can blame the admins for wanting to reign in registrations a little bit? I can’t, and instead only want to offer some advice on what Terms-of-Service-breaking groups to purge next:
1. Shared Couple Profiles
While it’s good to know that insecurity translates well into a digital setting, it might be best to not display that need to monitor your significant other to the entire electronic world. We’ve probably all felt the douche-chills that tend to run up one’s spine upon viewing the pages of the “John&Jen” Joneses of Facebook. Users like this tend to think their pages speak to the depth of their love, but really it just emanates desperation and instability. More than anything, though, these pages scream “one of us needs to surveil the other!” in the worst, most “why don’t you just break up already?” kind of way. Worst of all, with this particular type of attached-at-the-hip-type user(s?), you can never be sure just who it was that left a message on your wall or chatted you about how badly they suspect the other of cheating.
2. Pets/Kids/Inanimate Objects
Most Facebook users don’t care about what real, actual adults have to say, and they definitely don’t want to read updates from a dog, toddler or broom (or any combination thereof). These appear to be the 21st century’s version of the crazy cat lady, with Facebook now allowing users like this the chance to anthropomorphize pretty much anything or anyone in their lonely lives. But maybe they’re being created and maintained in detail across the world ironically. Interestingly, these accounts are actually against Facebook’s terms of service, which state that users cannot “create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission.” Surely we can all agree that three-year-olds, cats and dustpans don’t have the intellectual wherewithal to decide if they’d like to have their lives (?) put on display for the world’s largest social network to ogle. But, if you somehow get permission to create an account for your toaster, or if it creates one for itself, please send me a friend request. You never know how Skynet might arise, and it’s important to maintain constant vigilance.
3. Social Gaming-Only Users
Sure, we’ve probably all tried our hand at Mafia Wars, Farmville, The Pioneer Trail or any of the other myriad Zynga games—but how many of us can call it a lifestyle? These are the Justa Mafiabots and Guido Italianos of the digital world, those poor souls so enamored with social gaming that they must set up false, duplicate accounts to give themselves an extra boost in their online game of choice. A pretty benign form of fabrication, yes, but terminating the accounts of these users would be doubly effective: Facebook admins could free up some server space and break an entire group of people of their evidently obsessive gaming. (OK, maybe not.) There are even places to turn a profit off selling these profiles in the loneliest corners of the Internet. Because let’s be honest, if you’re creating any number of fake Facebook profiles just to get ahead in Mafiawars, you probably don’t have a whole lot else going on. The downside of getting rid of these guys would be even more annoying game requests from their parent users than usual.
4. The Dab Kids
With names like Johnny Hash, Mary Jane Weed and BHO Joe, it’s pretty clear what these guys are online for. Coming mostly from medical marijuana states, the Dab Kids are a loose-knit group of stoners that network on Facebook by judgmentally ogling the latest in cannabis technology—glass pipes, growing accoutrement, cannabis concentrates, the works—and trash-talking each others’ stashes. Basically, take your average upper-class, suburban teenager, raise them in a medical MJ state, add powerful marijuana concentrates and an unwarranted sense of self-worth, and release into the wilds of Facebook. The result will annoy pretty much everyone, stoner and square alike—even some glassblowers on my feed don’t like these kids. Case in point: They reside in states where the actions they’re promoting are legal, and yet they still hide behind a false name. Because if anything, the way to legitimize the need for a national medical marijuana system is to abuse it for sport and put it on the internet. Right? No matter, you’ve got another friend request.
Help us out, Facebook–after all, the cosplayers were just the start. Those servers aren’t going to cleanse themselves.