Free the Blackadder One!
Okay, having just had a go at defending Facebook from Eric Lee, I’m about to make a sharp Uey and have a go at them myself for something of a slight to trade unions and unionists.
Most people with an interest in the internet and the international trade union movement (yes, all five of us…) will have noticed the name Derek Blackadder more than once. Derek is a CUPE (Canada’s public services union) organiser and one of the leading lights of LabourStart (as well as an all-round stand-up guy). He’s used to running campaigns on behalf of workers the world over, so I think it’s high time we started one in support of him.
Being a forward-thinking chap, Derek has been investigating the use of social networking for union organising and campaigns for some time, and barely a week goes by without my Facebook inbox getting a request from him to sign up to one very worthy labour cause or another. Not for the last couple of weeks though.
Derek got a note from the good book, telling him he was trying to add too many friends, and should calm down a bit, or else. Now as a union organiser, he’s quite likely to want to add lots of friends – it’s kind of what he does. So he waits a bit and tries again, and is told he can’t add any more at the moment and to wait and try later. Fair enough. He waits a bit more and tries again, same message. By now, he’s probably frothing at the mouth and muttering “must organise, must organise”, so he has another go to see if the coast is clear, and promptly gets himself a ban.
That being a ban from Facebook itself – no more profile, no access to the stuff he’s built up, no appeal.
So let’s try to get Derek back in. Come join (what else…) the Blackadder solidarity Facebook group. A very slim chance I grant you, but worth a pop to lobby Facebook on this one. Any ideas you’ve got for making this work – let us know!
If we do manage to get him reinstated, it’ll make Facebook a much safer place for all unions and activists to network (it‘s hardly going to inspire you to put in the effort if you only get kicked out for it). Just don’t ask Derek to add you as a friend though, or they’ll boot him out again