UPDATE: I am no longer pissed about all of this.

Posted in blog post on November 9th, 2009 by Merrill Markoe
Tags: , , , ,

So…I have been purposefully staying off Twitter and the rest of the social networks because I felt like they would be a distraction from the stuff I want to get done.  Plus I am kind of a competitive person. If I was on Twitter, I said  to myself, I said I said,  I would start to think I had better start writing more one liners for Twitter. I would be thinking, all day long, “Oh God, I haven’t written anything new on Twitter in four hours.” And “Look! Laura’s got a new Twit. I’d better think of something.” and “Oh shit. They’ve ALL got new twits. And I’m still sitting here not writing!” And  I’d start fretting about it . And that is nerve wracking and time consuming. And I am trying to finish a book. And in order to finish a book, I need hundreds of hours of time wasted on nothing. Because writing a book is very hard.At least to me it is. I waste a lot of time pulling out my hair and conducting pointless google searches before I get down to business.

And of course, lets not forget all the rest of the time that I waste trying to learn how to run an animation program. Last night it took me three hours to learn to do this:

But then today I get a google alert that shows me that my name, Merrill Markoe, and ALSO Merrillmarkoe IS now someone’s twitter account name. And that someone is a porn spammer. And I found this very upsetting. So i started the process of contacting the head Twit in order to find out if I had any recourse. Someone (or else a someone-bot) answered me and told me I had to fax them a copy of my drivers license.Right off the bat that sounds like a scam. So I taped up my driver’s license so the Scam bot couldnt see my important personal information and I faxed it to them. Now I am waiting to see what happens.

Meanwhile, I asked one of my most social networky friends what I should do about the Merrillmarkoe porn spammers. And she said that I had better register my name at EVERY social network, and I’d better do it NOW.

SO I began to do that and very quickly it made me really really pissed off because THIS WAS WHAT I WAS AVOIDING IN THE FIRST PLACE. I thought having a website was a controllable amount of social networking .I admit I sometimes check out Facebook, secretly, using my fake identity (on a page I took out in order to keep my eye on my frat boy nephew.)( And by the way, why WAS he out somewhere wearing only a Depends and a giraffe head on Halloween?)Apparently Carey on halloween But lately on my fake identity’s page the Facebook-Bot keeps nudging me to help out this.  other friend of mine. “Ken only has 19 friends. Won’t you suggest some friends for him?” it asks me every day.  Poor poor sad little Ken, it implies, as though he is one of those children holding an empty cereal bowl  in the war ravaged Congo after the Janja weed militia killed his family and burned his village down. NINETEEN FRIENDS IS A LOT OF FUCKING FRIENDS. I don’t have nineteen plates and forks. I can’t have nineteen people over for dinner. When did it become such an  embarrassment to have NINETEEN FRIENDS that Facebook TAUNTS you with it and tries to intercede on your poor sad behalf? That Facebook-Bot is WORSE than the worst bullies in the sixth grade!

Damn.

Pisses me off. All of it. So in case anyone thinks I suddenly am making money as a porn spammer, its not me. I’ve never been that smart of a business woman.

Oh…and  one last thing– I know they’re not called twits.  But tweet is just too embarrassing for me to say or write. Sorry.  I never say Vente Latte at Starbucks either. I say Large.

UPDATE: Good news! For me, at least.

I got the porno spammers kicked off my name ! Yay! Score one for the spam and social networking harrassed little guy (or gal as the case may be.) Incase this ever happens to you, apparently Twitter does take care of it. . I half thought that when a porno spammer wants to take your name, well,its like when the government wants your house so they can build a new carport for the Pentagon or another freeway overpass. Right of Imminent Domain. Suck it up and step aside. But no! I got the following e mail from someone a few minutes ago, which is frankly more than my cynical self expected:

Hi,Thanks for your email and fax.Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter Rules, under Content Boundaries and Use of Twitter: A person may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others. Impersonation is against our terms unless it’s parody. The standard for defining parody is, “Would a reasonable person be aware that it’s a joke?” Because this is not the case in your situation, we have removed the profile(s) from circulation.

Thanks!
@laura
Twitter Support

So I quickly took my own name and raced to the Twitters site and opened a twitter account.

Except thats also the bad news. The conspiracy theorist who lives in the dark recesses of my furtive imagination has already suggested to me that the porno spammers were just a sham…a twitter/facebook conspiracy to force everyone to join twitter and then, as a (wink wink) additional protective measure, join facebook, diggit, reddit, and tumblr just so no one else can abuse their name. Because now apparently it is ILLEGAL for anyone not to be on all these sites. Just like it is illegal to have less than 300 friends.

Still, I will not listen to those voices today. Because today  Veterans Day takes on new and special personal meaning for me. We fought all those wars to take our names back from the porno spammers. Thank you Veterans. Now please keep your eye on Facebook.

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29 Responses to “UPDATE: I am no longer pissed about all of this.”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Your friend is probably right. If you set up a Twitter account, you need to get it verified (you’ll have a little check next to your name). This was getting to be a huge problem with famous actors/politicians/etc, and someone threatened a lawsuit or something. Now, they have a verified account program thing. And if you want as little to do with Twitter as possible, all you really need to do is post links to new blog posts (title + link, and since you only have 140 characters, use a url shortener). Probably not what you wanted to hear, but yeah…

    (Very happy to have found your blog!)

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      But now a porn spammer has my name! Do you think twitter will give it back to me? Or do I have to go in to the porn business now?

      • Jennifer says:

        I don’t know if they will delete. Some people have many fake Twitter accounts. However, they may not complain to Twitter about it, either because they don’t know about them or they just don’t care. At least yours is obviously spam (not much comfort, probably, but there’s that).

  2. becky says:

    Merrill – Twitter “claims” they will suspend fake accounts which means you could get your name back.

    Here’s a URL of someone whose name was stolen and how he got it back.

    http://www.startupnation.com/blogs/index.php/2009/08/02/how-someone-ripped-off-our-twitter-name-and-we-fought-back/

    Here’s a URL if this helps explain how to verify an account. IMO, you definitely count a a celebrity for creating the Letterman show and you have the recent pics in the National Enquirer to prove it.

    http://mashable.com/2009/06/11/twitter-verified-accounts-2/

    I, for one, am impressed that you still have the body of a porn star – a feat I could never achieve even if I wanted to. :)

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      Thanks for the links, Becky. I filed with Twitter. Now we will see if they respond to a HUMAN or just to big shots who can get them a lot of publicity. I just find all this stuff so aggravating. I guess because I can’t control it.

  3. I’m pretty sure there’s more money in porn than writing, so it may be worth considering.

    My Facebook tale of woe is that they keep prodding me to reconnect with a friend who is dead. I’m not sure how to take that …

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      THAT is hilarious. There are a lot of these kinds of things, I think. My friend poor sad Ken who only has NINETEEN FRIENDS told me (when I offered him sympathy) that Facebook keeps asking him if he would be interested in dating women like his sister. Now THATS what I call a social network: At last a place that can introduce you not only to your deceased friends but also to your siblings. PARTY!

  4. Andrea says:

    Other people beat me to the Twitter party but yes, you need to be “verified” and I’d be very surprised if Twitter didn’t accommodate you pretty quickly. I work(ed) at a record label and had to do this sort of thing for our artists all the time. Maybe we should all make some noise about it on Twitter to get them to pay attention….

    If you need help with securing your name on other social networks I’m happy to help. I do it for rock stars, why not comediennes? Or comedians? Or, you know, funny people? Anyway. If you need help, holler.

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      That’s so sweet of you. Thank you for the offer. If I never hear back from Twitter, I may take you up on it. (Or at the very least see if you can get me a record deal. Yes, yes, I know its been three or four decades since my last piano recital. But after I practice a little.)

      • Twitter is definitely for old people and that is why I love it SO VERY MUCH. Because where else can we go? Also, “tech geniuses” are not to be believed or trusted, especially if they’re the kind that drive the little car that has the word “genius” printed on it. There are lots of hip people on Twitter and I’ll prove it to you if I get the chance.

        But anyway. I could get you a record deal for reading the phone book. You just say the word.

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      Where do I find the word? Hopefully, it is in the phone book. I think we should go ahead with this project because I think it is the one thing that can save the struggling music business. Me reading the phone book will help recoup some of those losses from Chinese Democracy.

      • andrea says:

        Come to think of it, the struggling phone book industry could use the boost, too.

      • andrea says:

        PS I organized a welcoming committee for you on Twitter, and you already have numerous (okay, 8) distinguished followers, including the dude who wrote the movie “Bandcamp” and the guy who wrote the book “Better Living Through Bad Movies,” waiting breathlessly for your first one liner. You’re welcome!

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      Tell them not to hold their breaths. Or wait…that is not my decision to make for them. Maybe I should twitter to them that they can breath or not, at their own discretion. Its the least I can do. Although actually, I can think of ways to do even less.

      • SusanM says:

        “Twitter is definitely for old people ” Andrea says. Since I’m probably the oldest poster on here, define “old”. I have a feeling you mean 40’s and 50’s. I couldn’t master twitter so I won’t even try, but I’m happy to know that Twitter doesn’t belong to haughty 20 year old professionals.
        Speaking of age, Merrill is there a statute of limitations on readers’ blog comments,or would you prefer that they fade away? I frequently look at some of the older entries and something flashes through my mind (think of my brain as made up of nerve endings, duct tape, extension cords, and crappy outlets). I then add my 2 cents or throw in some non sequitur.
        Let me know if I should stick to current topics. Once again, the humor from you and commenters usually make my day.

  5. mandor says:

    Facebook’s passive aggressive reminders are their attempt to suck people back in who haven’t logged into the site in a while. Look! Your friend posted a message on your wall! Don’t you want to log in and respond (and feed our advertising machine)? That would be the polite thing to do.

  6. Lairbo says:

    I”ve always wondered what Facebook’s threshold is for being pitifully short on friends. Alerts like that also make me wonder what it’s saying about me on other peoples’ walls.

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      The thing that always stuns me is how the word ‘friend’ has changed so radically . It has become a mark of superficial status, like collecting baseball cards. Or Pokemon cards when they still had those..Or getting merit badges or something. In any place other than an online social network, nineteen friends is not a sad statement of a ruined life. It is an overwhelming amount of friends. Its too many friends to comfortably invite over at the same time unless you live in a McMansion. Its too many friends to buy Christmas gifts for. Its so many friends to call back that you would never be able to get off the phone. Its too many tables of friends to make reservations for at a restaurant. In other words, its a TON of friends. A ton. Its three huge tables of people at your birthday party and if they bring their spouses and kids…well, forget it. You have to rent a Goddamn HALL!
      And now that Facebook is reteaching everyone that they need to be talking to at least hundreds of their friends at the same time, I am worried that the whole world is turning in to those people who used to send out the annoying boastful xeroxed Christmas letters.

      • Lairbo says:

        Within the context of Facebook, I think I’d actually prefer an annual digital version of the traditional xeroxed Christmas letter over the current daily tidbit-by-tidbit water-torture method of being kept “up to date.”

        Friends, yeah, they’re not what they used to be. Which was ‘acquaintances,” if I remember right.

        I don’t know if there’s a Guinness Book of World Records-holder for most Facebook friends yet, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be someone I don’t want to be acquainted with.

      • becky says:

        Replace the word friend with “business contact” – I see MySpace, Twitter and Facebook taking the place of networking meetings. I wouldn’t be on any of this except that too many of my professional contexts have joined so I am learning to find out how to use it with a grain of salt.

      • SusanM says:

        About friends-# “I don’t need more friends. You got friends and all they do is ask you to help them move. Fuck that. I’m old. I’m through moving shit.” 11:00 AM Nov 16th from web from shitmydadsays (blog written by 20 something man who lives at home and keeps track of random, hysterical things his dad says).
        I’m amazed by requests on Facebook to become a friend, by people who are friends of friends or relatives, AND I never see them, talk to them, have anything in common, etc. It’s like notches on a belt. I like being around close friends, but feel no need to “collect”. What’s wrong with me? and Justin’s dad?
        ?ooops rhetorical question- don’t answer. I once said to a nine year old, “How stupid to you think I am?
        He backed up, folded his arms with a thoughtful expression, and said “,Weeelll, let me think.” I’ve always admired that type of wise ass kid.
        Another random blurt-I really like and enjoy people , but have fewer friends than many SOB’s I’ve known. The ones I have are REAL. Anyway I totally agree with your comment 6.1

  7. mary says:

    i like Twitter…HATE Facebook…i think Facebook and this friend crap is changing the meaning of the word friend.

    anywhoo….i like to follow reporters on Twitter because you can get tidbits that don’t make the real news. I like Mark Knoller for White House coverage.
    for just general cool music recommendations and off beat tweets, i like the actor John Larroquette (sp?)

    i don’t follow anyone that i actually know on Twitter but then, if i know someone, i hope they could share the minutia of their life with me in person.

  8. Merrill Markoe says:

    I had a tech genius guy at my house today helping me plant my computer for spring. Anyway we were talking about all this and he said his friends all think Twitter is for old people. Old guys and politicians use it, he said. So, goodbye twitter. We hardly knew ye. In my experience, a kiss off from the twenty something tech set is the beginning of the end.

  9. Margaret says:

    Two concepts I guess I just don’t have the intellectual capacity to understand because even after hearing repeated explanations of both, I just don’t get either: Scientology and Twitter.

    • Merrill Markoe says:

      Well,in a semi related topic, wrap your brain around this offer of friendship I just got on my fake My Space page:

      Wendy’s Fresh Faces
      Wendy’swants to be your friend!
      Nov 11, 2009
      10:35 AM

      Sadly the Wendy’s logo that came on the offer of friendship did not reproduce. But I am wondering what kind of a friend Wendy’s wants to be. Does this mean I will be invited over for dinner a lot? Because I am a vegetarian and there are some obvious problems. Which one of Wendy’s homes will I be going to visit? Do I have to pay plane fare? And when I want to reciprocate and have Wendy’s over in return, how many people are we talking about? Because I think there are a lot of executive vice presidents at Wendy’s. We’re not talking about every franchise owner at the same time are we ? I only have 8 plates and 8 bowls. Most importantly, what will our friendship involve besides eating? Because at first glance it is striking me as a very superficial reason for a friendship. But then maybe I am allowing my cynicism to over take me and I am not really thinking through what we have between us in enough detail. Its a big decision . I am going to give it time.

      And they wonder why My Space is now considered dead.

  10. Tom Sullivan says:

    How can they be sure it wasn’t Rich Little who was impersonating you on Twitter?
    That would fall under the acceptable heading of parody or joke.
    ” What if Merrill Markoe was a porn spammer?
    She might sound something like this (followed by Rich’s uncanny imitation) “

  11. Susan says:

    Here’s a very bad joke I just heard: News Bulletin states that Twittter, MySpace and Facebook have been bought out and combined. The new corporate entity is My Twitt Face.

    I told you it was Bad, but I still think it says a whole lot.

  12. Susan says:

    Oh no, I just went to verify my facts and found out that I got the name wrong — it’s IN MY TWIT FACE .com – Combine LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter and FacebookSocial Networking, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, Facebook COMBINED. inmytwitface.com/

    Also see that Conan’s coined “You (Tube) Twit Face” — oh well, I still think that In My Twit Face and You Twit Face both express my respect for social media pretty well.