Eight years ago when Patti Beers joined Facebook she had no idea it would become her central link to thousands of friends.
A fan of MySpace, Beers looked for something more interactive and discovered Facebook social media was sweeping the internet. She found friends she hadn’t heard from in years and was able to connect her family in one place via Facebook.
When the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) encampments sprung up in New York City and around the country during the Fall 2011, Facebook became a natural fit for discussing views of world change, sharing ideas and organizing events. Eventually Beers began reporting on OWS protests and live-streamed events using the service UStream and had announced such live events through Facebook.
Then last week when she logged on to Facebook her timeline was ominously replaced with a message: “It looks like you’re using your timeline to represent an organization, business, brand, or public figure…we recommend converting your timeline to a Facebook page.”
She was unable to access any information on her timeline. Facebook messaged her but left no option but to convert her timeline to a “fan page.” Gone were her photos and direct access to her family and friends. Countless hours of her communications were swept away in a click: her family history, photos and chats disappeared into a Orwellian memory hole.