Although I have never been to jail, don’t have a criminal record, and never have been recommended for psychological evaluation, people have tried to suggest that I might do something violent to people, even murder people, because of my Facebook statuses. Most of these people who have done this are individuals who I was nice enough to accept their friend requests on Facebook, but are people who don’t know me particularly well. They are messy people who just want to be able to be meddlesome on my Facebook page to go back and tell others who don’t like me what I have said on Facebook, and attempt to discredit me as some radical who has the potential to do something violent. I accept everyone’s request for friendship on Facebook because I use it as a platform to promote and promulgate my positions and messages. Instead of asking me for clarification about why I posted what I did or what I meant by what I said on Facebook, people will just go with their own interpretations about what I have said. People have been too big of cowards to tell me what they have had to say about me in my face, and they are too big of cowards to ask what I was saying on certain statuses when they have questions. They would rather go ask someone else or just go talk about me with other people to try to turn them against me.
What I would like to tell my readers about my experience with Facebook thus far is you all have to be careful about how people may try to use what you have said on Facebook against you. I know that many of you are not as willing as I am to vigorously challenge misrepresentations involving you. I would, therefore, just like for you to be careful about who you befriend on Facebook. Make sure that you can trust the people who you are friends with on Facebook. Additionally, I recommend that you adjust your privacy settings to not allow everyone to see your photos and statuses. Facebook’s privacy settings even allow you to pick and choose the people who you want to allow to see your Wall, photos, and statuses.
I have professors, employers, students, colleagues, fellow church members, and etc. as Facebook friends, because I’m the same everywhere I go—you will always get the same Antonio Maurice Daniels. While most people are on Facebook for valid purposes, I want you to be careful about those who would try to do you harm. Some people will copy and paste stuff and try to use it against you—be watchful of this. Some people will try to use your photos to misrepresent you and defame your character. For security purposes, make sure that you always take a moment and change your Facebook password often, so that you can better ensure that no unauthorized persons are using your account.
When people are already looking to make you out to be something that you are not, or if they are striving to make you appear to be a radical or monster, they can use the simplest thing you have posted on Facebook to do so. They will not worry about taking your postings out of context—they will use the postings without any hesitation to promote their personal agendas. I know you a probably thinking that people are really not this immature, but I hope that you are not that naïve to continue to maintain that viewpoint.
I love Facebook and appreciate the wonderful people I have been able to communicate with and reconnect with through this great medium. I just thought it was important for me to make you are aware that there are people who will use Facebook as a way to misrepresent who you truly are and what you are truly saying and doing on it. It is my hope that you will think about what I have said and consider some of the things that I have said next time you are on Facebook.
To those of you who are my Facebook friends and have tried to misrepresent me through things I have posted, I want you to know that I already know what you have attempted to do, so you have not gotten anything past me. I know about why you have befriended me on Facebook in the first place. I would encourage you to devote your time to doing something else because misrepresentations have never had any true success against me, if you don’t already know by now.
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison