See that name up there, next to the copyright date? That’s mine. I am “Matty Boy Anderson“. That’s my “professional name”, and what I am known by. I was dubbed that name by a high school buddy in the late 1980s.
I’ve told this story before. You already know this. Why am I bringing it up again?
Because I was using Facebook to promote this site, and my work on other ones. In the past week, likely due to their plummeting stock/user count, Facebook has gone nuts with their rules and terms of service. I can’t automatically share posts to Facebook when I publish them anymore, and my fundraiser is no longer permitted to do so on its own, either. This isn’t a huge deal; I can just copy and paste the links to Facebook, like I did a decade ago. But there’s a deeper, more personal issue.
Facebook forced me to take the “Boy” out of my name today.
I must repeat: I took on my professional name for three reasons.
- I didn’t want to disrespect my parents’ choice, or the family name. (Granted, “Anderson” is the 12th most common surname in America.)
- There are at least three other “Matt Anderson” listings in Atlanta alone. (See #1.)
- Out of respect for General Boy.
Facebook did this for control. So that I can be legally punished for things I post, if necessary. I am hesitant to remove Facebook from my life completely due to the success of my fund raising, and because of the ease of communication with females and other friends, even in distant parts of the world. Friends of mine who abhor Facebook already think I’m an idiot for using the service. It’s possible that I’m one of the last holdouts. I’m not a fan of Red Scare 2.0, or Neo-McCarthyism, or unfunny pedophilia jokes from failed comedians, so I’ve been using Facebook very little in the past month.
I’m already hunting greener pastures. And if I’ve hit that point, then you can bet your bottom dollar that a multitude has already jumped ship.
This was inevitable. We all saw this coming; the day when social media would go against the very nature of the Internet. When it became about tracking you, in the guise of allowing you to express yourself. In truth, it happened over a year ago. Once the web got wise to the machinations of certain very powerful people, and Zuckerberg did his sentient-robot act in front of Congress, it was all over.
I have maintained a public persona, as Matty Boy Anderson, online since 1999. I was in print under that moniker as early as 1991. My real middle name was gifted to my sister, when she was born in 1992. I haven’t legally changed my name to “Matty Boy” yet because it’s expensive, and changing your birth name attracts all manner of unwanted attention from organizations that assume you’re doing it to dodge your income taxes. Getting a “pka”, or “professionally known as”, is my best bet, but of course- it still costs money.
There’s a very real chance that I will have to fight to keep my chosen name. I’ve seen it happen. If I have to deal with people, rather than algorithms, I should have no problem. I can easily prove who I am and what I’ve been doing. I made it that way on purpose. But if it’s going to be a problem, then I will kiss social media bye-bye. I’m not some troll posting controversial ideas under a made-up screen name. I state the things that I do with the full expectation that I will be held responsible for them. There is no point otherwise.
There exists the possibility that Facebook will be reasonable, and work with me, but I have already prepared for the opposite. I haven’t worked as hard as I have just to see some faceless company take it away. I don’t have to go out of my way to prove that I am whom I say I am. That would be a service (Facebook) abusing a “loyal” client (me) of the past eight years. That would be nefarious of them, when I have done absolutely nothing wrong.
Remember that. I have provided entertainment on the web, largely free of charge, for 19 years. I’m an artist. If some Silicon Valley stuffed shirt confuses me with someone different, that’s their motherfucking problem. I’ve made it more than easy. I’ve been more than agreeable. I’ve even been burping on YouTube, under my professional name, to keep it fresh in users’ minds. It’s who I am. If it wasn’t, why the fuck would I care?
Is this site going away? Unless I die, no. Is the strip going away? The one at the top of this page is new, and most of the people who donate to me are BIUL fans, so you do the math.
But taking the Boy out of the man is something I’ve never allowed anyone to do, for any reason. Looking at my Facebook page today, it’s like it isn’t me anymore. I am the original Poddist and the progenitor of Poddism. Forcing me to operate under my gubmint name is an egregious insult. Either it will not be allowed to stand, and Facebook will meet my specific needs, or I will be forced to take my business elsewhere. There are guys out there with the same name as me who do not deserve the heat I tend to draw, nor do I deserve to be confused with them.
I beg your pardon for the off-topic diatribe. What can I say.
World’s fucked, man.