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The great Facebook marriage experiment, part 2 - or, "It's complicated" - Tactical Ninja

Aug. 8th, 2014

08:29 am - The great Facebook marriage experiment, part 2 - or, "It's complicated"

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We have already established that it's possible to have a same sex marriage on Facebook. And also that being married seems to affect what ads you are shown. So far so good. But questions started arising about what other forms of relationship are acknowledged by Facebook - what about poly relationships for example?



So the first thing my new wife and I did was find out if you can marry your sister. Turns out you can, but she stops being your sister if you do. If you divorce her, she becomes your sister again. Then I tried to add another name to my list of spouses, and it wouldn't let me. It also refused to acknowledge my current spouse with my new spouse's name added on the end - it would say I'm married, but not who to. I don't think you can be married to someone who's not on Facebook either. So, while you can have 'an open relationship' or be 'it's complicated', you can't actually have a poly relationship. Which is dumb, because not every poly relationship is open. In fact, most probably aren't. Unless you subscribe to the somewhat normative view that there has to be a central 'primary' relationship which is your Facebook-acknowledged one, and any others are 'secondary' and therefore your relationship is open, if only to these sub-spouses.

Moving right along, my wife quickly became dissatisfied with our marriage and divorced me. Within seconds, Facebook had decided that I have Mummy Tummy and need to have that shit tucked, pronto. To test my hypothesis, I re-proposed to my now-sister. While she faffed about finding out if she could have an 'it's complicated' with her actual sister (she couldn't, because Sister is already in a relationship with someone else), or marry her actual husband (she couldn't do that either because I had first proposal dibs apparently), I was busy checking my Facebook ads. And sure enough, if I'm married but not to a particular person, Facebook assumes my spouse is a man and shows me ads for Mummy Tummy and kids' clothes. If I name my spouse of the same sex, my tummy tuck ads turn into eyelid reduction ones (because I'm over 40 and therefore OLD and WRINKLY but also married and I need to stay pretty to keep my wife, amirite?).

Apparently only hetero marriages have kids, yo. But everyone over 40 wants plastic surgery.

We then tried to extricate ourselves from this situation. I persuaded tieke to remarry me, on the condition that we would then see if we could both be widows. Except I had to go to Greer's Class Of Agonising Pain, and by the time I got back my wife had killed me off and I had somehow become her grandmother (pending). On checking my own status, I am still married and tieke is my sister (pending).

And I moved to Antarctica. This has so far not dissuaded Facebook from showing me ads for eyelid surgery or endometriosis support groups. I haven't seen the cat one for a while though.

So anyway, it seems that for us, 'it's complicated' means that I am my ex-wife's deceased grandmother, and my sister is also my widow.

But it won't recognise poly relationships. WTF Facebook?

Also, I am tempted to start haunting people in my Dead Grandmother guise.

Comments:

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From:mundens
Date:August 7th, 2014 10:02 pm (UTC)
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Just wanted to say I have enjoyed watching your experiment.
Even without the concepts of polyamory or open relationships, how does Facebook expect to be able to handle old-skool cultural practices of Mormons, Arabs, and certain African tribes, if you can't at least add multiple wives?
Do you think someone should complain that they are being culturally insensitive because Zulu Cetshwayo kaMpande can't add his many wives to his relationship status? :)
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From:tatjna
Date:August 7th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
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Maybe I could. Now I'm a grandmother I will surely be taken more seriously.
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From:pundigrion
Date:August 8th, 2014 12:43 am (UTC)
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Okay, this has been hilarious to read about!

Also, I must needs share this with you: http://pics.kuvaton.com/kuvei/finnish.jpg
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From:tatjna
Date:August 8th, 2014 01:16 am (UTC)
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We're not finished yet!

Hahaha... finnished.. Umm...

Someone on my Finnish Language group analysed that pic and said it's accurate, but that lots of those megawords would be much easier said a different way.
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From:damnitnicole
Date:August 8th, 2014 02:00 am (UTC)
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You can also be married or in a relationship and have a partner.

Source: chinoiserie, aka Jillycat, aka my Hetero Life Mate. We list each other as "partners" regardless of either of our relationship statuses at the time, and it never changes. However, "Partner" gets listed in the family tab but never the relationship status link.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 8th, 2014 02:07 am (UTC)
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Good to know.
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From:meathiel
Date:August 8th, 2014 07:06 am (UTC)
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Are you done confusing FB yet? Hehe ...
I'd like to add you to my FB ... this sounds like fun. Unfortunately I can't send you a link - I think - as I'm not searchable.

Or you can try
https://www.facebook.com/kerstin.andrea
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From:tatjna
Date:August 8th, 2014 07:08 am (UTC)
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Just sent you a message - it'll probably go to your 'other' folder. ;-)
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From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:August 8th, 2014 09:20 am (UTC)
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*rotfl* FB is strange in many ways and I don't think they gave any thought to whether it is morally better to marry man, woman, sister, grandmother, or whatnot over having and open relationship with more than one person. I think they were just too lazy to program it right.

Still - what a mess. And historians two hundred years from now will dig it up and conclude that you had very complicated family relationships indeed and that our century was Sodom and Gomorrah revisited. *g*
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From:tcpip
Date:August 8th, 2014 12:48 pm (UTC)

Try this Facebook...

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This is from a West Papuan friend of mine..


Salid said to Brus, "You know my parents are forcing me to get married to this girl from a village whom I haven't even met once. We call this arranged marriage. I don't want to marry a woman whom I don't love..... I told them that openly and now have a hell lot of family problem."

Brus said, "Talking about love marriage.... I'll tell you my story. I married a widow whom I deeply loved and dated for 3 years. After a couple of years, my father fell in love with my step-daughter and married her, so my father became my son-in-law and I became my father's father-in-law.

Legally now my daughter is my mother and my wife is my grandmother. More problems occurred when I had a son. My son is my father's brother and so is my uncle.

Situation turned worse when my father had a son. Now my father's son, my brother is my grandson. Ultimately, I have become my own grandfather and I am my own grandson. And you say you have family problems."


The following is my response, inspired by RuneQuest and Bill Hicks no less.


I went to an odd part of the country once. Looking around the General Store, there was this odd-looking fellow. He said "Welcome to our town; I'd like you meet my wife, my sister, and my daughter".

And there was one woman standing there.
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From:fbhjr
Date:August 9th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
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I find these experiments very interesting.
And, it makes me wonder who is doing all of that surgery in antartica...
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From:plantgirl
Date:August 9th, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
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Have you watched "House"? In Antartica they do the surgery on themselves, because There Is No One Else, and it makes for Dramatic Tension!

:)
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From:fbhjr
Date:August 9th, 2014 03:21 pm (UTC)
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Emergency surgery sure. But, tummy tucks?
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From:kehleyr
Date:August 14th, 2014 08:13 pm (UTC)
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LOL
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From:adam_0oo
Date:August 15th, 2014 06:55 pm (UTC)
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This, was hilarious.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 19th, 2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
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You only say that because YOU aren't the dead grandmother!
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From:adam_0oo
Date:August 20th, 2014 12:20 pm (UTC)
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I say a lot of things because I am not a dead grandmother.
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From:warriorsavant
Date:August 19th, 2014 09:23 pm (UTC)
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Recently they passed a law in Alabama confirming that if you get divorced, you are still brother and sister.
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From:tatjna
Date:August 19th, 2014 09:25 pm (UTC)
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Oh man, Facebook is totally behind the times.
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