I joined Facebook to keep track of my sisters and their daughters. Niece Rebecca Jade traveled to Greece and Italy in May 2017 on a music Cruise, and I probably wouldn’t have known about that otherwise.
I’m FB friends with some of her work colleagues and relatives. One of my wife’s first cousins had an accident involving farm equipment in 2016. I would take his wife’s Facebook notices and email them to my wife and my mother-in-law.
So I appreciate the 17-year-old who deleted all her social media and felt much better.
On the other hand, my friend, writer/artist Steve Bissette, extols it as a source of research. He had seen MULTIPLE web texts claim that A.E. Van Vogt filed legal suit against people behind the movie ALIEN for plagiarism. Reportedly, van Vogt’s 1939 short stories “The Black Destroyer” and especially “Discord in Scarlet,” (both included in the revised novel-format THE VOYAGE OF THE SPACE BEAGLE, 1950) were ripped off.
The supposed lawsuit, against Warner Brothers pictures and others, was filed sometime in 1979 or 1980, but settled out of court. But Steve could not find ANY hard evidence for this claim, “not a single print source from 1979-1981 supporting this oft-repeated anecdote. NOTHING in the motion picture trade publications such as VARIETY or BOX OFFICE, or science-fiction magazines of the period.”
As it turns out, one of Steve’s friends found “what may be the one-and-only print source for this long-circulated rumor. From ‘Van Vogt Wins ALIEN Settlement,’ Locus #237 (Sept. 1980, Vol. 13, No. 9), page 3” with extra special thanks to Rob Imes for locating this singular print source article:
“A. E. van Vogt has settled out of court with 20th Century Fox for $50,000 after pointing out similarities between the movie ALIEN and his story ‘Discord in Scarlet’…Van Vogt and his agent, Forrest J. Ackerman, acting without attorneys, met a total of nine times during 1979 and 1980 with Fox attorneys and executives and reviewed excerpts from the various screenplays evolved for the movie. No question of direct plagiarism was involved; rather, van Vogt and Ackerman felt that since the story line was similar to the movie, Fox should buy the story or the entire novel [The Voyage of the Space Beagle]. Fox initially offered $30,000 for settlement of all claims; van Vogt suggested $130,000 for the story or $250,000 for movie rights to the book.
“Van Vogt feels that Fox should have hired someone with expertise in science fiction to act as ‘idea monitor’ before buying scripts in a field which has such a large backlog of copyrighted stories. While no one could keep up with the current output, most of the major ‘spectacle’ stories were published some time ago.
“The decision to accept the out-of-court offer was based in part on van Vogt’s age. Although he is in good health, a lengthy court battle might lead to a useless settlement after van Vogt’s death. Van Vogt, who married late last year, is 68.”
Now THAT is using Facebook for good.