Facebook Has An Illuminati Inbox They Didn’t Bother Telling Anyone About. Facebook Aint Shit. » VSB

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Facebook Has An Illuminati Inbox They Didn’t Bother Telling Anyone About. Facebook Aint Shit.



Over the last half decade, as newer and sexier social media platforms have entered our zeitgeist, Facebook — who, although only 12 years old, is practically ancient today — has become the Internet’s version of Subway. It is both ubiquitous and completely and utterly unexciting. In today’s cultural landscape, it’s no longer where the cool kids go to do cool kid shit. It’s where that aunt who randomly capitalizes every third word in her status messages and that grade school classmate who likes and shares Stormfront memes and your ex-girlfriend’s fresh out cousin who hasn’t quite realized it’s not kosher to share porn gifs on timelines exist.

Yet despite its current status, Facebook has remained my preferred platform, for reasons personal and practical. I don’t take enough pictures to spend much time on my Instagram page. And while Twitter seems to be the preferred entity for the type of people who do what I do for a living, I go there to read other people’s tweets, not to tweet myself. Sure, I’ll occasionally live tweet an event or share a thought I think is particularly pithy or timely, but between VSB, The Root, EBONY, and various other places I occasionally contribute to, there are weeks I write up to 15 different pieces. I am a prolific motherfucker. But I can’t be that if I’m spending time tweeting instead of crafting pieces around the types of thoughts that would have been wasted on tweets. (And, as far as Snapchat goes, my testicles have been descended for too long to spend much time there.)

And while Facebook has its faults, its ubiquity makes it necessary for me. Because no other platform drives traffic to VSB the way it does. Also, I do enjoy having a mechanism that curates my life. I first got on Facebook in 2007. And now, nine years later, my page is equal parts memory book, diary, event planner, and socializer. 

Which is why, today, I’m saddened by the revelation that Facebook is also the pettiest of petty hos.

Of course, I already knew that Facebook, if not quite the devil, had some latent aint shit tendencies. It’s good for randomly switching up the algorithm used to control what you’re able to see from other people and what other people are able to see from you. Which might not mean much for people with personal pages but matters a lot to people and businesses with fan pages. Also, it’s a Darius Lovehall-level stalker. It knows things about me I don’t even know about myself yet. Right now, an ad from Suitsupply is the third thing from the top of my page. Before I saw it, I wasn’t thinking about getting anything from Suitsupply this week. Especially not a pair of Jort Light Grey Fishtail Trousers. But now I am.

Again, though, I was aware of and accepting of this aintshitness. Because the aintshitness level was an acceptable one. Kinda like being married to a character played by Michael Beach. But then last week I learned that, for the last few years, Facebook has been filtering the messages you receive and directing them to some secret compartment; a place my cousin coined the Illuminati inbox. An article from HelloGiggles alerting everyone to this was shared around Facebook last week. Now, is it common and necessary for email and instant messaging services to have some type of filtering mechanism in place? Definitely! But you’re aware your messages are being filtered, and there’s often a not-at-all-hard-to-find-at-all place you can go to find them. Facebook, however, didn’t feel the need to tell people their messages are being filtered, which sucks because A) THEY DIDN’T BOTHER TO TELL PEOPLE THEIR MESSAGES ARE BEING FILTERED and B) 95% of these messages are real actual messages from real actual people!!!


Damon Young


Granted, 10% of the messages in my Illuminati inbox are from the type of people who felt the need to jump on Facebook and call me a nigger lover. But the rest are messages I really would have liked to read. And some are messages I needed to read. In 2016 alone I found three messages from people from large media entities either expressing an interest in partnering with VSB or asking if I’d be interested in working with them, at least a dozen from ex-classmates, ex-coworkers, and ex-girlfriends reaching out to let me know they read a piece of mine somewhere, and one from a very popular showrunner of a very popular show just reaching out to say they loved my work. But because Facebook is the pettiest of petty motherfuckers, now I look like the asshole who either ignores messages or takes 13 months to reply to them.

I was rooting for you Facebook. Willing to stay loyal while the Snapchat hoes kept trying to tempt me. But now you’re messing with my sanity and my reputation. And my money. And although I’m not leaving you (sigh), I just wanted to let you know I know you as much as you know me now. And you aint shit.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • I don’t use Messenger at all… ONLY the browser from my phone. Messenger is like the Damian of social media.

  • minxbrie

    Whomp, I hate most forms of social media for various reasons (maybe because I pigeon-holed my expertise in social media and now I’m stuck) but Facebook refuses to let me leave. Every couple of months I deactivate for a week or two just to take a break.

    I knew about the illuminati inbox but since 95% of what I get is spam and random Nigerians trying to add me, I ignore it.

    • Oluseyi

      “Add me I am Prince in my Fadaland!”

      • minxbrie

        Stop this nonsense!

      • Tambra

        How on earth do people get sucked into those things?

        • Oluseyi

          Greed. The idea that they can get something for nothing, and a lot of it, too.

      • minxbrie

        Stop this nonsense!

        • Oluseyi

          “Bebe, why you do me like dis nau? Ehn? ‘Look wat d New Wor’d has wrought’!”

          • minxbrie

            Ah! Leave me alone nau! ? Ya’ll tire me out!

            • Oluseyi

              “But see as you ah making my heart pound like yam! You ah too sweet, d only suga in my tea!”

  • Courtney Wheeler

    Facebook is like the “crazy” one in your group of friends. You can take them in small doses but man..if you’re in a bad mood. It’s not wise to be around it.

  • I knew about the Illuminati inbox, but only because I check it whenever someone says they reached out to me, but I never heard from them. I understand the need to filter out spam, but Facebook goes HARD in the paint.

    But you’re right about Snapchat. I had to speak to the youth at my alma mater, and they’re all Snapchat fiends. I’m glad I keep my interaction on there to the very occasional $ext from someone.

  • I don’t don’t need this hateration, moderation on this vsb

  • Is this the same secret inbox as the one where it sends your messages from people you aren’t FB friends with? Or are there more than one secret inboxes?

    • Sweet Ga Brown

      Nope that’s it!

      • Thank you! I kept checking but I wasn’t sure. I didn’t have anything too important there, I can go another 10 years without checking probably.

    • mochazina

      no! within the secret inbox, there’s another setting where fb further filtered msgs for you. the official lingo is *message requests* then under that *filtered messages*. smh

      • LMNOP

        Wow, wtf, and why don’t they just let you decide for yourself what’s junk?

        • Epsilonicus

          Because people complained when there was no spam filter.

          • mochazina

            it’s just strange to me cuz the message requests were already filtered by your lack of connection.

      • Oh see… That is tew much. Thank you for letting me know.

  • PhlyyPhree

    I’m never on fb enough to care. I don’t know what this is or how to get to it. Do I have to have the messenger app? Because I never downloaded that. Should I have updated my security settings in 2015 when Mark was giving out 50mil to everyone who reposted that status? Because I didn’t do that either. I log on to fb to waste time at work when there aren’t any new articles here on VSB. Other than that? Meh. I think I’m getting a little too old for social media. I haven’t vined, snapped or done it for the gram in over 6 weeks.

    Someone get these da mn kids off my lawn!

    • No. *gets no booty 2520 kids to do a twerk contest on your lawn*

      • PhlyyPhree

        I’d turn on my sprinkler system, but then my front lawn would smell like hot dog water.
        That’s just low Todd. Really really low.

        • Brass Tacks


        • Quirlygirly


    • Ess Tee

      I tried to fight the good fight on the messenger app. I deleted it a couple months ago, and maybe two weeks ago put it back. Like, *no one* was hearing me when I’d say, “Oh, I just got your message because I don’t have the app on my phone.”

      The situation would be that I’d make plans with friends to meet up at X place. All of the planning would take place in messenger, which, fine I look at it at home or at work when I’m on the computer. But once I’m away then I’m not seeing anything. Why folks were acting like sending actual texts to inform, “I’m here! I got us a table at blah blah blah location” was too cumbersome is beyond me.

      • PhlyyPhree

        Lol. I guess. My friends know better. THey know that if they want me to come, they need to text me or (novel idea here) actually pick up a phone and CALL me. WEEKS in advance at that.
        Then again, my friends also know that 9/10, I’m not going to show up anyway. Or I’m coming hel la late. Or I’m there for 5 minutes to say hi and then I’m leaving to go drink. I don’t know why they still invite me places. God bless their little hearts. Lol

        • Ess Tee

          We do the weeks in advance thing because we all busy. The calling doesn’t happen, though, because it’s typically several folks gathering, which makes messaging easier.

          I just wish they’d do it over text instead of messenger. Although, to be fair, I do have other friends who favor texting over messenger.

  • A.G.

    Twitter (i.e. Black Twitter) is my #1 and only. Hilarious, creative, informative, and engaging content in real time. It’s kinda like the VSB comments section!

    I wonder who the showrunner was. Hope it was someone from HBO. Would love to see Damon and Panama do a weekly podcast.

    • -h.h.h.-

      if the comment section here was anything like black twitter….i might not come back lol.

      • ChokeOnThisTea

        Someone once said Black Twitter will be the demise of this country. Lol!!!

        • A.G.

          Black Twitter=private investigators, comedians, hoteps.

          • ChokeOnThisTea

            I’m here for it…sans the hoteps of course.

  • KNeale

    Left Facebook back on 2010 and haven’t looked back. Not a once. It was hard to quit even though I’ve never been super active on social media. I’m a user and observer but don’t do a lot of posting/interacting. Even still, leaving felt ridiculously hard considering my lack of engagement. I feared I was gonna miss everything!!!! But in my attempt to delete I realized how difficult it was to actually delete. They made it as close to impossible to delete as they could. First, they gave e a TWO WEEK window before it actually deleted. And it send you no notification at all to tell you its deleted or done, so if you log back in everything is reactivated and you have two start the two week period all over again. The timespan of them updating their cookies was long as ionowut so my pictures and generic information were still showing up in google searches MONTHS later. This was the process in 2010 not sure about now. When I saw how they were tryna hold me hostage my desire to delete got even stronger and I never looked back.

    • I heard they never really delete you. Like you can always come back and pick right back up where you left off.

      • KNeale


  • Brass Tacks

    You’re married so I wont inquire as to what former flames were doing in your inbox. Or vice versa (Jadakiss laugh).

    So ill ask a more pertinent and less likely to complicate your personal life question. Does it really go down in the DM’s of Snapchat?

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