The Day Facebook and Instagram Erased #Sikh People

I try not to be political on my blog, but the events of the last few days have made me think about staying quiet, when it is our voices that will help, not our silence.

So the two previous posts have been in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement that is in full flow.

During this time of unease for many in the Black community, and the extended #BAME community , as well as those not of colour, horrified by the events that took place with the murder of George Floyd, I remembered there was something else of huge importance, to me, as a Sikh, to recall.


Ten days of Terror for the Sikhs.

This was when the Indian Government launched Operations Blue Star, and there, thirty six years ago, tthebeginnings of the biggest Sikh genocide took place.

Soldiers marched into the holy shrine in Amritsar, the Golden Temple, desecrating the buildings, grounds, religious artefacts, and murdering hundreds of innocent pilgrims, man, woman, child. There was no respite.

They were there to apparently flush out Sikh Separatists after there were calls for a separate state of Khalistan for Sikhs, as there was a Pakistan for the Muslims.

It was a time filled with terror, and resulted in hundreds, if not thousands of deaths of innocent Sikh people. The Indian Government were trying to erase us, the Sikhs.

To read more about the awful happenings of those ten days, click here.

Every year, there is a peaceful remembrance, filled with emotion, remembering those who died in this mindless act, which sparked the assassination of the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, by two of her Sikh bodyguards. That act then set off a domino effect of riots, rape and murder of thousands of Sikhs in Delhi, and the Punjab.

To this day, there are Sikh people who don’t know what happened to members of their families during this time.

Then, to top it off, on 3rd June of this year, amidst the Black Lives Matter uprising, the hashtags #sikh and #sikhism, which were being used to remember and highlight a key time in our community’s background, disappeared from both Facebook and Instagram.

If you tried to search it, it was blocked.

Sure, there were others, but the main hashtags for us, #sikh, and #sikhism was unsearchable.

So the Indian Goverment tried to erase us then, thirty six years ago, and now, in 2020, we have social media doing the same.

It’s back up now, but why?

Why was it deemed ‘unsuitable content’ for us to remember this injustice?

Were there too many big other movements going on?

We, as Sikhs, are right there, too, but come on social media, give us our chance to speak too!

Kick Ass Kreators

So, since I am trying to be good with my cutting down posting ( and I have, I think you’ll agree!) I still need a little help.

You guys are like my online accountability group, you know, and I have realised that there are a lot of others who want to, or have started projects, and just need that gentle kick up the butt to keep going…

So, I started a group on Facebook, the Kick Ass Kreators, for those who want a daily dose of motivation, and for venting when things aren’t going to plan.

A place to share triumphs, and knocks, with a group who only have each other’s best interests at heart!

You know you wanna join, if you have something you are trying to do…

Just click on the link below and request to join!

Understanding Teenagers #weveallbeenthere

Sometimes, the need to write about something comes from different sources.

This time, I feel the need to talk/write about something that I got involved in on a Facebook conversation with a group focussing on local news.

As you know, since I have blogged about it twice already, we have been hit by The Beast from the East, a cold-weather system from the Syberian area, resulting in snow, and extreme cold winds.

This has meant that as our UK infrastructure is not used to these extreme conditions, the whole country grinds to a halt.

(Discussing why a few inches of snow causes so much chaos in a first world country is an issue for another post!)

Grinding to a halt means, hazardous driving conditions, so people find it hard to get to work, and if there aren’t enough adults at school to supervise pupils, that means no school for the kids.

Yesterday, and today, the majority of, if not all, schools in the area were/are closed for this very reason.

As much as it inconveniences parents, as they have to arrange childcare, it impacts upon the staff in school too. We have lessons planned, assessments, and all sorts of things that have to be fitted into a school year, and a few days away can play havoc with what we need to get done. (Sorry, veering off topic again – another post, maybe?)

As kids were at home, they enjoyed the snow. The little ones with their families in gardens and parks, the older ones, hanging out, causing their own mischief.

One large group of teens thought it would be a great idea to stand at the bottom of a hill where there is a main road junction, and throw snowballs at the moving traffic, which I must add would have been moving slowly and hazardously as it was.

And not only that.

They were wrenching doors of cars open, and the boots, when the cars stopped and throwing snow into the vehicles.

Someone on this Facebook group thought to warn folks of these ‘hooligans’, urging drivers to be aware and to approach the junction with caution.

The comments were colourful, ranging from concern for the drivers, to how they would ‘accidentally’ veer into the culprits, and even as extreme as threats to physically harm the kids responsible.

There were calls for their parents to be called up, and accusations that people don’t know how to bring up children if they go out acting in this way.

Equally, there were those saying, ‘kids will be kids’. We don’t see much snow here so they are just a little over-excited.

One woman posted that it’s not the parents’ fault, but the school, and their teachers who should have been teaching the kids right from wrong…

Red rag? Bull?

I actually controlled myself and entered into a rather interesting exchange with her.

You know what I think about the fact there are a lot of parents out there who don’t send their children to school with the right kind of social skills at a younger age.

As these kids get older, they definitely need more guidance, but there is an element of common sense that should have evolved too, by 15.

This woman mentioned that not everyone has parents to guide them. Not only did she know a couple of the children involved, but she herself was from a family background where there wasn’t the support to help her. She had been in trouble in the past, and as she grew up, she didn’t find that person to confide in. In fact, it took her becoming a parent herself, and her autistic son’s loving attitude to her, that made her realise that she needed to change herself. She mentioned that one or two of those children didn’t have parents, and one was dealing with the loss of a parent too,

Her point, which got twisted up by many others who waded into the conversation, was that at this tender age, during those teenage years, kids who rebel often need that outside person who is willing to push them, until they are ready to talk about issue, and then help guide them, as they really don’t have someone in their home life who is able to do that.

It made me think.

I have been lucky in life. I have always had a lot of support, understanding parents and family, and I hope this has coloured the way I am as a person, parent and teacher too.

But not everyone has that luxury.

Time is such a precious commodity nowadays, and given the present economic climate, you find that many parents are out at work all hours of the day, trying to provide for their families. This means there is less time to be spent with their kids, talking to them, interacting with them, and as they get older, really being able to find out how they are feeling, or if something is worrying them.

Equally, kids are privy to so much more information via Social Media as they get older. Believe me, I have first-hand experience with this one, as I have a nearly teen son at Secondary school and a ten-year-old who thinks she is sixteen!

They feel the need to act in certain ways, as it appears the rest of the world (or their favourite YouTubers) do the same.

And sometimes their wild behaviour is actually a mask over something much deeper, more sinister even. There are kids out there who may be being abused, neglected, unloved, and their way of dealing with it is to act up.

I don’t condone the actions of those kids at the bottom of the hill yesterday, and apparently today. They had the police called out on them yesterday, and it didn’t stop them. But maybe there is something more to their actions.

Maybe they really need that understanding person to fight on their behalf… and to dig a little deeper into the why, then support them through the how, until they are able to do the do themselves.

It’s worth a little thought Peeps. Thinking about why people act the way they do before complaining or condoning. And that goes for folks of all ages really, not just teens.

Big Up Your Blog! #SundayBlogShare

Want to be part of an absolutely amazing Facebook group of bloggers?

Want to have supportive blog pals at the end of the ether, sharing and commenting on your posts?

Want to grow your social media following genuinely?

Want to showcase your posts to some individuals who actually do care?

Well then, you need to click here to get directed to the Facebook group Big Up Your Blog!

Amazing blogger Suzie, of Suzie Speaks, set up this group at the tail end of last year, and really gave it a huge push this year.

Without it, I wouldn’t have learned of the beauty of Flipboard, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Instagram and Twitter when it comes to sharing your blog posts!

There is a wonderful community of bloggers on there who get together on various days of the week, to share, or comment on your selected posts. There are opportunities to promote your social media accounts too!

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On a Tuesday there is a #BigUpYourBlogger thread, where one member of the group is chosen, and they can have a free for all on sharing their posts, and we, as members, share these posts across our various accounts, using the hashtag.

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Wednesday is #WorkWednesday where you can promote anything else that you do, from books you have published, to services that you might advertise on your blog.

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#ThrowbackThursday is just that: a day to share an old post that you want to get some love.
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#FollowFriday is a day where a specific social media avenue is chosen and you can share your accounts, for example, it may be Pinterest one week, or Instagram another.

The weekends are crazy mad, honestly, but so much fun!

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Saturday brings #SocialSaturday, where you choose one post to leave a link for. It’s up to the group to then get on that post, read, and comment on it, to increase your engagement on your blog, not just like and go! This is not really a sharing day, but if you love the post, obviously you can share it too!

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And Sunday is the biggie, using the hashtag #SundayBlogShare, which was coined by our very own Suzie! This day allows you to share a post, only one post, which can be read, and shared across the interweb, in whichever way possible!

Monday… well, Monday doesn’t have a specific sharing purpose other than letting you get your breath back!

Also, the lovely Em Inkles ably supports Suzie with the admin, and is in charge of some new Instagram challenges too!

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I am not one for chasing numbers, but I have learned a lot, and I can see the difference in my stats when I am sharing my posts in the group, and the support you get from the other members is above and beyond! I have definitely increased my Blogily in the last 6 months!

So… What you waiting for?

You know you want to be part of this fantastic group of Bloggers!

Just click here and request a place!


Follow the group on Twitter: @bigupyourblog

Follow the group on Instagram: @bigupyourblog

#notsohotpoint – Update 3

hotpoint logoI left it a few days.

But these guys are still totally incompetent!

I guess certain things can’t be changed on a whim.

I sent my big long message to the #notsohotpoint guys at Twitter and they never actually acknowledged receipt of the messages.  However we did get calls back.

As you may remember from the previous post, they were just as dim as the last lot of clowns we had been speaking to, and I held out little hope that the CEO would even acknowledge the email Hubby Dearest sent.

Well, it actually got passed on to the CEO’s Support Team, and we got a message back apologising for our complex case… (It’s not that complex, 2 out of 3 of our appliances are dangerous because of a manufacturing fault. We want a refund.  Because it has taken so long to acknowledge the complaint, and the lack of communication, we are requesting compensation for all the time and phone calls that we have had to make, Plus, we have lost faith in the company, and want the third appliance refunded too!)

I explained that in a few lines. Does that make it complex?

They got back to Hubby Dearest and expressed their apologies, and offered the refund for the 2 faulty units. The rest would be a different process.  Fine, we were getting somewhere! He was assured that though there was no direct number for this department, that the email was a 24hour manned email, and they were a special team, the CEO Support Team. Fine. We look forward to the cheque!

I got a text from Hubby Dearest with the good news, so I called him back.  My happiness was short-lived. After the conversation, an email was sent, stating that they need to arrange to pick up the units before the cheque would be sent.

Er, sorry but NO! Had this all been dealt with in a timely fashion, that would have been ok, but after all the cr@p they have made us, plus all their other customers, go through, we have no faith that a cheque would follow swiftly, thereby leaving us machine-less, with no money to buy new units either.

Hubby Deareast messaged them to ask why he didn’t bother to discuss this on the phone a few minutes earlier, and that he would appreciate another call, or an email to discuss this further. No reply. Yesterday or today.

Then, at my Mother-in-law’s suggestion, I also had invaded their Facebook page.

No reply on there either! I had even posted my blog posts, thinking they would get removed, but nothing. I did respond to someone else’s post with this comment.

Well it looks like this page isn’t being looked at, or they would have a removal frenzy! I’ve blogged, and started on Twitter. #notsohotpoint.
Got the DM us your details message, so sent them a whole host of emails sent to and received from them, last night… No contact today!
They don’t know their arses from their elbows! Im disgusted!

And I got a response!

Hi there,

Can you confirm whether you sent the details via private message on Facebook or sent them via email?

Could you please send these via private message on Facebook?

Kind regards, Tyler.

Really? After all the phone calls, emails, and Twitter promises? Now Facebook Hotpoint reckons they will sort things out instead! This was my response…

Hotpoint here’s the thing. Your customer services have been phoned by us, emailed by us. Your Twitter team contacted. They replied with “so sorry! DM us your details.” I did so, and that was on Tuesday evening. NOT ONE RESPONSE FROM THEM! We emailed your CEO direct and got a call from the team  this email was redirected to. Certain points were agreed then other ‘conditions’ sent in an email after. In order to clarify and question these things, we replied, and NO RESPONSE AGAIN! Today we called AGAIN and were told AGAIN that the customer service reps didn’t know who these people were. Then after admitting there was indeed this special team around, we were told we can’t speak with them. They are outbound only.
The best bit? After being put on hold for 30 minutes, then we are told that yes we could be put through… But this ‘dedicated 24hour response’ team finished 15 minutes ago! You what??!!
It’s not cool, no.
Do I send you these email trails too? What’s the guarantee you will even respond? Let alone do anything? Your Twitter team didn’t. Your main CS team is abominable…
Will you be able to actually deal with stuff, or will it be another ‘we need to pass it on/I’ll get someone to contact you asap” scenario??????

Does it come across, how frustrated I am??!!


Then another gem from them. Hubby Dearest called again, to get put through to the CEO Support Team, which is meant to be so super good, but no.

This time, he called at 5.15pm, and today’s operator says they don’t know who he spoke to, and that he couldn’t put him through to anyone. After much faffing around, and being kept on hold for the best part of 30 minutes. The guy comes back and says “Erm I would put you through, but the department closed 15 minutes ago.”

Livid does not come close to describing the anger my Hubby Dearest was experiencing at this minute! After all, if the guy had put him through straight away, he may have been able to resolve certain issues! Goodness knows where we are with this all now,  but that CEO has had another message from Hubby Dearest…

I have just spent another 40 mins on your customer services line (as there is no phone number for CEO support) demanding to speak to Ishmail or Alison. They said they could not put me through, by the time I was put on hold the agent said the office closed at 5.30,why not just put me through 40 mins ago when the department was open.

You have now aggravated things yet further. Just so we are on the same page here ;

1 see my points below regarding additional compensation points. A response as per my chases should be acknowledged. 24 hour response on emails instead of the standard 10 days I was told for the SPECIAL customer relations email address!
2 I was not told by Ishmail that you needed to collect the faulty units and that I would be called to arrange collection?Again no phone  call, but more importantly I will not be waiting for a cheque after you collect the units, that is to be sent in advance. I simply no longer trust your company any more, there is no guarantee of a cheque and I need that refund to be able to order replacement products BEFORE you collect anything and there is no timeframe at all for this process given the urgency and continuous delay of my complaint.

Mr Pettorino, I demand a full response and phone call from you personally explaining your company’s incompetency yet again in this matter.

I too have run several companies, but when a loyal customer has to email you to get a response, you should at least feel a duty to respond personally, especially given these circumstances, or is that too much to ask of somebody like you in an apparent position of authority!


What will happen next?????

Again, any retweets would be great!



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