In my last update, I busted on Facebook for their relentless -- yet halfassed and inconsistent -- morality policing. They had blocked a bunch of ads that Hubba Hubba Revue had purchased, claiming that the ads didn't follow the rules, when in fact they did. Eventually they relented -- who knows why. But some of the most telling responses I got were from several people who said, "I sent this to my friend who works at Facebook, and they said that that definitely should not have happened, and they probably could have fixed it, but they weren't going to because they didn't like your tone."

So let's get this straight: Facebook has a widely known, years-long reputation for capricious, fickle enforcement of their policies; a corresponding reputation for giving the victims of their inconsistencies no recourse; and despite this, when these fine employees of theirs hear of a problem, their response is, "Well, because that guy pointed out a bug without also blowing sunshine up my ass, I'm going to just leave our product buggy." They seem to love their company so much that they're willing to let their own product suffer, so that they don't have to open their eyes to the problem. It's the other kind of "tech bubble".

Say you're driving at night, and someone yells, "Hey jerk, your headlights are out!" Do you say, "That guy was mean, so I'll show him, I'm going to keep driving in the dark!"

I ended that post with:

Fuck Facebook. They really are just the worst.

If you work there, I implore you to quit. I'm sure you can find a job working for a company that you don't have to apologize for all the time. You can do it. I believe in you.

But, you know, maybe they have attracted exactly the employees that they deserve: the kind who care more about their feels than about shipping products that work.


Facebook remains the 800 pound gorilla in the room, and you've just got to hope it doesn't poop too much. And this brings me to a change I made to our web site recently that makes me feel really, really dirty. But I went and did it just the same.

You're probably aware that Facebook knows just about every single web page you've ever looked at. If you're logged in to Facebook, and you visit some other page that has a Like button on it, Facebook knows what page you visited, even if you didn't click the button. In fact, they probably know who you are and what page you visited even if you aren't logged in to Facebook at the time. There are ways, and they've been sued over that sort of thing before.

You've probably noticed this if you ever browsed something on Amazon that you've never looked at before, and suddenly Facebook has ads for it. That's how it happens. Facebook knows all about your dildos and hemorrhoids. (And the NSA has all your dick pics.)

(Google has just as much information as Facebook, not because of Like or Plus buttons, but because everyone in the world uses Google Analytics, which invisibly tracks you just as well as those buttons do.)

Anyway --

We buy ads on Facebook, because they work. When you buy ads, you try to narrow the scope to one that makes sense: geographically, and by using keywords like the band that is playing, or other bands that they sound like, and based on that, Facebook shows those ads to some random set of people that they think are most likely to click it. But buying ads is always kind of a gamble, because it's really hard to tell whether that ad turned into a sale.

Except, you can add "conversion tracking" to your checkout page, which basically means we added an invisible piece of Javascript similar to a Like button to the checkout page that says, "Hey Facebook, twenty bucks just got spent, ka-ching!"

We don't have to give them any identifying information about who spent the money, like name or email address -- because they already know, by virtue of the fact that you left yourself logged in to Facebook in another window.

So what this means is, the ad report now says things like: "This ad was shown to 500 people, 50 of them clicked on it, and shortly after those clicks, 20 of those same people spent a total of $300 with you."

So that's some pretty positive evidence of whether the ad was worth buying! Maybe those 30 people would have found out some other way and bought tickets anyway, but drawing a direct line between an ad purchase and a sale is not something you can often do.

It's so gross, though.

The first gross part is that it just highlights how heavily surveilled you are by Facebook, all across the web. Even before we put this checkout tracker on, we already had Like buttons, because everyone does it and those drive traffic. This new thing feels like snitching on our customers, but those Like buttons were already "game over".

The second gross thing is that we've given just one more piece of information about our customers to Facebook, but not in a way that is directly useful to us. Even though we're doing the leg work to build up this dossier on our customers, we don't actually get to look into the file. Only Facebook does. When Facebook eventually goes away, the information is gone. When Facebook becomes more extortionate, the information is gone.

The future of this looks a lot like all of those bands who spent years building up subscriptions to their Facebook fan pages, only to have Facebook turn around and tell them, "We've changed our mind, if you want to actually reach those fans, suddenly you have to pay."


I'm sure now someone in the peanut gallery is going to pop up and call me a hypocrite for despising Facebook's business practices, and yet still taking advantage of their services. Well, I don't like it, but I am pretending to run a business here, and that leaves you with something less than absolute moral clarity.

So I guess what I'm saying here is:

Run an ad blocker.

Clan of Xymox
La Plebe
So Stoked

Pig Destroyer
Death Guild 22nd Anniversary
Death Guild 22nd Anniversary
Strung Out
Hubba History of the World

Kingfish buys Facebook ads for the Hubba Hubba Revue shows, and every few months, Facebook decides that the ad is porn and pulls it. Then he writes them and says, "What the hell are you talking about??" and they reinstate it. Well, not this time. He tried to run an ad with this image in it:

And they say,

Your ad content violates Facebook Ad Guidelines. Ads are not allowed to promote the sale or use of adult products or services, including toys, videos, publications, live shows or sexual enhancement products. Ads for family planning and contraception are allowed if they follow our targeting requirements.

Before resubmitting your ad, please visit the Help Center to learn more and see examples of ads that meet our guidelines.

If you've read the guidelines in the Help Center and think your ad follows the rules and should have been approved, please let us know.

Gorilla suits: providing quality family planning and contraception for decades.

So then he thought, ok, someone at Facebook has found a way to fap to Gorilla X. He tried several other images with only faces in them, and eventually tried one using a Facebook-provided stock photo.

All blocked.

Every time you submit, you get a different Facebook contractor in whatever Third World, Grim Meathook Future call center they use today, which is always a wonderful crap-shoot. But since it's happening all the time now, that suggests that Facebook has decided that one of these triggers a porn blacklisting:

  • The word "Burlesque"
  • The words "Hubba Hubba"
  • Kingfish's user account
  • Or maybe some random-assed other thing?

It's not DNA Lounge in general, because we're running other DNA ads currently without problems, so far.

So we could do a bunch more experiments to try and narrow down precisely what is getting Facebook so hot and bothered that they will not take our money, but come on, what a fantastic waste of time and effort (and one likely to solve nothing but our curiosity, regardless).

    Update: Remember I said that Kingfish tried posting the ad using one of the stock photos from the library that Facebook themselves provide for you to use in ads? It looked like this:

    And Facebook wrote back:

    Thanks for writing in. I'm here to help.

    Your ad was rejected because the image doesn't follow our ad guidelines. Ads and there pages may not use overly sexual images, suggest nudity, show a lot of skin or cleavage, or focus unnecessarily on specific body parts.

    It is their own photo! It is a face! Nary a gorilla to be seen.

Facebook is still, to this day, blocking people's accounts for not using their birth names -- I hear about another performer or DJ having their Facebook account locked for using their stage name pretty much daily.

Despite the fact that Facebook promised that they weren't going to do that any more.

Like I said last year:

Hey, remember when Facebook's hateful "real names" policy got a lot of press because they went nuclear on a bunch of drag queens? And then they put out a contentless, fawning press release with a fauxpology in it?

And remember when they then they got a ton of shamefully credulous press from people saying, "Well, that's all better then"?

And remember when people like me said, "You know, maybe you should save your applause for after they've changed either their official policy or their demonstrated behavior, or both, because they haven't", and nobody listened?

We will all be so much better off once Facebook finally craters into irrelevance, just like MySpace and Livejournal did before it. (Unless, you know, whatever replaces it is even worse, which is pretty likely.) But for now, Facebook has made itself sadly, tragically, despicably indispensable as a means of reaching customers.

They dictate morality while selling you out to the highest bidder; they erode your privacy more each day by moving the goal posts and daring you to keep up; and are constantly find a way to add some new bait-and-switch to interpose themselves between you and your friends and customers.

Fuck Facebook. They really are just the worst.

If you work there, I implore you to quit. I'm sure you can find a job working for a company that you don't have to apologize for all the time. You can do it. I believe in you.

This week Barry and Gillian are at the INTERNATIONAL PIZZA EXPO in Vegas, and...

(Ok, yes. There is a pizza convention. Yes. There really is a convention for everything. Yes, there's also a pizza magazine. There are several, actually. Yes, for everything. Ok, got that out of your system? Moving on.)

Anyway, Barry and Gillian are in Vegas for BiMonPizzaCon, and it turns out that Revel, the folks who make our point of sale, have a booth there, and the backdrop of the booth is a life-sized photo of DNA Pizza!

That's so weird. We had no idea they were going to do that.

Recent photos!

Bootie Request Night
SF Bike Coalition Member Rally
The Dreaming
Trapper Schoepp

Bootie Gamer Night
Motor Sister
Space Station 1966

Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Odd Salon
I would like to especially draw your attention to the final two photos in the Space Station 1966 gallery. That night, we had custom staff shirts printed up with a DNA-themed Starfleet logo. Red for security and floor, blue for bartenders, and gold for Captain Kingfish and me. (No, you can't have one, because you didn't work that night.) Hey, remember that time we all got matching Volcano Fortress henchman speed-suits?

Hey, come to this show, this Friday! A dozen indie rock bands will indie rock out for you. We're doing two stages with staggered set times, so you'll be able to see them all.

The thing that I like best about this show is that it's not fucking metal. You may have noticed that just about all of the live music we've done here in the last several years has been fucking metal. (And the occasional 30-year-old goth band.) This show is fucking not fucking metal, and so if you're interested in music of the "not fucking metal all the fucking time" variety, you should come out! Because it has been absolutely like pulling teeth to get non-metal bands in here. Help. Help.

Originally this was intended to be an even larger show and involve other venues on the block, maybe even a street closure. But that turned out to be entirely too many cats to herd.

If you missed last week's epic Hubba Hubba Revue: Space Station 1966, you missed the intro film. And that would be a tragedy. So here it is!

Pro tip: much like tuxedos and gorilla suits, you never realize how many opportunities you will have to bust out a space suit until you own one.

And in further Hubba-related activities, this Monday and Tuesday are the Twenty-Second anniversary of Death Guild -- I know, right? -- and we will be bringing you all-goth burlesquery upstairs. This instructional video will help you prepare:

Also, it's time to vote for us in the SF Weekly Best of the Bay poll again. Relevant categories include: Best Live Music Venue, Best Dance Party, Best Live Theatre, and Best Pizza. Heck, why not vote for us for Best Dry Cleaner too?

Passing along this message from CMAC:


The lively and vibrant culture, which we all enjoy, wasn't just given to us. It was fought for by previous generations of activists and organizations such as CMAC and the Entertainment Commission. It is time again to step up and tell our city leaders and developers that we are not interested in living in a city comprised solely of condos and that we want our culture protected.

We salute President London Breed, of the Board of Supervisors, who has introduced legislation which will help protect venues from developers. (More on legislation) Let's support Supervisor Breed in her bid to protect our venues:

Signing this petition (click here), is one small way you can contribute. Attending the hearing at City Hall on March 19 at 12 noon is another, yet larger gesture you can make. Getting up and speaking to the Commission is the shit. (check here to check items positioning on agenda)

CMAC strongly urges you to take a few moments out to help protect our beloved venues whose only "infraction" was getting in the way of new development.

See you at the Planning Commission.

And as long as I'm here, I would be remiss were I not to encourage you to come out tonight to Hubba Hubba Revue's SPACE STATION 1966, a show a decade in the making! (Seriously, they've been planning this show forever.) It's going to be epic. Watch the teaser trailer:

The seated tickets sold out a week ago, but there are still standing room and table-service tickets left.

Tonight's pre-Hubba Mortified is fully sold out, except for the tables. So get a table! I'm a little surprised that even on sold out Mortifieds, we rarely sell table service. I mean, it's sold out, clearly the demand is there. It's actually a pretty good deal once you split it six ways and factor in the booze. Maybe you guys can't do math. Maybe you don't have five friends.

Also, do you like bloody marys and poached eggs? I'm guessing you do, which means you should also join us for Brunch Steady this Sunday afternoon at DNA Pizza!

At our GDC party on Tuesday, a female member of our crew was re-stocking the paper towels in the men's room when a customer literally waved his penis in her face.

So that's "gamer culture" for you right there.

Meanwhile, here are some recent photos. (No dick pics, I promise.)

Hubba Hubba

He Who Cannot Be Named
So Stoked

4-Mar-2015 (Wed)
Wherein we are winnars!

Last night we won the Nitey Award for "Best Large Dance Club". Hooray! Thank you!

The laptop stickers are back in stock!

These are specially formulated to re-brand laptops. The DNA Lounge logo is a transparent cut-out. If you stick one of these over the glowing Apple logo on your laptop, the DNA logo will light up, and no other light bleeds through: no "Ghost Apple" glowing through, even in complete darkness.

No other sticker will do this! None!

You may recall that I spent literally years trying to find someone who could manufacture these stickers for us. We finally did find someone and there was much rejoicing! But the stickers were too awesome, and so we ran out of them more than a year ago. Unfortunately, when we tried to re-order them, the old sticker vendor said, "Oh, we don't do that kind of thing any more."

So then we spent more than a year trying to find someone else to do the same thing. You'd think the second time around would have been easier, since we could actually send them sample stickers as material samples, as an Existence Proof. But no.

If you were one of the dozens of people who said to me, "That's crazy, you must be doing something wrong, my buddy's sticker shop can make those, easy", you're wrong. Your buddy totally told us that he totally can't make those. (Or, your buddy just didn't respond to our calls or email at all, which is actually really common with sticker vendors.)

Unless your buddy works for Studio Graphics / Independent Studio Services, who are literally -- and I literally mean literally -- the only people on the planet who can do die-cut foil stickers.

Because these stickers are awesome and I want you all to to be wearing them, we're only charging $1 each for these, even though they cost us almost that much to manufacture, even when you don't count the zillions of hours wasted trying to figure out how to do that.

(Confidential to my staff: any time you see someone DJing here who has a giant, glowing Apple ad on stage with them that you can see from the back of the room, please offer to solve that problem for them by turning it into a DNA Lounge ad, gratis.)