Sunday, August 18, 2013

Community Standards: Witch Hunt on Facebook

I have a few rants waiting in the wings, waiting to be finish or even made coherent. But this one is much too important to let slide for even one day.

It was brought to my attention by my friend Loren from Saga's Cottage, that a rather disturbing page has popped up on facebook. I though long and hard about whether I would link to it here or not. And then I decided that the page itself wasn't the major concern. Yes, it was disturbing to find a page entitled "Witches must die by fire", but what made it worse was the fact that facebook refused to take it down.

A whole slew of us visited the page last night and reported it for Hate Speech against a Religious Group. I myself reported the page and several of its posts. But facebook doesn't seem to think that this page has violated their community standards on hate speech. So what are their community standards as they relate to Hate Speech you may ask? This is their official stand copy/pasted directly from the site: 
Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.
And lest you think I may be going overboard, or misinterpreting anything, here are a few screen shots of their posts:
Click to enlarge.
Pretty damn sick right? But according to facebook it's not sick enough to warrant any sort of action.

But let me tell you why it should. Actually, I'll let these do the talking for me:
Facebook doesn't seem to think this is any sort of problem though. Apparently its all a big joke. I mean, that is what I glean from their 'community standards'. That if they don't deem it worthy of removal that its because they find it humorous. But I'm sorry. I absolutely don't find this humorous in any way. This page, and others like it may be nothing more than trolls searching for attention. But, they have damaging effects. 

And if you feel the same there are things that you can do. You can certainly look up the page on facebook and report it and their posts. I refuse to link to it here and give it any more recognition. Or you can sign the Facebook: Stop ignoring the promotion of hate speech and violence against Pagans petition. Creating awareness and putting facebook under the spotlight is the only course of action against this page and the forum that allows it. 

I'm fully aware that this one page on facebook probably has absolutely no sway on any global events. But that isn't the point. The point is that it has to start somewhere. I can't fight on a global level against hate mongering and witch hunts. But this is something I can and will fight against. Doing my small part in my super small neck of the internet woods. 

As an aside... Doing a quick search on facebook for any sort of page against Christians, I did actually find two. Both in response to the page in question, and both with 'About' sections clearly stating that they wish Christians no harm and that these pages were in protest of their counterpart. The admins are using the pages to show double standard hypocrisy by facebook if or when they get taken down. I can't 'like' these pages, as I have many Christian friends and it would cause a fire storm that I wouldn't be able to extinguish. BUT... I will be checking in with them occasionally to see if their suspicious are confirmed.  

How does this situation make you feel? Does it anger you? Does it only bother you slightly? Do you think I'm blowing this out of proportion? Please... I know I can be hot headed, so I'd love to hear your take on this! 

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  1. I've signed the petition. I'm on FB but not come across the page you mentioned till I read your post. That goes against FB's own rules and they should take it down, bad show on them for not doing so.

    1. That's what I said! Lol! I can't understand it either! Thanks for signing the petition!

  2. I am still so disgusted by this! And they just keep getting more likes! Ugh! Your blog about this is very good! I'm sharing on Facebook!

    1. Me too Loren, me too. Thank you for sharing though!

  3. What I am hoping this petition will do is to save Facebook the inundation of messages that they will need to read to get rid of a page. They are using speech recognition software and all they need to do is add in a few key words that will cause an automatic suspension of a page, rather than the automated "we've reviewed and it's not hate speech" message we're all getting when we report one of these pages.

    1. I guess in my mind words like 'die' should be flagged. Automated software can't determine the tone of something posted. I understand that it would be impossible for actual human beings to sift through all of these reports. But the sheer number for this page should throw a flag I would think, and then partner that with the word 'die' in nearly every post and ya, I think it should be reviewed thoroughly. Lets hope that this petition does shine some light on procedure!