All day Reel Girl Fans contacted Facebook to ask them to remove hate speech from a page memorializing killer Elliot Rodger.
Here is what the page posted:
Shoutout to my boy elliot rodger. He did the best thing us men could do. And paid the ultimate price. Let his death be a memorial day in which we hate against the subhuman species called women.
Facebook replied to me and others:
Reel Girl fans then contacted Facebook about the specific post, not reporting the whole page. They received the same message, that the post did not qualify as hate speech. Then, one hour ago, people who reported that specific post got a response from Facebook saying they revised their decision and removed the post.
We reviewed the photo you reported for containing hate speech or symbols. Since it violated our Community Standards, we removed it. Thanks for your report. We let Powerlifters Against Feminism know that their photo has been removed, but not who reported it. Facebook never discloses who submits a report.
So, I’ve got to ask:
#1 Why did Facebook only respond that they revised their decision to people who reported the specific post and not the page? There was just a mass murder by a misogynistic killer who was overlooked by police because misogyny was not a big deal to him? What if he’d been ranting about hating Jews or Muslims or blacks, would police have taken him seriously? Would the public? You’d think we would learn something but the day after, Facebook drags its feet, refusing to respond to people reporting hate speech, and then finally only responding when the report was done in a very specific way.
#2 Why did Facebook need to revise its decision? What is confusing, obtuse, ambiguous about “we hate against the subhuman species called women”?
If the first message, that the page and the post do not qualify as hate speech is computer generated, as some claim, a Reel Girl fan rightly points out:
If that is just an automated message that goes out, it should read, “Thank you for reporting this post. We will review it before a decision is made.”
Precisely. But that is not what Facebook replied. Facebook wrote:
We reviewed the page you reported and found that it didn’t violate community standards.
I can only conclude that in the USA it’s far too clear that we don’t take violence against women seriously. It’s just normal here. When will this cultural belief shift? What will it take?
From Half the Sky by Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn:
More girls were killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men killed in all the wars in the 20th century. More girls are killed in this routine gendercide in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the 20th century.
The equivalent of 5 jumbo jets worth of women die in labor each day… life time risk of maternal death is 1,000x higher in a poor country than in the west. That should be an international scandal.
Why isn’t the violence against women and girls an international scandal? And why doesn’t America care about protecting the human rights of half of its citizens?
This Tweet from Charles Clymer put it succinctly:
Black guy shoot folks = thug. Brown guy shoots folks = terrorist. White guy guns down women = “nice guy who’s mentally ill”. #YesAllWomen
If the Santa Barbara shooter had been Muslim, and left the same sorts of video screeds and more, our government and media would undoubtedly be labeling this incident as terrorism. Just as an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist sets out to kill American infidels simply because they are “American infidels,” the Santa Barbara shooter set out to kill women simply because they were women. You tell me the difference. To fail to label the latter terrorism suggests a politicized use of the term, one interested in defending Judeo-Christian Americans and values, but not women.
The fact of misogyny America is not an accident. It is as deliberate as the shooting in Santa Barbara Friday night. Those who seek to perpetuate misogyny, to actively further the subjugation and suffering of women, are not just nut-balls but adherents of a very specific and very ugly social and political ideology. And those who take up weapons and kill large numbers of people in furtherance of that ideology? They’re terrorists.
Read the first part of this story of my attempts to contact Facebook to take down hate speech here: Facebook refuses to take down hate speech page memorializing killer Elliot Rodger