Facebook, “Free Speech”, and Fascists: Or, Whose Community Standards, Exactly?
First they came for trans women, POC, sex workers, drag queens and activists with their “real name” policies. Then they came for Black folks who spoke up about white supremacy’s impact on their lives. Then they came for frustrated women who called men “scum” or “trash”.
And now, they’ve come for me. I was served with a 30 day ban without any explanation. I suspect, due to the timing, it was for protesting that “antifa” is not a group of terrorists who hate cats. I encourage you to look at the original post, which is filled with comments encouraging violence, but the post, of course, doesn’t violate Facebook’s community standards:
I’m not terribly surprised. The writing has been on the wall for a long time — I’m a vocal activist who has spoken up about Facebook’s issues with privacy and safety, from the “real name” debacle to their “anti-suicide” AI program. I anger a lot of people, as an unapologetic feminist, as an active antifascist, as a queer person, as a fat femme. And while the internet may have been for porn once upon a time, we’ve long since realized the internet, now, is for bullying. But I think some people have hoped that pushing back against Silicon Valley would encourage them to get with our program, while instead, we repeatedly see the tech industry forcing us to comply with their program.
We need to look closer at what that program is.
A good indication is that Facebook as a platform considers white men a protected group, according to June article from ProPublica. This may explain why this post, from Ashleigh Nicole Tribble (a Black woman), was removed, along with being slapped with a 30 day ban:
…while this post, encouraging the harassment of a trans woman, was deemed acceptable:
Even more interesting, while writing this article, my appeal for being banned without justification or a link to what I posted that went against the community standards has vanished from my support inbox. Nothing shady going on there, right?
Let’s take a quick look at the community standards being affected here:
And yet, Based Stickman, who is a repeat violent felon who posts videos both with threats of violence and actual violence, has no problem having a page. At the time of this writing, he’s advertising shirts saying “It’s Ok to Be White”. One of the comments goes where one would expect- right into blaming Jewish people for pushing back against white supremacy:
Thank goodness Facebook is protecting these poor white men from attack so they can attack literally everyone else without fear! Otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to share these gems with the world (screencaps courtesy of the Proud Boys Facebook page):
Community standards that feel these kinds of posts are a-ok, but saying “men are trash” is a terrible crime:
Just really makes you wonder, alongside the many posts of Black folks being compared to monkeys and women being told to shut up or get slapped- exactly what are the community standards Facebook is upholding? And is that the community we want?
Because if not, we need to start doing something about it.