Facebook bans some women for responding to internet trolls with comments like “men ain’t shi*,” “all men are ugly,” and even “white men are racist.”
An investigation was conducted earlier this year of Facebook algorithms used to differentiate between hate speech and political expression. The results? Not so shocking. Facebook trains its content reviewers to protect white men — but not black children or women — from hate speech.
Marcia Belsky, a comic, was suspended from Facebook for 30 days for writing “men are scum” in response to her friend’s post, according to a Daily Beast report. She doesn’t stand alone. Many of the women who opened up about their secrets to abuse on the popularized social media hashtag movement, #MeToo, were also banned.
“Social media is how we communicate. Preventing women from expressing themselves like this is an intimidation tactic,” said Meredith, a social-media strategist who has had several of her friends banned.
“Facebook is absolutely silencing women.” — Heather Fink
Facebook’s content moderation team, on the other hand, does not care how you talk about women. Several women have challenged Facebook’s platform and posted “women are scum.” Their accounts were not flagged or suspended.
Update: “Men are scum/ugly/trash/theworst” posts get removed (quickly) no matter the context and get you suspended.
“Women are scum” – reviewed and found by FB not to violate standards. pic.twitter.com/ebEXK6xG7Q
— Marcia Belsky (@MarciaBelsky) November 29, 2017
Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, said she believes the platform is applying consistent standards worldwide, according to ProPublica:
“The policies do not always lead to perfect outcomes. That is the reality of having policies that apply to a global community where people around the world are going to have very different ideas about what is OK to share.”
Facebook is removing black activists but not the provoking racist internet trolls. They are removing women, but not the sexual harassers. These are not accidents. These are Facebook’s policies.
A few months ago, U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins, a white Louisiana Congressman, responded to the terror attack in London with a Facebook posting. He called for extreme actions against anyone suspected of being an Islamic radical:
His post is still live on his Facebook feed:
The white Congressman’s orders against Islamic radicals to “kill them all” was protected by Facebook’s freedom of speech policy and yet they removed Black people for saying “white people are racist.” Mark Zuckerberg must straight-up hate Black people.
The giant social media platform is suppressing Black People from expressing themselves freely and maintaining an online presence.
Didi Delgado, an award-winning poet, author, activist and freelance journalist was flagged and removed several times from Facebook for posting content that challenged white supremacy. She wrote about it on Medium. There are countless activists who have had to pay the “black tax” as well — that’s where Black people have to work twice as hard as white people to receive a fraction of the payoff, Delgado wrote.
Mary Merrill, a human rights advocate and psychologist, was banned several times by Facebook for using the phrase, “Dear White People.” The media company justified their decision based on a “violation of standards.”
Nynah Marie, co-founder of Brown Girls Out Loud, creates content to center, uplift, and empower women of color. She was banned for a status that voiced her concerns over Facebook’s racist community standards and banning practices.
Facebook even banned a guest who spoke at their headquarters. Writer and civil rights activist Shaun King, who is known for using social media to bring awareness to injustices in the community, was banned for sharing a racist email he received from a white supremacist.
This blunt and disrespectful bias at Facebook is a reflection of its low proportion of employees who are Black — just 3 percent.
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