Facebook: Advocating murder of gays is no violation

Posted on Nov 3, 2012 in Unstraight stuff
Facebook: Advocating murder of gays is no violation

UPDATED There’s a page on Facebook called “Ubi Pedera, Ubi Pedera, Ubi Pedera”. Translated from Croatian, it means “Kill the faggot, kill the faggot, kill the faggot”. The images on the page are taken from an alleged execution of two gay men in Iran. After using Facebook’s tool to report violations of the community guidelines, Facebook sent me an e-mail saying “we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”

Screenshot of the Facebook page "Ubi Pedera" which in Croatian means "Kill the faggot"

Screenshot of the Facebook page “Ubi Pedera” which in Croatian means “Kill the faggot”

There is a problem with the arbitrary way Facebook makes judgement calls. Last year, I got my personal Facebook account suspended by Facebook for posting a rather innocent photo on the Facebook Page of my former employer Björn Borg (full story on Adland). The kicker is that Björn Borg is an underwear brand, and when it comes to sexual innuendos and sexually explicit photos Björn Borg is much less NSFW than brands like Andrew Christian for example.

During the same period, an innocent photo of two gay men kissing was deleted by Facebook.

I think that amounts to Facebook outsourcing the moral decision about content to users. When a user finds something that offends them, they report it. Every report is read by a Facebook employee, who then decides whether the content is a violation or not. Obviously things that are perceived as ‘gay’ will be reported far more often than ‘straight’ material – and the employees will never be fired for being too strict, so they do not give the benefit of the doubt.

However, Facebook isn’t necessarily a bad guy. It’s more cowardice. And they are trying to improve. Nowadays, when you report content that you perceive as violating Facebook’s terms, you can choose to get an e-mail report once Facebook has reviewed your complaint. The problem with that is that every time I’ve reported a page or content that violates Facebook’s terms, the e-mail I’ve got looks like the one I got for reporting “Ubi Pedera”:

Follow-up from Facebook regarding my reporting the "kill the faggot" page as hate speech

Follow-up mail from Facebook regarding my reporting the “kill the faggot” page as hate speech

Has Facebook now stopped censoring content? That would make me happy – I actually think that crazy LGBT-hating pages like One Million Moms should be allowed to be part of Facebook. I’m an advocate of allowing everything short of child pornography, encouraging killing or violence against people, and gore. I think Facebook would be better off if they did like Flickr and Xbox Live do: flagging content as ‘mature’ or ‘nsfw’ and being able to choose what you can see: only family friendly stuff or everything.

However, I doubt Facebook is censoring less. I think that Facebook will continue to export American Moral Majority where nipples will result in account suspension, and artworks like Anders Zorn’s famous paintings or Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos will be deleted.

It’s in the light of that conclusion I have a hard time understanding how Facebook can say that a page that is called “kill the faggot” doesn’t violate their “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”.

UPDATE: This page disappeared early Sunday evening (November 4), after tens, if not hundreds, of reports being filed – and the majority getting the same reply as I got. In the end, it was @dreahouston who tweeted the right person at Facebook and got it fixed (yay and thanks Andrea!). However, there are more pages like this. For example this one, called “Kill, kill, kill faggots”. I just reported it, we’ll see how it ends. Also, it’s crazy that the formal reporting structure of Facebook fails, and an informal wins. It’s not good for Facebook’s credibility.

  • http://twitter.com/EarlOfLade Earl of Lade

    I’m so happy I have nothing to do with this garbage site Facebook. What useless crap!

    • http://twitter.com/seburnt Tyson Seburn

      It’s not Facebook that’s garbage. You can’t blame the platform for how a minority uses it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lyuba-Allenivna-Tereshchenko/100002084180724 Lyuba Allenivna Tereshchenko

    Is that shite page still up? I’ll report it! How the flying feck is that not advocating killing gay people? Fecking politically correct cowards!

    • http://www.facebook.com/BardBondesson Anders Bondesson

      Erm… how is this politically correct in any way? I agre on the cowardice part thou.

  • lyrica

    i reported it as well. there are actually two with that title. one page and one community. but there is no “gay hate” hate speech option. there is sexism and racism, and religious bigotry options, but no anti gay option. at least not when i reported it. i’ll be leaving soon if they dont’ do something about it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=519157099 Jon Broder

      there is a gender/orientation option.

      • lyrica

        you’re right. i guess they are packaging both into one. nvm the last bit of my post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/remy.waardenburg Remy Waardenburg

    Hey/Hej,
    Spread the word, the more people who report it the better! Ridiculous…

  • Alice Chapman

    Reported.

    FaceBook suspends and removed stuff for incredibly trivial reasons yet leaves things along that advocate violence towards gay or trans groups.

    Cowardice or institutionalised homophobia and transphobia? I personally wouldn’t like to guess.

  • http://www.facebook.com/totallyrandomgirl Cheyanna Duncan

    I’m not defending the page in any way at all so please don’t mistake that.

    But the image used for the cover photo is actually a man who was executed for raping and murdering an 11 year old boy.

    Had he been executed for homosexuality, he would’ve been thrown off a building to fall to his death. Instead, he was shot by a firing squad which is the punishment for murder. Also, this happened in Yemen, not Iran.

    That being said, the page is still disgusting and the image is still breaking the ToS as it is an image of violence and death.

  • Monykah Anita Meza

    I’ve reported it twice already. It is supporting a hate crime and spreading hate. Facebook not taking it down is just for the violent images alone is just insane to me. Report it enough and it will be taken down.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shananigansafoot Kati Boult

    Facebook has stopped censoring it’s content. It never really did, but if it gets tons and tons of complaints they will suspend the page but they wont remove the images or the page. Not unless the complaints continue on and on, which is unlikely most people will report it once and be done…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mdinale Martina Dinale

    Prickerberg’s little twisted universe doesn’t HAVE credibility darlin! Its absolutely bigoted and plenty douchey where content is concerned , and don’t get me started on obnoxious user-hostile design ( timeline anyone ) and nonexistent customer service . If there were an equivalent
    alternative , we’d all be THERE.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1584041666 Claudia Ness

    It’s back.

  • robin mason

    Anymore Facebook is a breeding ground of the lowest filth of humankind.

    For example, a girl killed herself last month. The comments on her memorial page were atrocious. People called her a whore, cunt, said she deserved to be bullied (which was what drove her to suicide by hanging). She was 16 years old, I believe.

    Nice.

    Facebook should be held accountable for the infestation of sick fucks who frequent that site.

    But it seems as though anyone on the internet can say anything, no matter how disgusting and repulsive, and get by with it.

    Too bad the vermin have to wait for their ultimate punishment in hell. It can’t come too soon, eh?

  • Surikata

  • ally

    You cannot redefine a word by government or judge officials or anything, homosexuality is wrong and normal human beings who have common sense will always reject it even if secular humanist people think its OK. get lost with gouging my eye out of your homosexual agenda. homosexuality will always be an abomination even if you make illegal laws makings your view as a brainwashed fantastical belief its ok.