|Sign a petition. Change nothing.|
"Dear Roland," wrote Shelby and the change.org team. "Facebook says that hate speech and incitements to violence are banned and will be removed from their site."
"So why are they maintaining a page called "throwing bricks at sluts" that includes a photo gallery of portraits asking "Bang or Brick"?"
"Change.org member John Raines is going straight to the top. He started a petition on Change.org telling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to take down these pages and take a stronger stand."
Hey, while he's at it why doesn't Raines ask Zuckerburg to purge Facebook of all offensive pages. Let's start with the pages that celebrate "hating gingers." They are literally hundreds of them.
|Pages and pages of groups exist for the common interest of "hating gingers"|
I mean, these pages are offensive, right? I'm certainly offended by them.
But what about taking it a step further. How about taking down other pages that cause offense. What about the dozens of pages which feature Christians arguing that homosexuality is a Biblical sin? Those are homophobic, right?
|Hundreds of pages like this exist|
How about pages supporting a "free Palestine"? Those are antisemitic, right? I mean, many of them are created by Jewish people, but there are plenty of people in Israel and America who feel that anything less than unconditional, unilateral support of Israeli policy in Gaza is inherently "antisemitic."
|Millions have "liked" pages supporting a Palestinian state|
While we're at it, let's see if we can combine ginger-baiting with antisemitism. How about this page?
|Yep, this page exists|
That's the price of freedom of speech; something Facebook seems much more willing to tolerate than change.org.
I'm not exactly sure what change.org intended to achieve by fighting for the removal of two specific pages, regarding one specific issue, while thousands of more troubling pages remain. I suspect they're trying to get Facebook to start censoring users contents; which is all well and good until you start questioning who gets to censor what.
I'd rather live in a world in which pages proclaim "ginger jews r EVIL!!!" than one in which our Facebook content comes filtered through a tedious committee of airy liberals like the crew from change.org.
Offensive speech, even online, isn't fought by censoring it. That just validates it and draws attention to it. Instead, you have to combat it with reason, or simply ignore it. Starved of attention, anything dies.
Change.org should really turn their efforts to more worthwhile endeavors. Emails like the one I got this morning undermine the few occasions in which they do try and do something right.