Yesterday I wrote about how Melissa Chen, a moderate of the Global Secular Humanist Movement (GSHM) Facebook page, was temporarily banned from Facebook—put in “Facebook Jail”, as she called it—for calling Pakistani men “dumb” who tried to silence criticism of the honor killing of Pakistani model/singer/activist Qandeel Baloch. This demonstrates Facebook’s well known double standard when it comes to its risible “community standards”—standards that allow some groups to excoriate, demonize, or even call for the killing of others, while banning those who do the same thing but are deemed politically acceptable.
A good example of this, which I’m not sure I’ve mentioned before, is an experiment conducted by the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin), in which they posted two Facebook pages with identical posts, except one was violently anti-Israel and the other violently anti-Palestinian. One was called “Stop Palestinians,” the other “Stop Israelis.” Other than the titles and the substitution of one group for another, the posts on the two sites were pretty much the same. You can guess what happened; As breaking Israel News reports:
Shurat HaDin began posting near-identical posts to each page simultaneously, making sure to use very similar language on both. As it heightened the level of incitement on the pages, the posts became more aggressive.
On the anti-Israel page, the organization wrote, “Revenge against the zionist enemy that threatens Al Aqsa! Death to all the jews!” The anti-Palestine post read, “Revenge against the arab enemy. Death to all the arabs.” Each post was accompanied by provoking images.
Shurat HaDin then simultaneously reported both pages to Facebook. The page inciting against Palestinians was shut down by Facebook later that day. In a message, Facebook wrote that it had reviewed the page and found that it contained a “credible threat of violence” and violated the site’s community standards.
The page inciting against Jews, however, was not closed, even though both pages were nearly identical, with the same amount and type of inciting posts using the same language. Facebook sent a different message in response to the report which stated that the page was not in violation of its rules.
“From two identical inciting pages, only the one inciting against Palestinians was closed by Facebook,” the video concludes.
“The page inciting against Jews is still open today.”
Here’s a video showing some of the posts:
Apparently Facebook is doing little to stop this, even though I myself have mentioned it to one of the executives at the organization. Well, they can do what they want, since it’s their site, but a little evenhandedness would be nice.
The latest episode of Facebook hypocrisy is its banning of Iraqi ex-Muslim activist Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, founder of the GSHM (I’m one of the mods). Faisal was put in Facebook Jail for the following post:.
This seems to me purely acceptable political discourse. If it violates Facebook community standards, go look at them and tell me which ones it violates. (They never tell you, of course.) Faisal is simply calling out the Muslim Brotherhood for its duplicity, and, since he reads Arabic, he’d know. How else would we know this? And we won’t—not as long as Facebook continues to ban this kind of discussion.
It’s time for them to take a hard look at their policy and stop letting far-flung functionaries make knee-jerk reactions about who should go to Facebook Jail.