Saying 'men are scum' is apparently a lot worse than 'women are scum'
Women are being suspended from Facebook for ‘hate speech’ for posting ‘men are scum’ or ‘men continue to be the worst’ on the social network.
One of the women recently banned is New York standup comic Marcia Belsky, who was blocked for 30 days for writing ‘men are scum’ in a comment under a post by her friend Nicole Silverberg.
Somewhat ironically, Silverberg had been detailing the abusive messages she received from men after writing a list on Twitter about the ways women could be treated better.
Since the #MeToo movement, a number of women have been banned for responding to female friends’ stories of sexual assault and harassment with derogatory posts about men. This is despite Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s recent post in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment.
According to the Daily Beast, comedian Kayla Avery received a month-long ban for writing ‘men continue to be the worst’ after being aggressively trolled online. ‘There was one guy who was threatening to find my house and beat me up. I got banned before I could even successfully report it’ she told the site.
In protest, 500 female comedians set up a group where they pledged to post ‘men are scum’ on their own pages, but many of these women then found they too had been blocked.
The reaction from Facebook is being viewed as suspiciously heavy handed, particularly regular criticism levelled at the site for its anaemic response to hate speech and trolling. As Marcia Belsky – one of the original comics to be banned – pointed out, ‘women are scum’ or the use of the n-word didn’t appear to have violated the platform’s standards.
One reason for the site’s approach could be down to a set of leaked internal documents detailing the algorithms it uses to tackle what it deems to be hate speech.
The documents show white men were categorised as a protected group on Facebook, but ‘female drivers’ and ‘black children’ were subsets and therefore not protected.
This doesn’t explain why ‘women are scum’ appeared to go unmoderated. And though Facebook later said the ban on Marcia Belsky was a mistake, Kayla Avery said Facebook moderators had combed through her old posts to delete negative posts about men.
‘What. A. Mystery!’ she wrote on Twitter.