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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in hate speech

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
It's Not What You Think

I'm sure many of you have heard or read something about at least one Facebook page with a title which many witches are finding offensive. I'm not going to give you access to them from this blog nor will I mention them directly.  The quick fervor whipped up around the name of this page, led me to all kinds of questions, and a few extremely important answers...and some perspective. I'd like to share what I've learned, hopefully it can move all of us forward on this issue.

Facebook doesn't get to decide what hate speech is, the law does.

When I reported the page for 'hate speech', as so many others had done, I was also told in a very fast reply, by an automated system on Facebook, that the page wasn't 'hate speech', and so it wouldn't be removed. How could that be? The title sure looked hateful to me!

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I tend to err on the side of giving idiots enough rope to hang themselves with, particularly given the free-speech tenets here in
  • Celestine Angel
    Celestine Angel says #
    I disagree that your first reaction was over-blown. See, the thing is, with that page being based, as much as anyone could discern
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Cogent, dispassionate, comprehensive. I couldn't have said this better myself. Hear, hear!
Update on FB anti-Pagan hate group

The "Witches must die by fire" Facebook group has returned from its temporary removal. I had a thoughtful reader named Morey, who runs social activism groups on the site, suggested reporting the page to Interpol instead of Facebook, in the hopes of holding them to a higher authority. You can report the page to Interpol here: http://www.interpol.int/Forms/Contact_INTERPOL

If you decide to go the Interpol route, include a screenshot (I have one in this blog post) along with the link (https://www.facebook.com/WitchcraftTheBattleLinesHaveBeenDrawn) and the page's title. Talk about the real-world violence against witches - a quick Google search of "witches and Africa" yields stories like this: http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/family-of-witch-hacked-to-death-1.1296038#.UhJ3p5LVBrs - this page is not a troll or a parody, this is someone inciting people to violence, death, and mutilation. If you need a sample letter, feel free to borrow or amend mine:

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    I just received this in my in-box from Facebook: "You reported Witches must die by fire. for harassment. This page has been remove
  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley says #
    Yes both pages have now been removed. "Lady Liberty League" and "Circle Sanctuary" both wrote letters to Facebook about the pages.
  • Christine Kraemer
    Christine Kraemer says #
    Helpful informational page for explaining why these pages contain credible threats of violence: http://www.whrin.org/
  • Caleen Canady
    Caleen Canady says #
    My husband had a suggestion regarding this site that I thought we should pass along. He's dealt in security and investigations and
  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley says #
    I like that idea Caleen but I have read on some of the Facebook pagan pages that some pagans/wiccans are now under personal attack
Facebook claiming page titled "Witches Must Die by Fire" Not Hate Speech

Very few things in social media get me too terribly worked up, but today I encountered and reported a Facebook page titled, "Witches must die by fire." The fact that an anti-Pagan site on FB exists doesn't surprise me, though how overt that hate is took me aback. What disturbs me more is that Pagans who have reported are getting an answer of "there is no evidence of hate speech."

How can a page that spreads slander, misinformation and exhorts violence against Pagans not be termed hate speech? If this were any other faith, would this even be vaguely acceptable? If you subbed in Jews or Muslims, would this be allowed. I would hope not, but given this, I am kind of afraid to ask, actually.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Áine
    Áine says #
    I'm afraid I can still see the page from the original link. Reporting it now.
  • Richard Daley
    Richard Daley says #
    what do you expect from a country that missionary's literally band there original pagan traditions and brain washed them all into
  • Kaitlyn Hancock
    Kaitlyn Hancock says #
    Keep reporting these people. Facebook has some automated bs, but enough complaints will get their attention. I contacted Covenant
  • Ali
    Ali says #
    I too, have found this second page that is obviously based in some unfortunate African country where unlucky females who come unde
  • Greg
    Greg says #
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/163986480405404/ Here is another FB group advocating violence and death against witches and "WIZZ

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