After various allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, Facebook began suspending women for hate speech against men. Women took to Facebook to post variations of the phrase “men are scum” and therefore the social networking site decided to ban them. According to reports, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg warned of a potential backlash against women as scandals shock companies and political institutions.
Despite the COO’s warnings Facebook continues to ban women speaking out as a group against men.
Marcia Belsky, a standup comedian was banned for 30 days in October following a post on Facebook. She commented “men are scum” on her friend Nicole Silverberg’s photo album detailing the abuse Silverberg had received after posting a list of ways men can treat women better on Twitter.
Comedian Kayla Avery told The Guardian, she routinely gets banned for comments such as “men are garbage fires”, “the worst”, “trash” and other derivatives.
According to reports, Facebook said that Belsky’s bans were a mistake, and brought back some of the comments. But Avery tweeted that Facebook is not only still banning people for posting new comments similar to “men are scum”, but it is actively going through their timelines and deleting older posts about men.
Cooooooool so @facebook is STILL going through my timeline to delete posts. Funny though Facebook said @MarciaBelsky was a mistake yet they are still targeting my page...what. A. Mystery! pic.twitter.com/YcV8SWbpUg— Kayla Avery (@averykayla) December 4, 2017
“Kill yourself n*******” reviewed & found not to violate standards. “All men are allegedly ugly?” removed and the woman banned within hours pic.twitter.com/RfpJTt5Mg7— Marcia Belsky (@MarciaBelsky) November 29, 2017
This is perhaps because of Facebook’s complex guidelines on moderation. The company says that any threats and hate speech directed towards a protected group violate its community standards and therefore are removed. According to Facebook, the phrase “men are scum” is a threat and should be removed.
Speaking to the Guardian a Facebook spokesperson said “We understand how important it is for victims of harassment to be able to share their stories and for people to express anger and opinions about harassment — we allow those discussions on Facebook. We draw the line when people attack others simply on the basis of their gender.”