July 14th 2018

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY By-elections a trial run for next federal election

SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook bans reflect a lack of impartiality

CANBERRA OBSERVED The gloves are on for by-election proxy bouts

FEDERAL POLITICS Federal ALP platform reads like a radical on a soapbox

ENVIRONMENT 'Climate change' news is fake news

BRITISH HISTORY Abolition of the Corn Laws paved the way for cheap food

LIFE ISSUES A world of competing sorrows: Ireland's abortion referendum

CULTURE The wee folk and their cousins, up and down the scale

WESTERN CIVILISATION Three great anniversaries of the West

FICTION Autumn Alexei's Story

MUSIC ABBA; Unstoppable, ubiquitous

CINEMA Jurassic World: Fallen kingdom

BOOK REVIEW Vision for the future, if we want to claim it

BOOK REVIEW Taking to task failed privilege

BOOK REVIEW Where Tolkien and St Thomas agree


FOREIGN AFFAIRS Beijing goes 'boo', Qantas gets in a flap

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Opposition mounts to legalisation of cannabis

Books promotion page

Facebook bans reflect a lack of impartiality

by Jacqueline Gwynne

News Weekly, July 14, 2018

Facebook gives every impression that it is silencing women who don’t support certain agendas.

I just returned from my sixth month-long ban by Facebook in 18 months. Since 2015 I have been engaging in online activism, speaking out against porn and the sex industry. One of my Facebook pages was permanently shut down and I have been slapped with a few 24-hour and three-day bans.

A pattern has emerged among my peers that Facebook is silencing women. If you don’t support its agenda, it bans you. Women get harsh, month-long bans simply for stating the truth.

Screen shot of the YouTube
video with the intrusive ad.

I have never been abusive or threatened violence, although I have been on the receiving end of this frequently. You post a fairly innocuous meme and receive a severe punishment, being banned for a month. AFL footballers get less punishment for actual physical or sexual assault. They as often as not face no consequences at all or get suspended for one game.

There is a Facebook group called Refuse To Date Men Who Use Porn that now has over 25,000 followers. The page highlights the impact that online pornography has on men and the way they relate to women. Trolls regularly inundate the page and prove our point that men who watch porn have a misogyny problem. Women who support the page are harassed, abused and doxed by these men defending their porn use.

(Dox: v. Search for and publish private or identifying information about a particular individual on the internet, typically with malicious intent. Hackers and online vigilantes routinely dox both public and private figures.)

My inbox was regularly full of threats of violence and “dick pics”. The trolls stole photos from my personal Facebook page, photoshopped erect penises onto them and then spread them around Facebook.

The problem got so bad that I reported it to the police. When I made a complaint at a police station in NSW, the male officer on duty scoffed at me and I didn’t end up making a report.

You really don’t know how it feels to be on the receiving end of such behaviour until it happens to you. It is an unnerving and intimidating experience that leaves you feeling anxious and powerless. This feeling is compounded when you are dismissed by the police and then banned by Facebook for speaking out.

The first month-long ban I got was for saying to a troll on the Refuse To Date Men Who Use Porn page: “Men who watch porn have no respect for women.” It wasn’t an abusive comment or a threat, it was simply stating a fact.

The harassment that I endured proved my point: that these men do not respect women. I have reported threats of violence, doxing and dick pics to Facebook, but each time I meet with the usual response: this does not violate Facebook community standards.

There are pages, claiming to be satire, with names like Legalise Incest and Choking Prostitutes. Pages that are obviously promoting sex trafficking also do not violate Facebook community standards. Yet, if you speak out about this, you are silenced.

Facebook came about when Mark Zuckerberg and his friends wanted to rate women’s appearance. (See the Wikipedia entry for Facebook history: “FaceMash, Facebook’s predecessor, opened in 2003. Developed by Mark Zuckerberg, he wrote the software for the Facemash website when he was in his second year of college. The website was set up as a type of ‘hot or not’ game for Harvard students. The website allowed visitors to compare two female student pictures side-by-side and let them decide who was hot or not.”

I got a recent ban for posting a graphic that exposed the problem of men identifying as women invading women’s bathrooms. Men don’t even have to present as women, they only have to say they are women.

There has been a worldwide increase of male violence against women at the same time that men have been increasingly being given free access to spaces originally segregated for women’s safety.

A protest in Korea this month spoke out against men installing hidden cameras in women’s toilets to create porn. The meme I posted was defending the safety of women. But I was the one who got banned for “hate speech”.

A disfunctional relationship

I once loved social media, but the constant silencing and bullying just makes me anxious now, so much so that I have decided virtually to quit.

Facebook is not social media, it is social engineering. It controls what you say, what you see and the news you are exposed to. If your posts appear to oppose its corporate agenda, you are silenced.

Facebook is not alone in this; the platforms work together, including YouTube. Not long ago I was on Facebook and clicked on a link for a clip of a singing mouse, and an ad for sex trafficking popped up. I took a screen shot of the ad, which was for “dating sexy Thai women”. Ads like that one are for sex trafficking, from which Facebook and YouTube extract a profit.

What’s the solution to this problem? Get off social media and spend time in real life with real people, enjoy nature and real life. If we aren’t on Facebook, they can’t make money from and control us.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm