Facebook works to remove anti-gay hate speech

Monday Oct 18, 2010

Facebook is working with a gay-advocacy group to reduce the amount of hate speech and bullying on the online social hub.

Anti-gay bullying has been in the spotlight recently after the suicides of several gay teenagers, including Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi, garnered national attention. According to police, the 19-year-old jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate secretly recorded him with another male student and distributed video online.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said it reached out to Facebook last week after Internet bullies flooded a page set up to honor teens who recently killed themselves in response to anti-gay hate.

The page, set up by a Facebook user, asks supporters to wear purple next Wednesday in memory of the teenagers. Purple represents "spirit" in the rainbow flag that's the symbol of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. On Friday afternoon, most of the comments on the page were from supporters.

Facebook said that its policies prohibit hateful content and that it has systems in place to take down such posts as soon as possible. But the company also said it wants its users to be able to express unpopular opinions and as such must strike a careful balance between removing harmful content and letting people speak freely.

"Facebook has taken an important first step in making social media a place where anti-gay violence is not allowed," said Jarrett Barrios, the president of GLAAD.

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  • BB, 2010-10-18 08:50:23

    ""Facebook has taken an important first step in making social media a place where anti-gay violence is not allowed." Violence is physical. Oh, of course, these kinds of people want to make words "violence," to criminalize human thought, to shut down debate, and to make speech which they do not approve something NOT protected by the Constitution. In other words, a nation where what you say, what you think, what you express is subject to, oh shall we say, "oversight" and "correction." There is a word for the new homosexual left: Fascists.

  • , 2010-10-18 09:51:18

    No, we’re not fascists. You just want to be able to express hateful language and prejudice where ever and when ever you please. Even on a page that has nothing to do with YOU such as a page dedicated to teens who are driven to suicide partly because of the things YOU want to say on such a page. You have no soul if you think that should be protected.

  • sky, 2010-10-18 10:07:09

    To BB - First I have to wonder about your choice of your ID. A bit ironic don’t you think? LOL Secondly, I am wondering why you have even downloaded such an app as Edge which is predominately gay news. I hate, deplore, despise, and contest snakes. Apparently much the same as you think of gays and the gay community. There is nothing about snakes I like enough to download an app specifically for snakes or those that have an affection for snakes. Why would you even want and go to the bother of downloading an app about providing news to gays and the gay community. We are born without hate, bigotry, and prejudice. Children have to be taught to hate. Who taught you to hate?

  • kenny, 2010-10-18 10:11:25

    I see your still following all the gay news BB??? Just answer this are you gay? If you say your not it’s most likely because your still afraid to come out of the closet. No true straight person would spend so much time on gay issues. Most straight people don’t spend the day worry about that awful gay agenda you talk of much. I’m gay and I don’t even know what it is LOL. Anyway I hope you find peace in your mind soon and give up this fight before you jump off a bridge yourself. :):)

  • BB, 2010-10-18 13:24:08

    Boys - meet a genuine GAY LIBERTARIAN. You’re all way too young to understand it, but not every homosexual is a leftist. And, to whomever it was, you might be happy to know you can get Edge on any computer on Earth. You dont’ have to "download an app" but it speak volumes about your age. Sky, what is ironic about "BB?" Those are my initials. And the homosexualist agenda is VERY fascist. "You just want to be able to express hateful language and prejudice where ever and when ever you please." Exactly, young fellow. That is what FREEDOM OF SPEECH means. But, to humor you, please tell me what time and place would be acceptable to you to express free speech? Could you provide a schedule and location guide, please? Thank you, boys! Ta!!

  • LeeLee, 2010-10-18 14:11:16

    Wow BB, violence is only physical? Tell that to the children who are emotionally abused everyday. From your previous post I am not surprised by the ignorance of your last post.

  • jimbodapimp, 2010-10-18 15:21:06

    BB is too old to think clearly. I love the APP reference, yeah we are young, your old and going to die soon! We will invite Phelps to your funeral! The only fascist around here is you! You want to force people to listen to your closeted banter. Freedom of speech also awards the freedom to NOT listen to bigots like you. Did you get that? We have rights bitch! The right to not be harassed by a close minded geezer like you! Start a blog and stay away from EDGE. Your the reason those boys killed themselves... I hope you realize what your doing. When you do hopefully you will make the right decision and follow their lead and off yourself! I want you to contact Pastor Phelps so you can terrorize strangers with your hate. EDGE should ban you and your suicide provoking hate. You should get a BF, yet get a life but then again no one wants a retard like you.... I bet your broke the fuck off!! LMFAO!

  • BB, 2010-10-18 16:34:02

    Pimp: the word you keep hopelessly searching for is "you’re" not "your."

  • BB, 2010-10-18 17:56:03

    LeeLee: Very interesting point. Let’s examine it. First read Jimbodapimp’s note to me. It is clearly motivated by hate, filled with imprecations and hopes that I die, invitations to kill myself, all sorts of silly nonsense like that. Is that violent? I say no, because the impotent rantings of someone like that are quite meaningless to me But if I were a sensitive young fellow already depressed and of questionable mental stability, then yes, that kind of hate speech could be construed as violent. The difference is in who receives the hate speech. I just cannot countenance banning speech because some people are susceptible to being influenced by it. That is the slippery slope right there. AOL for example has filters and monitors to stop that kind of speech; it is a safe environment. Maybe Facebook will become a "safe environment" by the imposition of similar restrictions. But it is a very short step from that to the Chinese government banning all manners of content that it deems "inapproporiate" for its citizen/slaves. I’m not advocating for ugly speech such as the above or that which appeared on Facebook, I’m suggesting one had best be careful the paths one starts down, because leftist revolutions always consumes their progenitors first, and once you start something there are always people just behind you who want to take it to the next step. BB

  • Unique, 2010-10-18 21:20:15

    BB’s mistake is thinking that "free speech" applies on Facebook. It is a private company and has every right to disallow any speech it sees fit.. or UNfit even.

  • , 2010-10-19 11:21:21

    BB misunderstands what Freedom of Speech means and he does not understand what fascism is. The Left is the antithesis of fascism. The Right is where fascism comes from. Freedom of Speech does not require you or anyone else to allow someone to come into your home and say rude and cruel things to you. This is a bastardization of the concept of Free Speech. The law has always recognized the limits of Free Speech. You are not free to libel or slander. These things can harm others just like physical violence can. And there is legal recourse and restrictions. Freedom of Speech was never intended to protect the right of Libertarians to call people nasty names in their "house." If we were trying to keep you from calling us nasty names in your "house" you might have a point. But as is typical with Libertarians, you have no point after all.

  • arborjerm, 2010-10-21 21:21:12

    BB why are you on here? Every comment I read from you is attacking the article.. If you don’t like the writing why do you subject yourself to it? Just curious ..

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