Facebook Says a Page about Murdering a Feminist Isn’t Harassment

Facebook Says a Page about Murdering a Feminist Isn’t Harassment

Six hours ago, Jamie Bernstein alerted the other Skepchick contributors that a vile Facebook page had been set up asking “Should Miri Mogilevsky be murdered ?” Mogilevsky is a secular feminist who blogs at Brute Reason, a fact that apparently has upset someone.

The creator of the Facebook page, bravely remaining anonymous, writes on the page’s About section:

About
This page does not advocate any violence, or the breaking of any laws. It is, rather, an exercise in Free Speech.

Description
Miri Mogilevsky is a blogger at Freethought Blogs

http://freethoughtblogs.com/brutereason

She does not allow posts on her page if she does not want them there. That is her right – it is a private page, and such a practice does not violate another’s right to free speech.
This page, however, is not controlled by Miri Mogilevsky, but as an advocate of free speech, I’m sure she will support this page’s right to exist.

Elsewhere on the page’s wall the person writes such insightful commentary as:

mirimurder3

We should not ever break the law. Rather, we should advocate , through lawful land constitutional processes, to have the law changed so that it is legal to kill Miri Mogilevsy.
Alternatively, we should, where legal, request that Miria Mogilevsky kill herself. Relevant laws should be changed so that suicide, and advocating suicide, is legal. Otherwise, you should not encourage or assist anyone in committing suicide, nor should you kill yourself.

I even get a shout-out:

Is Miri Mogilevsky, who blogs at Brute Reason at Freethought blogs! a loyal American ?
Has she ever had sex with PZ Myers ?
Has she ever had sex with Rebecca Watson ?

I’m charmed.

Most of you don’t need any more evidence that this is a clear example of bullying. After being alerted by Jamie, we told Mogilesky about the page for her own safety and sent her screenshots for police to file, and we then reported the page as harassment. It didn’t take long for Facebook to respond to our reports, letting us know that they reviewed the page and found that it did not violate their standards:

mirimurder

Status: This page wasn’t removed
Details: Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the page you reported for harassment and found it doesn’t violate our community standard on bullying and harassment.
Note: If you have an issue with something on the page, be sure to report the content (ex: a photo), not the entire page. That way, your report will be more accurately reviewed.

Hey Facebook: if a page that is literally advocating for the murder of a woman isn’t considered harassment, what is?

I’m not sure it’ll help, but please report the page as harassment and if you want to go another step, let them know how you feel on Twitter by Tweeting @facebook.

Oh and maybe remind them that according to their own safety page, October is Bullying Awareness Month.

october bullying

Update! It looks as though the page is no longer there, though there’s no word on whether that’s due to Facebook responding to all the complaints they’ve been getting or some other reason.
Avatar of Rebecca Watson
Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org and appears on the weekly Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

21 Comments

  1. Avatar of kylev

    Petition started: https://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-remove-the-should-miri-mogilevsky-be-murdered-page
    I’ll work on the targeting and text a little more.

  2. Avatar of emelia

    the hell? I really hope that automated response you got was a mistake.

    I would report them but I don’t seem to be able to do it without a facebook account. I also can’t find an email address, etc to contact them. I wonder what I’m supposed to do if I ever see that someone has made a page like that about -me-. Do I have to be a member of facebook to have a shot at being taken seriously?

    if anyone has any advice about what I can do please let me know.

  3. Avatar of vexorian

    Last time feminist groups had to go as far as to send letters to facebook sponsors before facebook even showed a little will to fix the minor issue of pages that advocated rape.

  4. Avatar of TheOmni

    It is incredibly disturbing, so I reported it. Received the same “page not taken down” reply less than a minute after the report. I submitted further feedback asking for clarification on Facebook’s rules and if we could advocate violence against anyone or did Facebook only allow advocating violence against women. I have not yet heard back on that subject.

  5. Avatar of scribe999

    In my feedback, I pretty much just asked if shitty sophistry is too hard for them to understand or if they were being ironic about the whole “National Bullying Prevention Month” stuff.

  6. Avatar of zylla

    I got the same canned response, which I followed up with quotes from their stated policies. I also pointed out the “Kill Zuckerberg” page someone set up in protest. Glad to see they finally took it down. (Can’t wait to see whatever spin they give it.)

  7. Avatar of Nathan

    Page is gone… for now…

    • Avatar of Phillip Hallam-Baker

      It sounds to me as if Facebook needs to do some retraining in its abuse dept.

      The page is quite obviously an incitement to murder. The literal meaning is not important, the author clearly has the intent of suggesting people commit murder and it is therefore incitement to murder. It really is as simple as that. The perpetrator clearly intended the page to be a threat and is trying to dance round the edge of legality. Well he can’t. A coded threat is still a threat. In fact it is worse because it is obvious the author knew what they were doing.

      Rather than refer the matter to Facebook, I would call the FBI Cybercrime dept. And I would tell the FB people that the matter has been referred to the police because then it will go through a different channel, it has to be seen by the lawyers in case the FBI follows up.

      The FBI people have access to people inside FB that have a clue and blanket authority to zap stuff like this. Seems likely that the initial complaints went to someone without the proper training.

  8. Avatar of

    It appears to have been removed Facebook’s policy seems to be to make quick and seemingly arbitrary decisions about this sort of thing until an issue gets enough attention. Either that or there are some major management issues.

  9. Avatar of

    Also I’ve talked to Miri a few times on twitter and she seems really nice! What a bunch of jerks.

  10. Avatar of ethicalcannibal

    I reported it, and gave feedback when they told me it wasn’t going to be removed. It looks like you have to get a critical mass of complaints before they care if any given page constitutes harassment.

  11. Avatar of woodworm

    I reported it as hate speech. Apparently it’s not that either, but they’re soooo thankful I’m helping to make the world a safer place. So thankful they had to tell me twice, while telling me to go screw myself. And now it’s down anyway. Hahahahaha. Zuckerberg is a ridiculous person, and his blog is a ridiculous little blog.

  12. Avatar of ufischer

    I suspect the initial response was by a bot. Given how quickly the page disappeared, I suspect the first person on Facebook staff to actually look at the page took it down. Never attribute to malice what can be explained by badly written software! :)

    • Avatar of Jamie

      The initial response was not quick. My boyfriend put in the first report to Facebook and it took almost 6-hrs to get the response from twitter. It was only after that point that anyone who reported got an immediate response.

    • Avatar of Jamie

      Sorry, I was reading it (and typing my response) on my phone before and I 1) slightly misread your comment and 2) made dumb mistakes in my comment (like typing “Twitter” when I meant “Facebook”).

    • Avatar of scribe999

      They claim that teams of “humans” review these reports: https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-safety/what-happens-after-you-click-report/432670926753695

      In order to effectively review reports, User Operations (UO) is separated into four specific teams that review certain report types – the Safety team, the Hate and Harassment team, the Access team, and the Abusive Content team. When a person reports a piece of content, depending on the reason for their report, it will go to one of these teams. For example, if you are reporting content that you believe contains graphic violence, the Safety Team will review and assess the report.

  13. Avatar of criticaldragon1177

    Rebecca Watson,

    I just saw a post over at Manboobz talking about this.

  14. Avatar of dxman

    Just to all those complaining about FB’s response: although they’ve been known to take down breastfeeding images while leaving up hate speech, a lot of the seemingly “slow response” is due to the huge volume of new posts and pages being set up every minute by its millions of users. Similarly to YouTube a lot of the feedback and moderation has to be done automatically and so even with mass reporting one cannot expect the moderators to immediately take it down, and most moderators will be reacting to large volumes of reports at once and the reviewer may have spent only a short time on this request (and misunderstand the complaint).

    • Avatar of vexorian

      They are like a giant tech company. The responsibility to be able to cope with high volume of users is on their side.

    • Avatar of emelia

      I’m personally not concerned by their speed but their response. Everyone who reported it got a response in under a day, which I think is pretty good if you ignore what the actual response was. The original post by Rebecca Watson even says “it didn’t take long.”

  15. Avatar of tj902310

    That is an absolutely disgusting page, and I find it hard to believe Facebook hasn’t/won’t take it down.

    But then again, they’ve not taken this disgusting page down for years:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-hate-it-when-I-wake-up-and-Sarah-Palin-is-still-alive/129929197021040?v=wall

    …so perhaps as long as they post a “disclaimer” that they’re not advocating violence just free (hate) speech, Facebook will allow it.

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