Facebook is defying the common decency test
On the internet, memes are serious currency – a currency I take so seriously that I actually put the lovable moggie known as Business Cat on the front cover of the dance music magazine I once edited. Advice Dog, Karate Kyle, Condescending Wonka, and even the politically incorrect Insanity Wolf are all heroes of the online domain, and deservedly so.
Although Insanity Wolf often tiptoes over that fine line between good and bad taste, the Aboriginal Memes page that suddenly started filling my Facebook timeline yesterday doesn’t bother beat around the bush – it’s a hate-filled page of alleged ‘humour’ that does nothing more than perpetuate stereotypes that should’ve long been consigned to the annals of time.
Thankfully my Facebook friends are a compassionate and educated bunch, and the calls to report the page to FB HQ spread like wildfire. I’d conservatively estimate that 50-plus friends and associates reported the page, with many of them taking the fight to the comments beneath the meme posts in question.
Yet here we are, 24 hours later, with the page still online (albeit with the addition of [Controversial Humor] in front of its name and its URL changed) and a post from the page’s admin saying “this page aint racist, its the truth, keep passin the petrol cuzzins” now removed.
Meanwhile, complainants received the following generic response from Facebook: “Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”
Because showing breastfeeding on Facebook isn’t cool, but apparently denigrating an entire race in the name of ‘humor’ [sic] is fine.
This page is viral in both senses of the word. Between launching on June 4 and Tuesday August 7’s Facebook outcry, the page had acquired 2,270 ‘Likes’ – in the 27 hours since it first appeared on my radar, that number has passed the 4,180 mark and shows no signs of slowing. A click on the Likes tally reveals that the page is most popular in Perth, and also that the largest percentage of ‘fans’ come from the 13-17 years old demographic.
“We don’t have anything to share on this but if that changes, we’ll let you know,” a spokeswoman said when pushed for comment by Rick Morton from The Australian. Well Facebook, it might be time to speak up, because if my timeline is any indication this page is clearly violating the sensibilities of anyone with common decency.
The only good thing to come out of this sorry saga so far? I clicked this link and saw those magical words: “None of your friends like this yet.”
Ed’s note: As linking to the offending Facebook page would make it’s creator’s day, The Punch will not provide a link.
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