Help Facebook Recognize Dangerous Hate Speech
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YES OR NO QUESTION: SHOULD HATE SPEECH AND MISINFORMATION BE OVERLOOKED BY FACEBOOK'S 'COMMUNITY STANDARDS'?
Youths and men may commit suicide because they are bullied and told they are “mutilated”, "deranged", "botched", “violated”, "subhuman”, "in denial", that they are disabled, and “un-intact”.
No, it isn't funny.
The above banner consists of screenshots from real social media posts!
Organizations on social media are being provided forums for this hate speech. “Intact America” is one of these organizations. Please help Facebook understand that, regardless of political stance, this is hate speech and should warrant appropriate action like any other form of hate speech on Facebook.
After reading that, you may be thinking, “I don’t understand. Why is this petition criticizing a non-profit organization?”, “How do Intact America’s posts classify as hate speech?”, “I have never heard of something like this before", and maybe even, "I have never seen circumcised men face scrutiny in the media".
That's why this petition is here.
Learning and being open-minded in the pursuit of positive change is what change.org is about. If you believe in this, have an open mind and heart, and truly care about human rights, keep reading and use your voice to speak up for vulnerable individuals who suffer silently.
Circumcised men may have dealt with clinical depression, suicidal thoughts and even attempted suicide because of abuse following the topic. Though often misconstrued, this is most realistically attributed to emotional abuse rather than the practice itself, because it is not unlike the higher rate of suicide in LGBTQ+ individuals, of whom 30-40% are estimated by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to have attempted suicide, and African Americans, where the 3rd leading cause of death in males ages 15-24 is reported to be suicide by the Center of Disease Control, as both are considered minorities who suffer broads ranges of institutionalized and casual abuse on a regular basis on the part of a majority. It is factually and morally wrong to assume that the physical and mental dispositions of LGBTQ+ and African American individuals are responsible for the higher suicide rate, just as it is factually and morally wrong to assume that the physical and mental dispositions of circumcised individuals are responsible for any higher suicide rate. Minorities ail statistically because they are externally abused on a consistent basis, not because of how they innately are or because of neonatal events, and it is criminal to use nature or neonatal events as a scapegoat for what is blatant and documented abuse. It isn't rocket science.
It is estimated the male circumcised community accounts for less than 1/3 of the global population. Regardless of prevalence of the practice in certain regions of the world, such as the United States on males, this is a community of people who are significantly, collectively outnumbered. This means they are a global minority. However,in certain US states, circumcised males are already the numerical minority as well, depending on age, and the practice underwent a significant decline. For this reason, they become an easy target of ridicule, discrimination, bullying, and sometimes even antisemitism, which is another avenue for hateful individuals to exploit given the use of circumcision in Judaism. These examples are thoroughly documented.
If you don't approve of minorities or vulnerable individuals being abused, please continue reading.
This abuse occurs very frequently online, or on social media. The internet and its social media platforms are extremely powerful tools. They are used to spread and store information. They are used for communication. As of 2016, at least 3 billion people use the internet, and 2.1 billion people own social media accounts. It is very easy for anyone to fabricate harmful stereotypes or generalizations. It is very easy to demean, harass or even bully people of any age group or community, via propaganda or direct means, to the point of emotional harm or worse. It is even easier to do so when social media platforms, which progressively try to recognize these examples and put a stop to them, fail to recognize some forms of hatred because they are protected by non-profit organizations or large communities which operate under a euphemism or label of activism while spreading hate speech.
Grown men are not the only targets of this abuse, if men committing suicide wasn’t enough: as youths are brought up in an ever-increasing digital age, they have access to and are exposed to the media and internet due to common devices (i.e. smartphones, iPads, etc.) even if guardians do their best to protect their kids from the very palpable damage and dangers the internet often impose. Harvard University's Berkman Center reports that 95% of youths ages 12-17 use the internet. 81% of those use social networks. What grown circumcised men are hearing, circumcised boys are hearing as well. It may be no coincidence some of these boys grow up to meet a very tragic fate. In the United States, this is especially threatening as there are many individuals this would apply to.
For specific examples, please continue reading.
Vulnerable individuals are being targeted by propaganda using phrases like “mutilated”, "deranged", "botched", “violated”, "subhuman", "in denial", "un-intact", told that they are not "whole", and that they are disabled. These are extremely damaging messages, which are neither objective nor informative, and can be equated with harmful messages and feelings imparted by incidence of cyber bullying. Like all forms of bullying, this is proven to cause psychological, physical, and emotional stress. It can also be seen that, with “Intact America” used for citation and justification, vulnerable individuals are then being directly harassed by inflammatory groups to the extent of cyber-bullying in the category of "flaming" on these forums. National surveys show that cyber-bullied teens are 20% more likely to have suicidal inclinations. Some instances show death threats being made. A death threat made by an extremely hostile individual referencing "Intact America" my own family unfortunately bore witness to was as follows:
"If I knew where you lived I would sadistically murder you in the way you so richly deserve".
No, this is not exaggerated. This is partly why double-standards are dangerous. They excuse otherwise violent behavior, and while this wasn't necessarily someone officially representing the organization, this was someone who was inspired by its senseless propaganda and treatment of vulnerable individuals:
On the “Intact America” Facebook page and areas originating from the Facebook page, posts containing photos, memes(captioned images), quotes and other content have corrosive and misleading messages like,"Sex without foreskin is like being colorblind", "Genital mutilation is not cute", "Intact men don't have higher rates of anything except sexual satisfaction", "Circumcised? Your body and your rights were violated", "Denial is not an option", "Circumcised? It's like wearing four condoms," "Penis size matters," "The worst thing about circumcision is that it creates circumcisers", "A pedophilic circumfetishist claims there are benefits to circumcision", and "It looked like a mutilated monster." Comment threads beneath updates like these display profusions of people who contribute with clear hate speech, body-shaming or general ad hominem, like "These perpetrators will die a horrible death someday", "Sex with a circumcised man is much more uncomfortable", "They are subhuman people with no feelings", "Demonic devil-spawn sadistic Satan beast", "Circumcision- the hobby of wicked, deranged perverts", "All circumcisions are botched", "The man is mutilated, sexually maimed," "Men with scarred-up, mutilated, dried-out, desensitized, pleasure-less dicks that are about as sensitive as a rock", "Stupid fucking dumbass, cock-cutting, puritanical, anti-masturbation, prude-ass American", "The US is exceptionally stupid", "Sex is more fun when uncut", and "Sad they [all] are in deep denial".
These are documented instances of blatant misinformation, objectification, body shaming, slander, defamation of character, cyber-bullying and hate speech, on Facebook. No action has been taken against it, despite Facebook's Hate Speech policy:
"Organizations and people dedicated to promoting hatred against these protected groups are not allowed a presence on Facebook. As with all of our standards, we rely on our community to report this content to us."
“Intact America” has also made tributes to extremists-- "Intactivists of the Month"-- who are guilty of vicious harassment and making physical threats to innocent expecting/ new mothers, as well as circumcised men. One example is Brother K—his behavior online is disturbing, both in his and his audience's not-so-subtle antisemitic remarks and endeavors. His extremism is no less problematic than the organization ("Intact America") which commends him for it. Mothers I have met due to my other petition have complained that new mothers "shouldn't be bullied and be pushed into postpartum depression" with regards to his harassing behavior. Another example is James Lowen, who publicly endorses acts of physical violence/ assault on social media. Onision (Greg) is yet another example of their destructive allegiance, a Youtube content creator, who has been banned from the formal convention of the largest video sharing platform in the world due to his insensitivity towards rape victims. He has accused people who eat meat of committing murder (I am a vegan myself, and his extremism is uneducated--along with those who encourage it). Multiple accusations of molest, domestic violence and even rape have allegedly been made against him. A news station (and the same news station which featured an anti-circumcision story about a mother comparing a piercing to clinical surgery, a mother who disobeyed custody court orders) regarded him as a "con artist". He has participated in marketing scandals, where he would fabricate conflict between himself and other Youtube content creators for publicity. His acts were even brought into a court of law, according to his own complaints. All of this is so heavily documented online from so many accessible, branching sources that it would be extremely repetitive to doubt veracity; his erratic, volatile, vengeful reputation graciously precedes him, and that doesn't mean it doesn't matter.
Greg says, in no uncertain terms, "A man who is not intact is literally less of a man". This is actually one of the tamest posts he has made with regards to circumcision, suggesting that circumcised men have rape tendencies, that they're lecherous, and 'less-than' men. Again, it's hardly rocket science that this would inspire very damaging feelings in certain people--namely those with suicidal inclinations already.
Not only does "Intact America" honor all these extremists, but readily excuses their behavior. "Intact America" Executive Director Georganne Chappin, again, says, "We need to stop questioning the motives of those whose aim it is to make circumcisers feel bad," in no uncertain terms. Jeffrey Wood, recognized by "Intact America" similarly to so-called "Intactivists of the Month", said, "The worst thing about circumcision is that it creates circumcisers." Georganne also tends to degrade those with different perspectives, saying in response to counter-protesters, “Their existence confirms that we are winning. Other than that, they are insignificant”.
The "Intact America" Facebook page publicly endorses "Onision" along with many other harmful extremists, and therefore publicly endorses their abusive behavior. In addition to publishing and invoking obvious hate speech, "Intact America" potentially endorses hostility, extremism, violence, con artists, molest, and exploitation on Facebook, whether it is admitted to or not.
Then again, this is an organization which derived its name from the notion of filtering an entire nation of people to achieve one common label.
Instagram accounts have been suspended and/or banned multiple times due to posting similar memes and inappropriate/ potentially harmful content, and the "Intact America" Instagram photo gallery is discernibly limited because images have been removed in the past, or would be removed if posted. Some of these graphic images may be on the Facebook page.
Images on Tumblr, a social media platform also very widely used by youth, often circulate content made or endorsed by “Intact America”, using the aforementioned phrases and sometimes graphic and/or violent imagery. Some of these graphic images may be on the Facebook page.
On the “Intact America” website, there are news bulletins having showed and showing that it supports a dangerous fallacy that circumcision causes autism and personality disorders. Naturally, this website is prominently advertised on the Facebook page.
None of these accounts require thorough investigation beyond visiting the forums in question, and that is the problem: These are outwardly harmful, unnecessary and discriminatory messages protected by a label of activism which encourage or enable forms of bullying. They do not educate or productively raise awareness. They, by definition, violate Facebook's community standards, and they are just a few examples.
And it is estimated that there are at least 7.5 million Facebook users below the age of 13.
Why is the "Intact America" page allowed to abuse and endanger Facebook users to advance a viewpoint? Why are we allowing young people to be subjected to this-- because we don't know how to separate our political views and humane treatment?
It's 2018. Recognize the boundary.
Facebook should recognize hate speech on the part of “Intact America” towards a global minority and vulnerable individuals on its Facebook page as a violation of Facebook's community standards and terms of service, to make it a safer and kinder community for young and old eyes alike.
There is no excuse. There is no justification. There is no reasoning.
Facebook should not be a place for fueling feelings of insecurity, perpetuating hate speech, inspiring actions of harassment or cyber-bullying, and thereby encouraging the suicide rate of vulnerable individuals, in organized forums. That is what "Intact America" consistently and apathetically accomplishes with its images, statements, memes, propaganda, and endorsements.
If you agree that these behaviors should not be condoned on Facebook regardless of political stance, please reach out and sign this petition.
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