In light of the #MeToo campaign, women have continuously written on Facebook “men are scum,” or “men are the worst,” in relation to users’ posts. As a result, Facebook has banned these women’s accounts.
Comedian Marcia Belsky was one of the “banned.” Her friend, Nicole Silverberg, described her sexual abuse after posting a list of ways men can treat women better, drawing from the harassment scandals that have taken place in Hollywood, the media, and politics. Belsky sarcastically commented “men are scum” under Silverberg’s post. Facebook then banned Belsky from their platform for 30 days.
Update: “Men are scum/ugly/trash/theworst” posts get removed (quickly) no matter the context and get you suspended.
“Women are scum” – reviewed and found by FB not to violate standards. pic.twitter.com/ebEXK6xG7Q
— Marcia Belsky (@MarciaBelsky) November 29, 2017
Comedian Kayla Avery reported she was banned 10 separate times from the social media site. After being treated in a sexist manner by men, Avery wrote “men are the worst.”
Avery spoke with The Daily Beast: “There was one guy who was threatening to find my house and beat me up… I got banned before I could even successfully report it… How else can we have a genuine reaction to what’s going on? Facebook is absolutely silencing women.”
Together with 500 female comedians, Avery then started a campaign against this type of banning. As a result, on November 24, in protest against being “silenced,” Facebook found countless posts of “all men are scum.” The Daily Beast reported that every one of the women were banned:
Cooooooool so @facebook is STILL going through my timeline to delete posts. Funny though Facebook said @MarciaBelsky was a mistake yet they are still targeting my page…what. A. Mystery! pic.twitter.com/YcV8SWbpUg
— Kayla Avery (@averykayla) December 4, 2017
Facebook then reinstated a few of the deleted posts, announcing that while some of those bans were a mistake, any posts that targets someone based on their gender “would not be tolerated.”
Sheryl Sandberg, chief of Facebook, previously posted her support of women while still warning that they may face backlash. Sandberg wrote: “I have already heard the rumblings of a backlash: ‘This is why you shouldn’t hire women.’ Actually, this is why you should.”
Facebook guidelines state that accounts may not direct any derogatory comments against a protected group – meaning any category that falls under race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.
A spokesperson from Facebook stated:
We understand how important it is for victims of harassment to be able to share their stories and for people to express anger and opinions about harassment — we allow those discussions on Facebook… We draw the line when people attack others simply on the basis of their gender.