I spent three days in Facebook jail. This is a punishment that is far too often given to activists who are part of the Black Lives Matter movement. I made the following comment, which led to a ban on commenting, posting, and messaging for several days:
Sure, it is only three days; and yeah, it is just an online outlet. But in a country where we pride ourselves on free speech, pointing out that there are many people who deny the realities of racism is hardly a reason to silence someone. There are a slew of people, pages, and groups intended to incite hatred towards groups of oppressed people. Those people are still on Facebook, and have been blatantly obvious from day one.
When speaking to all of the black individuals who have been silenced by the “powers that be”, I see one thing that is pretty consistent: I am the exception. I am one of the few white people who have been blocked by Facebook moderators for merely addressing racism. And yet, there are countless white people who spew that same hatred I spoke out on, and they are given a pass on a constant basis. How am I the exception? Most of the people of color that I spoke to, could tell me of the countless times that they were blocked by Facebook moderators as a result to them calling out racist behavior. How can that be? When Mark Zuckerberg has to scold his employees because they defaced a Black Lives Matter slogan on their company wall (which is intended for people to write on) and replaces it with “All Lives Matter”, you must ask yourself who it is that is moderating these reported comments and posts. You must ask yourself whether or not Zuckerberg is employing the right people to do the job, or if he is even training them properly.
White supremacists – and people with similar mindsets – have been known to target and infiltrate spaces where they can use their authority to attack minorities in numerous ways. A perfect example would be of the KKK infiltration in the Baltimore Police Department. A man was given a KKK Grand Dragon robe paired with a Baltimore Police uniform. There will be continued speculation in how deep they have infiltrated spaces in politics, government/law enforcement, and other positions where they can bring harm to people of color, particularly black people and those of Latin descent. Social media has been an increasing source of news and activism-like activity, so it seems quite fair to consider the possibility that white supremacists or other such oppressive groups have gained positions where they can control the narrative to fit their needs to keep the struggle going.
All speculation aside, it is a well-known fact among all black and other POC on Facebook and Twitter, that they will be targeted and silenced anytime people find their allegiance to the Black Lives Matter movement (and others like it) “offensive” and decide to report it. White people are very seldom held to the same standard when speaking out against racism, and plenty are given free reign to spew hatred towards POC. What needs to happen is for Zuckerberg to retrain or dismiss all individuals who use their white fragility or white supremacist beliefs to keep black and brown people under their thumb. I hope he is listening and starts making changes soon, because one day people will grow tired of Facebook’s oppression and find a more free alternative. Until then, do not let those moderators keep you quiet. Just open up more emails to create those alt. accounts. 😉