Facebook banning some women for their responses to #MeToo

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg over the weekend wrote about sexual harassment and what companies should do about it in the wake of the many revelations involving harassment or assault at workplaces in industries galore. But her own company has been banning women for their reaction to such scandals.

Female comedians and other women say their Facebook accounts have been suspended for posting “men are scum,” and similar comments. The issue is big enough that one of the comediennes has created a website to collect the stories of the women who have been banned.

Boston-based comedian Kayla Avery, creator of Facebook Jailed, is serving out the end of her third 30-day ban from the world’s largest social network, the Daily Beast reports. Avery said she’s been banned for, among other things, responding to trolls on her page.

“There was one guy who was threatening to find my house and beat me up,” she said, according to the Daily Beast. “I got banned before I could even successfully report it.” She said she had posted “men continue to be the worst.”

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The Daily Beast reports that many women have been suspended from Facebook for one to seven days, including many who got together and posted a variation of “men are scum” on Nov. 24 as a form of protest.

Facebook has not responded to SiliconBeat’s request for comment, but the company told the Daily Beast that “men are scum” is considered a threat and hate speech toward a protected group.

Earlier this year, a report offered a peek into the groups Facebook considers protected. One of them is white males, because they belong to two protected classes: race and gender. The categories that are not protected, according to internal Facebook documents seen by ProPublica: social class, continental origin, appearance, age, occupation, political ideology, religions and countries.

Other women who have been banned include writer and comedian Rae Sanni, who says on Facebook Jailed that she was called the n-word on Facebook but that wasn’t deemed hate speech. On Nov. 28, Sanni wrote on Twitter about Facebook’s practices.

“Lots of our women friends are having their posts deleted or are being banned for talking about this, or repeating ‘men are scum.’ I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but these bans, accidental or otherwise, sure feel targeted,” Sanni wrote.

 

Photo by Associated Press

 

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