Several months back, I posted a variant on a joke that trolls White Supremacists who refer to multicultural representation as “White Genocide.” I don’t remember the version I said, but the original is, “All I want for Christmas is White Genocide.” Yes, I happen to think it’s a knee-slapper, but also, both the original and my variant were created and disseminated by fellow people from European heritage (3 of my grandparents have roots going back to Northern Europe). Somebody on my friend’s list was offended enough to report it, so Facebook took it down and gave me a stern lecture about why I should abide by their “community standards.”
Which I always thought was weird, because when I’ve reported pages for being racist against Puerto Ricans, pointing out their explicit stereotypes that paint Boriquenxs (the other grandparent is Puerto Rican) as lazy and dumb thugs from the perspective of gentrifiers, it takes several weeks and multiple reports from many people (residents and allies) before Facebook even admits that the page is violating Community Standards. Recently, I reported a man for threatening sending his family after me to cause me physical harm. Community Standards were apparently silent then as they’ve never gotten back to that issue.
A white man making a joke about a white supremacist talking point, however, violates the Community Standards? And while some of my FB friends did initially find the joke insensitive, I was able to explain its context to them. Facebook, however, does not have such a dialogue. The people who supposedly uphold standards for community living don’t have open, two-way dialog, the most essential element of creating and sustaining a community.
Community is difficult, dynamic, multifaceted, and living. Paradoxically, while every community needs boundaries and guidelines, to strictly enforce them unilaterally (read: Zero Tolerance) leads to the death of the community. What rises instead gravitates toward racist, sexist, ableist, and classist hegemony. A network should stop pretending to be social when it is unwilling or unable to bend, when orders merely come from the top (from people who tend to navigate towards anti-social tendencies in the first place).
I reached the butt-end of this zero-tolerance policy when I made another swipe at The Whites. This time, a friend alerted me that he was censored on one of my posts for saying (appropriately) the phrase “White Devils” in response to some messed up story I shared about White people acting very… White people. When I found out he was reported and his statement taken down I reacted and said that anybody outraged by the phrase White Devil is either a White Devil or a White Devil Ally, and as such, should not be my friend.
I was then booted off of Facebook for 24 hours (more like 26, but I’m not bitter or anything). When I asked that they revise their finding (I ‘violated Facebook Community standards’ again, for hate speech), I added that I, myself as a White person*, could not have been invoking hate speech because I do not hate myself.
At this point, it may be necessary to remind readers that White Nativists believe that White people can be race-traitors for aligning with Black and Brown people. It is a capital offense to the KKK and Nazis.
Two weeks after that stint, I was sent back to Facebook Rikers Island for a sentence of three days for saying Settler Colonialists are violent and murderers. Where was the lie? Tha is what settler colonialism is: It is cultural and bodily genocide that takes land. Facebook apparently agreed with me for a minute because it censored the Declaration of Independence for hate speech, until it backtracked and realized who was doing the talking and about whom.
See, Founding Fathers and other powerful bigots like US presidents, other politicians, and even (White) pundits get to make tremendous threats against the lives of millions of people on social media and all of a sudden the Community Standards Police are mum. These are people with tremendous influence and power, with fingers on the pulse of the movers and shakers if not the movers and shakers, THE button-pushers themselves.
After the first-third of my jail sentence, the judge/jury/executioner came back to me and acknowledged that they made a mistake and sent me on my merry way. But there was no transparency as into what the decision-making process was like in the first place nor why there was a reversal. I do not know if I can talk about Christians or Evangelicals (as a present Christian and former Evangelical, I feel inclined to) in a critical light without again getting booted for “hate speech”.
However, my sentencing was light compared to women and others outside of cisgender maleness, and especially of those of color. Many of my friends have had extended periods in Facebook or Twitter Pokie or have lost their social media accounts for declaring “men are trash” despite the accuracy of this statement and the context of their own harassment by men, who are socially conditioned to feel ownership. This silencing tactic, directed by men, only adds to the veracity of the statement. Furthermore, Twitter and Facebook punish black and brown people–heavily victimized by this racist, sexist nation-state–for saying “Death to America.” Even though, unlike Donald Trump, they have no actual power* to enact any semblance of such a threat. Such as when the POTUS literally threatened genocide of the entire Korean population. And yet his account remains unchallenged.
Every successful enterprise within White Supremacist Patriarchal Capitalism is set up to protect White Supremacist Patriarchal Capitalism; that includes the internet.
*yet. Lord hasten the day.