Reporting Racism on Facebook

Fri 9 Sep 2011

Can you spare a few clicks to fight racism on Facebook?

Several of my Aboriginal friends have been engaged in a constant battle to report racist Facebook Pages, Groups and Accounts.  At the bottom of this post are some examples of the vile rubbish they have been dealing with.

Of course, one person reporting a racist page to Facebook will have no impact whatever.  Nothing happens until many reports come in.  Just as in prehistoric times when it took a hundred arrows to bring down a woolly mammoth, a bit of coordination is required.

With that in mind, I have created the following diagrams which might help many of us to at least aim in the same direction.  There are diagrams for:
Reporting a racist FB PAGE,
Reporting a racist FB GROUP and
Reporting a FAKE ACCOUNT set up by a racist.

(Note that this information current as at September 2011.  Watch out for Facebook changes.)

Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE

First up, go to the page, but DO NOT “LIKE” the page.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE
Reporting a racist Facebook PAGE  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report Page” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “Hate Speech
  3. select “Targets a race or ethnicity” from the drop-down list
  4. click Continue
  5. on the next pop-up, check the “Report to Facebook” box
  6. click Continue

Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP

First up, go to the group, but DO NOT “JOIN” the group.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP
Reporting a racist Facebook GROUP  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report Group” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “Hate Speech or personal attack
  3. select “Targets a race or ethnicity” from the drop-down list
  4. click Submit

Reporting a FAKE ACCOUNT set up by a racist

First up, go to the fake page, but DO NOT “Add Friend”.  This just makes the bad guys’ numbers look good.
Secondly, DO NOT ENGAGE the bad guys in conversation or comments.  In many cases, they are just trolls, doing it to see what reaction they can stir up.

Reporting a FAKE FB ACCOUNT
Reporting a FAKE FB ACCOUNT set up by a racist  (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Then follow the numbered steps in the diagram above:

  1. click on the “Report/Block” link
  2. on the pop-up window, click on “This profile is pretending to be someone or is fake
  3. select “Does not represent a real person” from the drop-down list
    3a. optionally check the “Block” box.  Don’t do this if you want to keep an eye on them in future.
  4. click Continue
  5. on the next pop-up, check the “I confirm…” box
  6. click Continue

But what about “Freedom of Speech”?

Now, many who know me will know I have been an active campaigner against censorship, particularly Senator Conroy’s plan to censor Australia’s internet.  Some might ask, “Mike, are you being inconsistent here?

My answer is “No.”  This is because, in Australia, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 makes hate speech illegal.  And what we are dealing with here is clearly hate speech…

Examples of Hate Speech on Facebook
Examples of Hate Speech on Facebook

Sadly, in recent weeks, many new hate speech pages have sprung up, inspired by the tawdry television of Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys.  None of these racist pages are hard to find; just search in Facebook using some of the keywords in the picture above.

Chris Lilley-inspired racism on Facebook
Chris Lilley-inspired racism on Facebook

My Aboriginal friends have achieved a lot over the past few weeks and I congratulate them.  If you can spare a few clicks to help them out, that would be great.  If you can join the team working on this in a coordinated manner, that would be even better.  Send me a message on Facebook and I can put you in touch.  Thanks.

8 Responses to “Reporting Racism on Facebook”

  1. sandra mcginness Says:

    i note there are a few facebook pages with the titles ‘only join if you are black, asian, white’ etc.

  2. MikeFitz Says:

    Yes, Sandra. Racism, immaturity, stupidity; these can infect people regardless of the colour of their skin (… or eyes, or hair.)

  3. Bron Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Mike. These groups, pages, and profiles are an utter disgrace.

  4. Heather Mildred Says:

    Nice page. I had no idea you were against internet censorship. I got out of Telstra and my contract because I objected to their NBN deal to censor the internet of their users from July 1 2011. there was a brief news article saying that Telstra and Optus, then the only ones to sign up to the NBN had both agreed to VOLUNTARILY censor the Internet of their users. Stephen
    Conroy went all silent on the censorship and then we hear this!

  5. Christian Says:

    Thanks for putting this up, I’m part of the group and as much as it pains me to see all this hate, I try and use it to keep me going to better myself. My goal is to always break down the stereotypical view of Indigenous Australians. Hence why I’m at uni studying to become a primary teacher so I can educate the youth. Also it does make me smile that I might be the teacher of some of the racist scums children and even though I will treat them the same as every other child, I’m sure it kills them to have me as the teacher. Keep up the good work everyone

  6. Jennifer Says:

    Good on you Christian! I love people who are actively trying to change things. And you’re right, this stuff is disgraceful. I am so glad that where I live we see v little racism now, and for my daughter and her friends growing up, they are soo against racism, it’s a sign that our society is slowly maturing.

  7. Cy Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I already make numerous reports to facebook though (the amount of sexist, racist, homophobic comments out there is amazing) but I really wonder if any of it works.

    Like you say, one person reporting will have no impact - I wonder if you could keep us updated and let us know if our reporting has led to the successful removal of a page!

  8. MikeFitz Says:

    Thanks Bron, Heather and Christian. Keep up the good work.

    Jennifer, I like to think that, as a society, we are maturing and things like racism are becoming far less socially acceptable. Unfortunately there are what I call “The Toxic 10%” who shout above their weight.

    Cy, as at two days ago, there were 44 racist pages and groups that had been removed since August 29. There have been more in the past two days.

    If you are on Facebook, send me a message (via http://www.facebook.com/mike.fitzsimon) and I can give you more info about the campaign.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>

Comment moderation is in use. Please do not submit your comment twice -- it will appear shortly.
"SEO"-type comments will be reported to Akismet as Spam.