More Facebook Hypocrisy: Special Protections for Muslims and Islam
By David Stein
In January I wrote about the grotesque double-standard displayed by Facebook in its refusal to take down a page on which users openly call for the assassination of Sarah Palin. The page, titled “I hate it when I wake up and Sarah Palin is still alive,” is still up and running, even after months of formal protests (and the launching of a rival page dedicated to convincing Facebook to follow its own rules and remove the Palin page).
Today came the disturbing news that a satirical Facebook page created and operated by several friends of mine has been pulled. In fact, not only was the page pulled, but the young woman who was the head admin on the page had her personal Facebook account suspended as well, apparently for no other reason than her admin duties on the satirical page.
And what was the topic of satire on the offending page? What else – Islam. In response to Facebook pulling a page that solicited drawings of the Muslim prophet Mohammed (the “draw Mohammed” page had resulted in Facebook being temporarily banned in Pakistan), my friends created a page called “I.S.L.A.M. – The Institute to Study Lesbian Amateur Movies.” The idea behind the page was to poke fun at the virulent hatred of homosexuals in the Muslim world by creating a page that would turn the religion’s name into an acronym for a detailed study of lesbian movies.
Adding to the joke, the page had nothing to do with Islam at all, except the acronym. Nothing critical about the religion, or Muslims as a people. Just a spirited, humorous discussion about Lesbian home movies.
It was a dare, directed at Facebook administrators who have become less and less concerned about the appearance of a double-standard in the way they remove pages and suspend accounts.
Certainly Facebook, which promotes itself as a gay-friendly site that happily allows such pages as “lesbian shower sex,” “lesbian sex mmmmmm,” “lesbian sex films,” “lesbian dildo sex,” “lesbian teen sex,” and “lesbian anal sex” wouldn’t pull a page dedicated to a discussion of lesbian films.
But, of course, pull it they did. And then the powers-that-be at Facebook took the extra step of suspending the head admin’s personal account – essentially punishing her for running the I.S.L.A.M. page by suspending a completely separate account.
Just as Facebook won’t remove the Palin assassination page, neither will it remove the dozens of sexually-themed pages that mock Christianity, including the “I hate it when Jesus won’t stop sexting me” page, the “Jesus says that he loves you, but he’s just using you for sex” page, the “Jesus loves sex” page, the “butt sex for Jesus” page, the “Jesus Christ, king of sex” page, and, quite literally, hundreds of other pages that ridicule Christianity in sexually explicit and mean-spirited ways.
Facebook’s double-standard regarding the enforcement of its policies is so blatant, and so completely out-in-the-open, it’s become clear that Facebook administrators simply don’t care about maintaining an image of impartiality. The only thing that Facebook admins seem concerned about is that even the smallest offense against Islam might get their site banned from Muslim nations, or targeted by violent extremists. So they don’t mind spreading the word to all Facebook users – Islam, Muslims, and Mohammed are off limits when it comes to criticism, satire, or, as my friends found out the hard way, any reference to lesbians.
And even as the largest and most powerful social networking site in the history of the Internet continues to kowtow to Muslims and hunt down and penalize those who are not properly deferential to the “religion of peace,” Muslims will continue to portray themselves as helpless, disenfranchised victims of non-Muslim aggression, bigotry, and hatred (as the reaction by Muslims to Rep. Pete King’s Congressional hearings on American-Islamic radicalism demonstrates first-hand).
Facebook has decided to become the Internet version of Iran’s “modesty police” – uncompromising guardians against any affront to Muslim sensibilities. And even though it’s not politically convenient right now for Muslims to admit that they’re the bullies rather than the bullied, the least they owe Facebook is the occasional “like” (or even a “poke”), to thank the site for putting Muslim “hurt feelings” above free speech.