Today was one of the strangest days of my life. True – I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my 28 years, but this one was by far the strangest.
In the early afternoon, while trying to log into my Facebook account, I got a very peculiar notification.This notification stated that one of the pages I manage posted content that doesn’t follow the Community Standards of Facebook and thus my personal account is blocked for the next 12 hours. As I’m writing these lines, this is still in effect for at least 7 more hours.
I manage the social media accounts for a small, yet feisty, student organization, known as SFI (soon to change into ISCA). Last week my team came across the most outrageous content on Instagram, which we reported to the network. The content included a photo of a few guys forming a Nazi Swastika with their hands. My team came across this photo while searching the hashtag #HEILHITLER. The specific picture was re-posted about 1000 times, pointing to the unfortunate circumstances and influence such a post can cause. This, among other disturbing content, is easily found on Instagram.
Common practice on social media dictates that once someone posts any content it is hard to trace its influence over the network, and it can be easily shared on other social networks. This characteristic is what makes social platforms so popular and important these days, and it is this same trait that makes it a harmful, malicious weapon in the wrong hands. It’s not for nothing that various states are beginning to understand that such content could become the cause for hate crimes. This was the case in a recent verdict by a French court regarding Anti-Semitic content on Twitter. In a celebratory decision the court forced Twitter to reveal user details of people who post Anti-Semitic content. Unfortunately, the verdict didn’t get enough attention by prominent media outlets. There’s a reason why social platforms can be held liable for hate content and have created a standard by which users are obliged to follow.
So, after 12 hours of being blocked from commenting, liking, and connecting with any of my friends on Facebook, I’m back. Back to my mission of fighting Anti-Semitic content online! I hereby call on all my readers and friends to do the same: keep reporting Anti-Semitism online and bring hateful content to the attention of your followers and friends worldwide. Of course, no comment has been received yet from Facebook, though they were referred to the injustice they caused me. I just wish I could prove damage….