Michael Brown, a writer for Charisma News, is upset that there are Facebook groups that he finds offensive who are “liking” his posts on Facebook and he wonders why Facebook is not closing down those groups. More bizarrely, he wonders how it could possibly be legal:
To give the relevant details, a few weeks ago, my staff noticed there were “likes” appearing in response to posts on my AskDrBrown Facebook page, and these “likes” were from new Facebook pages, including “Jesus F**king Christ. Slut Mary’s Bast*rd.”
Yes, this is actually the name of a Facebook Fan page—spelled out in full—and the page is as profane as the name. Yet Facebook says the page does not violate community guidelines for hate speech against a religious group!
Facebook also had no problem with pages like “Christo Fascist Bigots Run This Business” and “Virgin? Mary Should Have Aborted,” the latter page featuring a gay and lesbian, sadomasochist version of the Last Supper.
What this means is that anyone participating on my AskDrBrown Facebook page—which reaches 40,000+ per week—would constantly be confronted with vulgar, anti-Jesus profanity, since there’s no way to remove these “likes” once they’re posted. (In contrast, an offensive comment can be removed and an offending participant can be blocked.)So, when someone would post a question on my Facebook timeline, asking me about the meaning of a verse in the Bible or asking if I’d seen a particular news item about Israel or sharing a beautiful, spiritual insight, soon enough you would see “Jesus F**king Christ. Slut Mary’s Bast*rd” and “Christo Fascist Bigots Run This Business” pop up as “liking” this.
How can this be legal? How can Facebook permit people to post Christ-mocking profanity on someone else’s page?
Again, if Facebook feels that these offensive pages do not contain hate speech against a religious group and they want to have an “anything goes” environment, that’s their business, as long as they’re consistent (which would obviously mean rewriting their community guidelines).
I don’t know why so many people don’t understand that under American law there is no such thing as hate speech. It simply does not exist as a legal category (nor should it, by the way). That doesn’t mean there isn’t any criticism that could be made of such things, and personally I have little patience for stupid crap like a group called “Jesus Fucking Christ. Slut Mary’s Bastard.” That’s just juvenile trolling and there’s no reason for it. But how can this be legal? If you ask that question, you are utterly clueless.