Maryam Namazie, a political activist who frequently criticizes Islamism, received a graphic rape threat from a violent Muslim. Unfortunately, according to Facebook, the message didn’t violate any of their “specific community standards.”
I have received a lot of hate mail over the years, but this is something extraordinary. His threat is clear and specific… and disturbing. So, be warned.
This is violent and graphic, so keep that in mind.
Namazie shared some screenshots from the conversation on Twitter to protest Facebook’s censorship policies. She pointed out that pages get shut down regularly because they criticize Islam, yet the company seems not to care about graphic threats. This is something I have experienced, as well, so I’m happy people are finally paying attention to this double standard.
— Maryam Namazie (@MaryamNamazie) July 12, 2017
Most people commenting on Namazie’s Twitter thread were supportive, and many were surprised that Facebook could find this post appropriate and non-offensive. Some took the opportunity to critique the social network’s threat monitoring system.
Namazie is a political and secular activist like me, and I too have experienced similar problems with threats, but this issue with Facebook is something that affects everyone. I’ve reported hundreds of death threats to Facebook, and dozens to Twitter, and have never received a satisfactory conclusion. I’ve also been banned for posting nothing more than a quote from the Bible or the Qur’an. Crazy, isn’t it?
— Ahad Ghanbary (@ahadx) July 13, 2017
One Twitter user even suggested Namazie could have grounds for a legal complaint. I don’t know if that’s the case, but if so, I’d be happy to join in on a class action.
Looks like you have grounds for suing facebook for not taking down a threat against you , you should get legal advice .
— Hank Chinanski (@bongobango555) July 12, 2017
All in all, I’m not surprised by all this. I am, however, disappointed in Facebook and horrified at the person who sent that message to Namazie. This is something that should never happen. Regardless of our religious preferences, we are all people and we all deserve to be treated with a certain amount of respect. No one should have to fear for their life because they spoke their thoughts, whether they are criticizing Islam or railing against the President. It’s Free Speech.
Yours in Reason,
David G. McAfee
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