Why All Pagans And Witches Need To Delete Their Facebook

Why All Pagans And Witches Need To Delete Their Facebook August 27, 2019
Image from Pixabay

 

When I started writing this blog post, I was in the middle of serving a 24 hour FB (Facebook) jail sentence for copy/pasting the following status from one of my friend’s postings after one of the many mass shootings here in the United States:

You’re not safe at an amusement park, you’re not safe at a concert, you’re not safe at the museum, you’re not safe at your local county fair. You’re not safe at a nightclub, cafe, or Chuck E Cheese. You’re not safe walking down the street. You’re not safe in your car. There is nowhere at all in this god-forsaken country that you are safe from the rage of well-armed, insecure, sad sack white men. There is not a single public or private space in the United States where you can reasonably expect to not get shot by some random white asshole with a chip on his shoulder. We are in a maelstrom of gunfire, and at this point the only question is whether or not you’re going to be shot by a spree shooter, a mass shooter, or – and this one’s for you, ladies – your own mate.

There have been roughly 2,200 mass shootings since Sandy Hook, and if the deaths of twenty kids at the hands of a gunman cannot move us to action, I am unsure that anything will. So seize the day, hug your family, go have some fun, and do all you can to live the best life you can before some angry, pathetic white man comes along and takes your life.

I appealed three times, but it was determined by FB that what I posted was “hate speech”. And even posting a screenshot from its copy over at MeWe was what got me the 24 hour ban.

No, I’m not kidding:

 

What was the magic phrase or words that caused the censorship? Sadly, it was the reference to “white men”. And I’m not alone in this either, other people–mostly women and particularly black women–have faced bans and suspensions at the hands of Facebook while posts advocating genocide, supporting Nazi and white supremacist sentiments, and rape threats go without as much of a blink.

Recent reports have also indicated that they will censor based on “angry reacts”. If you post a piece of news and people react angrily to it, you might face a suspension too. Imagine posting something like “I got laid off” and people angrily reacting to it–and you face a 24 hour ban for upsetting your newsfeed.

So where does this leave us? Specifically those of us who rely on Facebook because our covens, orders, magical groups, and pagan or polytheist discussion forums that give us the ability to communicate with one another let alone any sense of community? For some of us, the online world is 80% of our means of communication with the outside world–not to mention our source of pagan, polytheist, and/or witch community.

Imagine running a magic class on FB but your account gets banned or suspended because your recent posting on climate change got a ton of angry reacts. What happens to your group? What happens to files that were posted in the group? Now imagine being a student in that class. You paid or are paying for it, but you no longer have access to the group because you can’t post anymore on FB–or have your account suspended entirely for no fault of your own. Maybe you got angry at your latest dating attempt and posted “Men are trash.” That’s unfortunately all it takes to get the ban hammer on Facebook.

We can’t do anything about FB policies–and too many of them have been terrible for too long. We have no leverage with FB, and our only option is to vote with our feet unfortunately. And I highly recommend doing so. Now is the time to pick a fledgling but promising alternative and start making backup groups over there and have people join those. Get your friends to do it, too. A lot of mine have already transitioned over or are in the process of doing so.

My picks for replacement? These:

MeWe. Has both an app and a website, interface is clean but free of the noise and ads on FB. You can buy add ons like themes, emoji packs, and other fun stuff. They have both groups and pages, and each group has its own separate chat room. You can friend me there: https://mewe.com/i/scarletmagdalene1

Googlegroups. Emailing lists may as well come back in vogue, and may at the very least act as a backup for an existing social media platform. Plus you can create Google calendars for the group.

If you know of any others like MeWe, let me know in the comments. Personally I think MeWe has the most potential and they’re making improvements all the time.

 

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Helmsman Of-Inepu

    Even worse, if you’re using a pseudonym or craft name, and don’t want your employer or others snooping on you, you can lose your entire account and access to everything you’ve posted, plus your groups and pages in a heartbeat. All it takes is for one of the evangelicals lurking on FB groups to report you for not using your “real name”.

    Mewe’s the best I’ve seen so far. Diaspora is an open-source distributed system, but not enough people there from what I’ve seen. Mastodon is mostly a twitter replacement, but again- not that many people there.

  • Brigid’sFlamekeeper

    I don’t Facebook and I never will. It makes it far too easy for people to find those who don’t want to be found and that’s just for starters. Consider what happened in 16′ with the Russians and our data. Mr. Arthur Weasley (from Harry Potter) always did say “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.”

  • Bendis Fierce-Huntress

    While I do believe in free speech and abhor FB’s censoring, I will have to say – I reacted you that post as hate speech. It is biased and racist. I would react in the very same way if the racial comments all said “black.”

  • The same can be said about any social media platform. None of it’s immune from a person deciding one day to kick you off of it if they don’t like what they wrote.
    Fear mongering doesn’t solve anything. I prefer spending time online by focusing on positivity, and expressing my political outrage to my local community and the voting booth where it actually counts.

  • kenofken

    There is perennial outrage in the Pagan community and elsewhere about Facebook and the other big platforms, but it comes to nothing because 99% of people who threaten to leave these platforms never do, and 99% of those who do come crawling back within a month or two, and these corporations well know it.

    MeWe is a pretty solid alternative, but I think we will never fully get out from under the problem until we move to systems which are fully decentralized and there is no central authority capable of censorship or de-platforming.

  • kenofken

    You say Diaspora does not “have enough people there.”
    You’re not wrong, but that fact is a function of each of our individual choices and not an immutable fact of the universe, as FB would like us to believe.

    Facebook, like any other company in a market economy, has no more power over us than we grant them.

  • Anna H. (Anima Mundi)

    Besides these really great reasons, there is a practical one: Facebook is also an inferior platform for groups. Honestly, any bulletin board from 12 years ago, or even Yahoogroups, was superior. You can’t have real threaded conversations on Facebook groups, and finding something from six months ago is quite difficult because you can only search by term, not by date. Plus, the further back you browse, the slower it gets. Maybe the handful of groups I really value will migrate to a different platform, because you are right, Facebook’s new policies are bullcrap.

  • Arakiba

    It’s not hate speech, it’s fact. Pretending most mass shooters aren’t white and male won’t make reality go away.

  • Erin Lale

    The Asatru Facebook Forum has backup sites on MeWe and Discord. Those are the 2 sites that won the member poll of which site to use. But the Facebook forum has nearly 5k members and the backup forums each less than 100. Which means they are not really usable as backups. Also, when I went to comment here, one of the options was “sign in with Facebook.” Until another social media platform like MeWe or Minds or whatever is also widely available as a password keeper they will not compete with fb.

  • JenniWest

    Well, I won’t be deleting my Facebook and I have been in Facebook jail for innocuous posts, relative to the constant barrage of expletive-laden stuff I post almost every day. (Which I shockingly never get reported for.)

    People getting REPORTED is the number one reason why you end up in FBJ. Which means someone saw your post and was offended, OR PRETENDED TO BE, to get your post removed. (No doubt a white male gun hugger.)

    And your post was TRUE, statistically and factually, so I feel for you. But once the initial anger wears off, you will see that in the civil war we are fighting (ours is just with thoughts and words) dirty fighting is going to be part of the battle plan for many.

    And don’t think for one moment those “pathetic white male gun huggers” don’t dream of an America where they have ridden Leftie social justice warriors out on a rail. And don’t think they don’t dream of social media landscape where they have driven Leftie SJW out on a rail. So that is why I am going nowhere.

  • Axe Grim Skot

    I don’t find that you singled out white men shooters as offensive, I find your reaction juvenile. You aren’t guaranteed safety anywhere. Never ever. Many seem to confuse ‘ought to be’ with ‘is’. You are still more likely to die in a car crash, and you probably know that, so why not confront the root? You are scared. You are angry at feeling powerless at what is a ‘spectacular’ danger. I think it’s interesting that you single out Facebook, because in some sense you are correct in placing the blame on Facebook. Aside from the fact that it is a corrupt company that conspires against its own users, its content feeds into the very ‘spectacle’ that angers you, namely, mass shootings. But I rarely hear anyone talk about why there are so many mass shootings? The answer usually presents itself as “we have too many guns.” The answer should be a little more obvious than that. In the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, we have a lot of damaged homicidal people. Getting off of Facebook is a great start, where we go next isn’t so clear with all of these people such devotees of the ‘spectacle’ that is American society.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolutionary-politics/201908/are-mass-shootings-becoming-more-common

  • Kathy

    Is MeWe only set for those living in the US? I tried to sign up and it wouldn’t work.

  • Mia Kronkite

    Why did you not recognize that you may have been part of the problem? This is a hyperbolic call, and that shows me that you can’t handle moderation well personally. The problem isn’t pale dudes, it’s how they are treated for decades until that stress snaps their self control. This is not a good idea, and is accelerationist content at heart.

    TL:dr, low quality bait, eat more brown pills and stop getting rekt my boi
    -Mia Timberlake

  • Discord is a very viable alternative! I run several servers on their for different purposes, two of which are for occult communities which are really really effective, and I’m a part of several more; it’s pretty nearly perfect for this kind of thing. It was originally created as a gaming-communication service, but is really useful for other things, like this in particular. with live-chats in different channels(including voice-channels), message-pinning, and various moderator options, and if you feel like getting fancy, various bot-integrations for things from scheduling to astrology and tarot applications(tho these are far from necessary)! The learning curve isn’t *too* bad but it may take a little getting-used-to for someone who is primarily Facebook focused.

    There is zero censorship beyond what is implemented by the admins and moderators of specific servers decide, but again, there’s quite a few moderation tools built-in and also quite a few bots that are available to help expand moderator-powers in various ways as the server-administration sees fit. In many ways it’s like a cross between an old IRC board with fancy modern stylings reflective of other modern services like Zoom/Skype and Slack. Definitely hugely recommend it, as I’ve pretty much dropped F-book and even drastically reduced my Twitter presence after getting really involved with several communities on there.

    And that’s the other thing is that Discord is structured in ways that seem to enhance and amplify community rather than flatten it, like Fbook tends to do. I completely agree with basically any of the numerous good reasons to drop F-book given the numerous ways they as a company are unethical and have been since their inception. In my perspective, a significant part of being a Witch, aside from the magic, is the implication that we should stand against cultural monoliths and colonialist practices, and Fbook is an almost prototypical modern example of that. Down with F-book!! And if it’s you’re thing: embrace Discord!

  • There are various password-management services that are widely available and once you sign up for them are both more effective, and provide better security and privacy beyond the very basic ones that F-book tacks on as a way of making it *seem* more user-friendly, when in the background it’s an extremely sinister organization. Various IT organizations and professionals recommend reputable password management services.

    Ultimately, Facebook is *designed* to make you think it’s the most convenient simply because it’s the system you are most familiar with. Expanding your digital horizons just a bit can lead many people to realize that Fbook is really only a monopoly because of it’s monopolistic practices to make alternatives like Discord, MeWe, and Discus less-visible. All it takes is stepping-outside that comfort-zone which they try so very hard to get you to stay in, and asking advice from people with already mildly broader horizons!

  • A white supremacist and colonialist culture is the core social problem underlying a majority of social ills in America today. It’s only rival is misogyny, which ultimately serves the same masters. If this makes you feel uncomfortable then you are part of the problem and should really do some soul-searching and shadow-work. May you and all of us find your way beyond the social-conditioning and recognize the truth so that we may fight back against these destructive systems of Wetiko.

  • Not a perfect article but one with a lot of useful food for thought on this subject:

    https://www.kosmosjournal.org/article/seeing-wetiko-on-capitalism-mind-viruses-and-antidotes-for-a-world-in-transition/

  • Axe Grim Skot

    We tried using Discord and it felt too focused on the gaming community.

  • LavenderRivergreen

    I tried signing up with MeWe, joined a few seemingly innocuous groups and within less than 12 hours, received an invitation to join a neonazi group. It’s pretty disgusting. I’ve already deleted my account. Facebook may not be a great place but MeWe seems to be a place where the alt-right is running to gather, too. Just something to consider.

  • kenofken

    I kind of see that as the price of freedom. Censorship is a very broad and crude tool and ultimately always hurts vulnerable and marginalized groups far more than the oppressors it’s supposedly aimed at.