Facebook Refuses to Remove Group Promoting Anti-Cyclist Violence
"It’s a stupid and offensive joke and unfortunately there are still
people who don’t see that bicyclists have the same rights as
everyone else," said Marc Caswell, program manager at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "It’s a cruel example of the
ignorance of cyclists’ rights. We would encourage people to report it
The site is full of the vitriol one has come to expect online and in anonymous comment sections, but unlike blogs or online forums, all the fuming leaves a clear path to the users who posted it.
The first user to link the group was from Australia, and several of the references to road rules are of British provenance or from former British colonies. In the "About Me" section, it reads: "No matter how far to the left you are, you’re taking up my road. My car is hard, and i am not slowing down!"
In addition to creating a counter group called "HELP REMOVE this HATE GROUP against cyclists!", a number of cyclists have become fans of the original group and have posted agitprop in the form of bicycle photos. While there are disturbing photos of cars creaming cyclists and road signs promoting violence against cyclists, the photo album is full of pictures of the kind of bike porn you might expect on Bike Blog or Fixed Gear Gallery. And there are easily as many photos of "Share the Road" signs as the opposite.
6. You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic,
or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
Facebook’s Simon Axten told us the group has been reviewed and deemed kosher by the company’s staff. Presumably the reason they are not removing this group boils down to how one interprets the phrase "actionable threats of violence." Here’s Axten’s explanation:
We take our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities very seriously and react quickly to remove reported content that violates our policies. Specifically, we’re sensitive to content that includes hate speech and/or actionable threats of violence. The goal of these policies is to strike a very delicate balance between giving Facebook users the freedom to express their opinions and beliefs, even controversial ones, and maintaining a safe and trusted environment.
We’ve reviewed this group and determined that it doesn’t violate our policies. We encourage users to report anything they feel does violate these policies using the report links located throughout the site. Thanks.
Any legal minds care to comment?
H/T Bike Portland.