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3-min read

Facebook Is Reportedly Banning Women For Saying ‘Men Are Ugly’

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many women have taken to Facebook to express their frustration and disappointment with men. In response, Facebook has silenced them. Sometimes even for a week.

Adrija Bose | CNN-News18

Updated:December 5, 2017, 6:03 PM IST
Facebook Is Reportedly Banning Women For Saying ‘Men Are Ugly’
Founder of the #MeToo campaign Tarana Burke (R) introduces Actor Rose McGowan to speak during the opening session of the three-day Women's Convention at Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, US. Image: Reuters
Apparently, women can’t be angry. And if they are, they better not write about it on Facebook. Otherwise, the social media giant is likely to ban them. Yep.

According to a report by the Daily Beast, Facebook is banning accounts of women for saying innocuous things like “men are trash” or even “men are ugly” in response to male trolls.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many women have taken to Facebook to express their frustration and disappointment with men. In response, Facebook has silenced them. Sometimes even for a week.

Here are some of the comments that Facebook has banned women for-- “Men ain’t shit,” “All men are ugly,” “all men are allegedly ugly”, “and men continue to be the worst ” and “men are scum”.

Kayla Avery, a comedian in Boston, told The Daily Beast that in the last one month, she has been banned about 10 times.  When she was flooded with sexist messages from male trolls, Avery posted what was on her mind, exactly what Facebook asks its users to. Her post “Men continue to be the worst” got her banned. Avery wanted to report a guy who was threatening to find her house and beat her up. Before she could report him, Facebook banned her. No, nothing happened to the troll.

The comedian has now created a website called FacebookJailed.com to document the experiences of other women who have been punished for such comments, or sometimes even standing up to trolls.

Incidentally, when people posted “women are scum”, and had them reported too, there were no consequences.

So, why is Facebook punishing women? A spokesperson said that it was a “threat and hate speech toward a protected group and so it would rightfully be taken down”. An earlier investigation by ProPublica had revealed that white men are listed as a protected group by Facebook.

All this is happening even as Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is worried that there might be a backlash against women in the aftermath of the #MeToo movement.

In an FB post, Sandberg wrote about her own experiences with harassment, including “a hand on my leg under the table at a meeting,” married men offering “career advice” “alone late at night” and, most alarming, a man at a conference who came to her hotel room late at night and banged on her door until she called security. 

“Sexual harassment has been tolerated for far too long in the halls of government and companies large and small. For the first time in my professional life, it feels like people are finally prepared to hold perpetrators responsible. I’m cheering,” she said.

But Sandberg is also worried that about workplace repercussions that could limit the opportunities women have in their careers. “I have already heard the rumblings of a backlash: ‘This is why you shouldn’t hire women.’ Actually, this is why you should,” Sandberg wrote.

“The world has always been run by men, and it still is today. Only thirteen countries and 6 percent of Fortune 500 companies are run by women. Just 13 percent of police officers are women, and only a few hundred are police chiefs. And less than 20 percent of the U.S. Congress is female.

These numbers reveal a power structure that has marginalized women and others for far too long. We need to see more women in these roles – and more people of color, LGBT individuals, and members of religious minorities and underrepresented groups of all kinds.” She wrote.

Thanks for the thoughtful message Sandberg, but what about women who want to express anger on Facebook? Is banning them the answer?
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