Leone Kraus

Facebook and GLAAD Team Up to Stop Hate Speech and Anti-Gay Bullying

Filed By Leone Kraus | October 15, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Formspring.me, GLAAD, Kraus Notes

In case you missed it, Facebook and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has teamed up to combat hate speech and cyber-bullying against the LGBT community.

Honestly, with the technological power that Facebook has, I wonder why we had to wait until now to address the cyber-bullying issue. Earlier this year, I wrote about Formspring.me, an anonymous question posting site, which resulted in a cookie-cutter response from the Director of Communications at the company.

Cyber-bullying and hate speech also filled the pages of "The Bible Is Against Homosexuality" Facebook Fan Page, which has been removed at least twice that I am aware of due to its hateful dialogue. You can read my post about them here.

I'm an avid fan of social media and its power to communicate messages to a broader audience and to connect like-minded individuals from across the world. Never before have we had the tools to communicate our messages so quickly and across so many platforms. You used to have to wait for the newspaper to be printed to find out the big stories from yesterday but now you just need to log-in to Facebook to see what your friends are sharing or scan your Twitter feed. I really hate to see people abusing these incredible communication tools - let's work together to stop it!

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Oh, GLAAD finally woke up? What have they been doing with $20 million a year? Oh, waiting.

Oh, Andrew W, where have you been?

GLAAD does plenty with the megabucks we send them. They hold an annual awards party in NYC, so that they can dress up and hob-knob with all the celebrities in NYC. Then later in the same year, they hold another awards party in Los Angeles so that they can schmooze with the movie stars in Hollywood. And sometime during the year, they hold a third awards party somewhere ... oh, maybe Dallas, maybe Miami, maybe Chicago ... so that they can press flesh with any celebrities that they may have missed in NYC and LA, and just so that the folks who don't live in NYC or LA will keep sending them money.

In fact, they have so much fun throwing parties for celebrities all over the US that they have decided to set up offices in NYC, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, and God Knows where else ... each office requiring a paid staff and a big rent check.

You mean, you weren't invited to any of these piss-elegant celebrity parties, Andrew W? Well, I don't know what happened! I'm sure that GLAAD put your invitation in the mail (or maybe it was a wastebasket they mistook for a mailbox).

Andrew and AJ,

What about Facebook? They're a $5 billion dollar company. The LGBT community isn’t the only ones who are experiencing hate speech and bullying. There are other groups like:

People who deny the Holocaust ever happened: http://www.pcworld.com/article/164765/facebook_boots_holocaust_denial_groups.html

People who are fat: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=125005057536429

Justin Bieber's voice and looks: http://www.towleroad.com/2010/04/facebook-hate-groups-goal-vote-justin-bieber-out-of-male-gender.html

The list could goes on...just Google search hate speech on Facebook.

Personally, I would put more pressure on Facebook than on GLAAD. Facebook could have spent some if its estimated $5 billion in revenue to build technology that flags certain hate words. Think about how Google.com's search engine works. With just a few keystrokes Google is able to populate instant results on what you're searching. I'm assuming that with a little development time and cost Facebook could set-up a similar search protection on their site. They have access to ALL our profile data, comments, status updates, content shares etc, regardless if we delete or post from a different profile. They could easily tell if we were the victims of hate speech or if we were the perpetrator or even a mixture of both - they just need to make it a priority to do so.

I mis-quoted Facebook's worth. According to The Social Network movie, which I just saw, Facebook is now valued at $25 billion.

Never before have people had the ability to be jerks in front of so many people across so many platforms....

True...

But I think it can be managed and monitored far better than it currently is. I'm no tech wiz but I'm positive there is a way these sites can build in coding that flags for hate speech. I know there will always be someone who hacks the system and could get away with it but I for most users, this could work.