Richard Metzger: How I, a married, middle-aged man, became an accidental spokesperson for gay rights overnight


Richard Metzger of Dangerous Minds (you may know him as founder of Disinformation, or as a BB guestblogger, or as the counterculture "Charlie Rose"), writes in with the odd story of a Facebook photo ban, and the media misinfo frenzy that followed.

Since just last Friday, the above photo, a publicity still from the popular BBC soap opera "EastEnders" has become the emblem of an utterly unnecessary Facebook scandal. One that's already gone international and one that I, personally, I am tangentially involved in. I say unnecessary because it never should have happened in the first place, but let me state this at the beginning of this for those of you--you know who you are-- who'll just read the first two paragraphs before zipping off to write something snarky in the comments: I do not personally believe that the Facebook corporation is in any way homophobic. Not even in the slightest. Okay?

Now that I've got that out of the way, here is what happened and why some people might think that they are:

On Friday afternoon, one of my fellow bloggers at Dangerous Minds, Niall O'Conghaile did a quickie cut-n-paste blog post about a "kiss-in" protest scheduled for that night in London at a pub where two young men had been asked to leave earlier in the week because they were kissing. You can read Niall's post here. He decided to use the above photo because he felt that it was inoffensive (Some outlets have reported that this photo came from the London "kiss-in" page on Facebook, but this is not true, it was Niall's choice and he found it on Google Images).

I posted this to my own Facebook wall as a matter of course. I put up all of the Dangerous Minds content on my wall. Sometime mid-day is when this would have gone up.

I didn't really pay that much attention to the matter, but before we went to sleep that night, my wife Tara McGinley, who also blogs at Dangerous Minds, mentioned that this heavy metal kinda guy "Jerry" had written a bunch of childish and homophobic things about this picture on my Facebook wall, saying that he found it "disgusting." Predictably, a bunch of people jumped all over him and right around 10:30pm Tara noticed that "Jerry" had deleted all of his comments and vamoosed.

The next morning I woke up around 6am to find a note from Facebook waiting for me with the ominous subject "Facebook Warning" informing me that I had posted "abusive material" which they had removed. Here's what it said:

"Hello: Content that you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Shares that contain nudity, or any kind of graphic or sexually suggestive content, are not permitted on Facebook.

This message serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account. Please read the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities carefully and refrain from posting abusive material in the future. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

--The Facebook Team"

I assumed that the item in question was a post that had legitimately risqué footage of 1960s strippers in an embedded video and shrugged it off. I didn't even look. When my wife Tara woke up, I told her about the Facebook warning and she also assumed that it came as a result of the stripper footage.

Five minutes later she came into my office and said "You won't believe this. The thing Facebook cited you over? It was the thing about the kiss-in at the London pub that Niall posted."

Here is what I wrote back to Facebook:


Can you please tell me exactly what this objectionable post was? My FB profile is an extension of the Dangerous blog which gets around 200,000 daily readers and over 5 million a month. We post tons of content there, so it would be helpful to find out what this material was.

Does this mean that you got a specific complaint?

The more I thought about it, the more this minor act of censorship bothered me. It seemed so small-minded.

I wondered why Facebook would remove this rather innocuous photo and I was also pissed off that this "Jerry" fellow, this supposed "friend" of mine (someone I've never met of course) should be able to get something taken down from my wall simply because he's a whiner. I mean... look at that picture. They are both fully-clothed. It's a still from a popular prime-time (or "pre-watershed" as they say in the UK) BBC TV show, not a porn film! Why should this ridiculous homophobe heavy metal guy get to call the tune?

The stupidity of this situation really bugged me, so I sat down and wrote up a quick blog post because I was in such a snit about it. When I was adding HTML links I realized that the link in Niall O'Conghaile's original post to the Facebook page organizing the London pub "kiss-in" was now gone. I worked this in also, but only in the sense of asking IF there was a connection (I now know there wasn't, but I'll get to that part later). I put up the post, titled "Hey Facebook: What's SO wrong about a pic of two men kissing?" and went about my day.

Within a matter of minutes, that blog post was getting hundreds upon hundreds of shares. And then thousands and then tens of thousands. There are currently, as I type this, over 75,000 shares and over 1100 tweets. In just two days, considerably more than a million people have read that post. Without trying to, I wrote a blog post that was heard round the world. Had I known so many people would be reading it, I'd have spent more time polishing my prose.

The post I wrote is still being read by many hundreds more people every hour who come to the (I think false) conclusion that Facebook is a homophobic, evil company. As I stated at the beginning of this, I don't believe that is true. My beef with them was about "Jerry" as I think I make clear in my post, but other people, and I can't say I blame them, are jumping to different conclusions.

What pissed me off is that they let a knucklehead like my "friend" get away with this and allowed a dummy--the turd in the punchbowl-- to get the better of my nearly 5000 other "friends" who were laying into his dumbass with knives drawn! The group/tribe there wished to oust "Jerry" and his lowbrow homophobia from their midst. Why did Facebook side with him and not the vast majority of my "friends"? It was obvious that he was the irritant to the group at large, not the photograph! Him!

According to Facebook's FAQ on matters like this, EVERY claim of "abusive" posts is investigated by an actual live human being. If we take them at their word, it wasn't automatically deleted.

My assumption is that "Jerry" complained and that perhaps a conservative or religious person working for Facebook --maybe it was an outsourced worker in another country, I can't say--got that case number, looked at it for a split second, vaguely (or wholeheartedly, who can say?) agreed with "Jerry" (or it was just "easier" to "agree" with him as a matter of corporate policy) dinged it and moved on. I doubt that there was very, very little thought given to the matter. "Delete" and move on to the next item of "abusive material" on the list.


There is little else to report. How people reacted to it is in evidence all over Facebook now with thousands of people changing their photo to one of a same sex smooch. There are protests planned all over the world now. It has a life of its own now, but one that resulted from a mistake, ultimately.

The real problem here is certainly not that Facebook is a homophobic company. It's that their terrible corporate policy on censorship needs to stop siding with the idiots, the complainers and the least-enlightened and evolved amongst us as a matter of business expediency! That ill-advised policy can cause huge --and otherwise avoidable-- international public relations problems for them. Why just give that power to dummies and homophobes to use like a caveman club on the rest of us? It makes no rational sense (certainly not from a legal standpoint) and is anything BUT expedient when you consider the damage to their brand which can occur in a situation, ahem, exactly like this one.

They're a young company, but this is something that they've GOT to get right. If Facebook adopted new guidelines that would put the "burden of proof," so to speak, on the complaining party, this would have an undeniably positive effect on society at large because of the supremely high leverage point an entity like Facebook holds in cultures all over the world.

On Monday morning, I was contacted by a woman working with a foundation in New York that aims to accelerate full equality and acceptance for lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, about advising them on an advertising campaign hitting Facebook hard over this policy. This seems like an especially good idea to me. If Facebook can be persuaded to modify their censorship criteria, and PREVENT the stupids, the jerks, the blue-noses and the idiots from always having the advantage, the LGBT community will have won a very important battle FOR free speech and AGAINST hate speech and bullying.

It's a win-win situation all the way around for everyone except for the assholes. What do you say, Facebook?

[When I get a reply from Facebook, with an explanation which they owe not just to me, but everyone using their contraption I'll update this post. I still haven't gotten one. They know how to reach me, obviously]

Addendum: I also wanted to mention that it turns out that the Facebook event for the "kiss-in" was not, in fact, blocked by Facebook, as I questioned on Saturday morning in my original post. The page was made private by the creator of the event itself, Paul Shetler, due to the"abusive material" that he was having to deal with himself left by homophobes and Internet trolls. Come Saturday morning it was a dead link. Paul Shetler wrote this in the comments of the post at Dangerous Minds to clear the matter up:

Paul Shetler says: Hey I just saw this. Before it goes too far, I just want people to know that FB have NOT removed the kiss-in event page; it's still there, but _I made the event private after the event_ was over and only visible to those who had been invited as there were starting to be trolls posting abusive nonsense on it.

Other people, seem to be confused about what exactly was taken down from my Facebook page, it was a link to the Dangerous Minds post that Niall wrote, not, as some seem to think, the link Paul refers to above.

Once more with feeling: They were two separate things, my speculation did not really assume they were conjoined matters, but I think I did confuse some readers. I noticed both things at the same time. My speculation in the first post was pretty clearly just that, speculation.

I'm not walking back what I wrote Saturday morning, I'm just reporting what subsequently came to light with Paul's note. Niall tried to clear up some of the confusion that we could see was happing in the comment with this follow-up post. It's worth mentioning that aside from this ZDnet article, almost everything I've been reading about this on Perez Hilton, The Advocate's blog and elsewhere, outlets both pro and con, even when they are trying to be supportive, are often really factually incorrect, or simply inept in their reporting, sometimes to a idiotic degree. It's been very odd to see all of this transpire. I've been accused of all kinds of nefarious things.

What still remains to be seen is why Facebook removed the original Dangerous Minds post from my personal profile with the warning that I had posted "abusive" material. Still waiting on that.


  1. “According to Facebook’s FAQ on matters like this, EVERY claim of “abusive” posts is investigated by an actual live human being. If we take them at their word, it wasn’t automatically deleted. ”

    Best guess? Policy is ‘Auto-delete first, investigate later’.

    1. Hey this isn’t a reply to you willy that was just the simplest way to post.

      I don’t represent/even like facebook, but I’m a big fan of misunderstandings.

      In my opinion it sounds like the content removed by the facebook team was this Jerry persons comments.

      Or scenario 2 of 3, that this image is copyrighted.

      3 being of course that facebook is a homophobic organization, which honestly I’ll buy that.

  2. Facebook is a monopoly and has zero duty of care to either its users or to society as a whole. They can be as homophobic (enabling users homophobia, backing it up with their human censors) as the market will let them be (which turns out to be quite a bit).

    The root problem here isn’t Facebook’s scumminess as an entity, it is that people somehow expect better from them. They are bad citizens of society, there are few laws against their negative behaviours, there’s a strong financial incentive for them to behave badly, etc. Why are people surprised at what evolved in that environment? Facebook will do what it can, not what it should – they’re no Google.

  3. Maaaybe we should just stop with the Facebook altogether? Regain control over our own material? STOP handing all that power to cavemen?

    1. “Maaaybe we should just stop with the Facebook altogether? Regain control over our own material? STOP handing all that power to cavemen?”

      Probably better than giving them a lot of page views and ad impressions as this seems to be doing. There’s something hilarious about people protesting what facebook does by using it even more.

  4. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

    We all have to fight this kind of fundamentalist censorship, every single time. They’re trying to take over our schools, our government, and even the internet…and they’re banking on the fact that it is frustrating and time-consuming to defend basic human and civil rights every moment of the day.

  5. My previous post might seem to be about Facebook, too. Oops. I was referring to the “Jerrys” of the world.

  6. Thanks! As someone who did re-post your original FB comments, it’s good to know that the situation is at least possibly not the fault of a homophobic FB policy, but rather a dumb company policy in general. I’ve shared this too.

  7. Unfortunately I was suckered in to reading the whole article when all I really needed to know was in the first two paragraphs after all, dammit.

    That conservative or foreign schmuck at your company who makes a homophobic move represents your company. Maybe not to the extent that the CEO represents the company (cf. Go Daddy), but it’s still the company’s responsibility to set things right. If it doesn’t, then it’s implicitly condoning such behavior. And in that case, I think it’s fair to say you’ve got a *homophobic company* on your hands.

    1. Quote: “That conservative or foreign schmuck at your company who makes a homophobic move represents your company. Maybe not to the extent that the CEO represents the company (cf. Go Daddy), but it’s still the company’s responsibility to set things right. If it doesn’t, then it’s implicitly condoning such behavior. And in that case, I think it’s fair to say you’ve got a *homophobic company* on your hands.”

      That’s not homophobia. It’s indifference.

  8. While I don’t think Facebook is especially homophobic either, I strongly think that hitting them over the head about this is absolutely the right thing to do. Dealing with stuff like this is terrible PR and a huge pain in the ass for them as a company, and if it happens enough times, they’ll rewrite their guidelines for their reviewers to be very clear that same-sex kissing is not offensive. And that’ll be a very good thing. So keep protest, you people who are protesting! Yer fightin’ the good fight!

  9. So it is okay to be homophobic and abusive without getting these warnings? If FB was serious they would cancel all those accounts that led your friend going private…

    Ottherwise they should get out of the censorship game entirely – because regardless of your defense of their intentions and apologetic tone they are picking a side here and it isn’t for gay rights.

  10. I concur with Oskar; this isn’t an isolated incidence of reviewers getting it wrong at Facebook. See removing anti-internet-censorship groups in Australia or breast feeding. Just as I’m sure Facebook would report vile content to law enforcement, we need to report loud and clear that homophobic censorship from Facebook is unacceptable. Even if this is all a misunderstanding, an open memo from the top reminding reviewers that they must follow a very narrow and objective definition of unacceptable content would be well timed.

  11. OK, should I “reactivate” my “deactivated” account just so I could post this as my profile photo? Oh wait, I already split from fb as this is just one more social face plant I would expect from a non-grassroots (cause Harvard is anything but) turned corporate cthulhu.

    ie-its not about the homophobia per se but fb policy which inadvertently undermines social freedom. ie-if you say you have a real person reviewing submissions, make sure said person is not homophobic.

  12. I used to be a “content agent” . Our job was to delete offensive material. Stuff like this happened all they time, we were expected to go through thousands of images a day.. We were not paid well. Then they outsourced our jobs to the Phillipines.

  13. I dunno. After seeing The Social Network I can sort of imagine the frat house boys that thought it would be cool to rate all the girls at their college saying ‘yeah guys kissing is gross, man’

  14. Ideally think of ourselves of being socially evolved but the world is still largely homophobic. If you post a photo of a spider it will ignite fear in a great many people. A photo of men kissing evokes the same fear response but in a larger population. People react to their fears. Facebook is reacting to theirs.

    Facebook has clearly decided that they are the arbiter of their user’s behavior on many levels. Whiz in their pool and you’re out of there.

  15. I wouldn’t be surprised if Facebook uses the presence of heated argument in the comments as a strike against the image. I’ll have to test this with my “man in daisy-dukes riding a fixie” photo.

  16. Facebook does this often. Some child has a tantrum and sends a complaint about J. Random Group and the group gets immediately taken down. It takes weeks and weeks to get the group reinstated — happened to some non-profits I know. Facebook does need to take their censorship activities more seriously.

  17. Facebook also has a big problem with photos of women breastfeeding, even ones where no nipple is visible. They’ve also deleted groups for discussion of breastfeeding.

  18. What facebook considers “abusive material” also seems to vary to fit the emotion of the day. I have a friend who only wrote a simple note on her wall called the “Facebook Double Standard” that actually went viral detailing how Facebook will delete photos of babies nursing from their mothers, but won’t delete pictures of women’s breasts in a more sexual format. It even included several pictures of nursing that were removed by FB, as well as a ton of pictures of women stripping, or wearing extremely revealing clothing that are still available out there.

    It’s ridiculous.

    This seems to be yet another extension of the same to me. I agree wholeheartedly that they shouldn’t remove material (which is probably completely inoffensive to most people) at the request of one.

    If you don’t like what you see…. move on. Grow up. Get over it.

  19. Facebook’s decision to censor this pic is appalling. I think it’s a gorgeous, tasteful image, appropriate to the topic being discussed, and I’m certainly not offended by it. I’ve seen far more explicit posts from both members and the quiz games they play… and nothing is ever done about them. Maybe if enough users speak up, Facebook will review and/or change the policy, as they’ve done with their privacy issue flubs. Hey, it couldn’t hurt.

  20. Why do they even bother to police images and posts, beyond illegal content?

    Assuming that most walls are private – which is what most people want – it is clearly the individual’s business, not facebook.

    Eh, whatever. I still have a facebook account, but I don’t use it much anymore. They’re scumbags.

  21. Caption for your photo:
    ‘Rob decided it would be stupid not to kiss him after the man in the purple shirt saved him with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. . .’

  22. What does it mean for a corporation to by homophobic? Even if its employees aren’t widely homophobic, and its policies aren’t explicity homophobic (i.e. “delete photos that may offend some users”) it can still produce homophobic results.

    I’m satisfied that if the results are homophobic, the company may fairly be called homophobic. That’s kinda stern I known, but shaming bigoted outcomes is the only way to force companies to root out the non-bigoted policies that may produce them.

  23. Hi,

    I’m the person who started the Kissing is cool event on Facebook. Over 200k people have been invited. The event has over 40k people pledging to change their profile picture to two people of the same sex kissing. I got confused by the story about Facebook maybe deleting the snogging event in England. That is probably my fault. I have posted all the articles as more information came out during the past two days in the event information.

    One of the other things I asked people to do, besides change their picture, was to post a comment on Chris Hughes wall asking for an explanation. I gave an example of what they could post. I gave a few reasons of why Facebook had removed the photo. Malicious worker auto delete or acceptance of homophobia.

    I totally agree with Richard. I don’t believe Facebook is homophobic but by deleting the article from Richards wall they appear to be accepting of it.

    I’m being pressured by some members of the media to shut down my event. They claim it is based on false pretenses. I disagree. I have updated people, without sending them offending emails, through out the story. People have shared updates on the story on the wall of the event as they came out. There is yet to be a news story that proves the claim is entirely false.

    I support Richard in taking a stand against censorship and homophobia. One of the claims to come out of this is that Facebook has to censor based on the most conservative person to use the internet. I believe this to be false. The picture was in regards to a political event that took place in England. While Miller v California does say that Facebook has to censor based on “the average person, applying contemporary community standards (not national standards, as some prior tests required), would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest”. Facebook also has to take into account “whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, POLITICAL, or scientific value.” Based on that third part of the decision Facebook had no reason to take down the picture for obscenity. All three parts of the decision have to be met for something to be declared obscene.

    Thank you Richard for taking a stand!

  24. Firstly I would like to say “Bravo” for adopting a mature and educated opinion on the matter. I think you would be a great person to work within facebook dealing with “offensive material” as you seem to actually have an understanding of what it means.

    Friends of mine who are ARTISTS have had their work removed because someone who is uneducated or spiteful wishes to report them. All because you might see a nipple or it depicts fake gore.

    I agree that Facebook needs to overhaul their reporting system so that it is more fair towards those who dont actually wish to offend others. Sure a person has the right to an opinion but when that opinion demeans another person then it is overstepping the bounds of acceptable. The team hired to “investiage” these claims should be open minded and understanding to circumstances.

    This “Jerry” is simply someone who does not understand equality and respect. His circumstances in life have prevented him from learning how wonderful the world could be if we all treated one another as we would like to be treated. One day someone will show him how it feels to be a minority and perhaps he will learn and grow as a person from that experience. But the world will unfortunately remain this way until we begin to teach our children better. He has probably learnt this behavior from his parents and may even pass it onto his children.

    Facebook is a powerful tool of communication. It can affect your opinion, deliever news both good and bad and ultimately bring people together. The riots in Egypt began as a protest on facebook about the treatment of a prisioner… The government tried to supress this information and look what happened! So sure it allows idiots to produce literary vomit but at the same time it also provides those with a message to share it with the world and ultimately make a change for the better. With children growing up with computers and social networking lets hope that it will educate them to make better choices about how we treat the planet and eachother.

  25. I find your statement “Facebook is not a homophobic company” very hard to understand. Facebook did an obviously homophobic thing, that makes them a homophobic company. The photo obviously would not have been removed if it had portrayed a heterosexual kiss. The employee who removed the photo was acting on Facebook’s behalf and therefore Facebook is responsible for the actions in question.

    It seems like you think Facebook isn’t homophobic, Facebook just does homophobic things. I say bollocks to that distinction. If you do homophobic things then you are homophobic.

    1. “I find your statement “Facebook is not a homophobic company” very hard to understand. ”

      I think the interpretation is that it could have been anything and the complaint followed by blind facebook staff removal is not homophobic it is… well stupid/ridiculous/other. Ie There could have been two Goldfish in a bowl and some one could have complained and ye olde facebook image scrutinized could have been there going “eerrrr, mmmm,” clicks “yes: Offensive” and the auto removal/warnings take place.

      Now I would say he is being far too generous in interpretation of facebook’s actions. I would consider this a homophobic act by the employee reflecting on face book as you have stated.

  26. How about a simplier explaination?
    Maybe facebook’s policy here is to protect the individual and quell ligitgation. Someone posts a photo and someone complains. Now I think you are right that Facebook doesn’t have people that can investigate every claim throughly, so what is the efficient thing to do? Remove the photo. Perhaps the people in the picture don’t want to be in it, their privacy was invaded, etc. Well, if facebook waited around to sort it out that would continue for how long?
    Better to remove it, you could always put it back up.
    However, that doesn’t mean a sense of heterocentrism wasn’t involved either just that it could be sensible policy with some imperfections.

  27. I wonder if people tried to flag Jerry’s posts as abusive and the original link was flagged instead.

    Whatever the situation, FB certainly does need to improve their policy/procedure for dealing with potentially offensive material.

  28. Shit, I didn’t know Metzger was “middle aged.” Are there no standards anymore? Cancel my subscription.

  29. Lots of important topics here:

    1. the value of good reporting, as Richard notes. The web thrives on hits and recommends, and all too often sensationalism sells at the expense of reporting. The issues were swamped by inaccurate reductions to the banal either-or “choices” our media thrives on.

    2. Business expediency: yes, yes and yes, this is the issue. FB and every other media corporation seeks to eliminate sources of potential pain (in this case, the complaints of a homophobic user who they feared might spark a s**tstorm of ugly PR)as cheaply as possible rather than invest in “doing the right thing” which ultimately costs money. So instead they triggered a s**tstorm of ugly PR anyway.

    3. as yahoo discovered with its once-popular Finance groups and Yelp is discovering via various lawsuits, there is no substitute for monitoring abuse with live employees. When you have 600 million users, that’s going to cost a lot if you’re actually doing it.

    Yahoo’s demise as a host for once-vibrant groups reveals the pitfalls of the hands-off approach–you lose credibility fast when voluntary online associations are tarnished by spam and trolls or mindless “deletes” by the host.

    It would interesting to see the metrics FB collects on the number of abuse claims and how they’re resolved.

    4. the amazing power of social networking quickly scaled up Richard’s commentary in uncontrolled ways. In a way, we “lose control” of the content when it goes viral and others have the opportunity to make of it what suits their agenda.

    Excellent essay, Richard, thank you for using your own experience to critique some of the major open issues in social media.

  30. This is all the more reason for an alternative to facebook to finally become popular. We need a system that offers the social networking features without the centralized, server-side corporate system of facebook. I want to see a torrent-based social networking software that would keep encrypted personal information, photos, video, links, status updates, etc. in a “cloud” shared by everyone. A system that no government or corporation could ever censor.

  31. One could test your automatic delete theory by finding homophobic’s fb pages, and tagging their (assumably innocuous) photos as offensive? Personally, I am offended by the faces of homophobic congressmen.

  32. It’s not like FB is unique among popular social network companies in its apparent auto-delete practices: remember how the gay Apple employees’ video on Youtube was taken down overnight on the weekend, but then put back up within hours?

    I think auto-deletion (or suspension) of content on complaint actually makes sense when dealing with the amount of user generated content these two companies host; someone could otherwise post something truly obscene in the middle of the night, and it wouldn’t get taken down for hours or even days, if the complaints have to be reviewed, first. However, where FB fails (and YT succeeds, at least in this example) is that they never had a human review the content for reinstatement after, like YT apparently did. (Of course, the YT Apple employee video could have been an exception, as it may have been high profile enough that someone in the company personally pushed through a review right away — I never saw an explanation from them, either).

  33. I have found FB’s response time to complaints to vary hugely from almost instantaneous to weeks on end, but what bugs me most is how the more serious and often blatantly abusive, vile, bullying, sexual etc pages are the ones that take the longest to come down when a simple complaint about more innocent images can be down with hours.

    A friend of mine has been reporting for weeks the use of her photos from her private FB page on random profiles that promote bullying, homophobia and in one instance paedophilia. These photos are of her, her wedding and even her son and FB have done nothing – not even responded to her.

    Their censorship policies are too hit and miss and not enforced accurately but it seems they don’t want to learn from the mistakes that keep being made.

  34. I’m not even sure if Facebook even needs a complaint. One time I uploaded a video, with the permission of the copyright owner, and it was deleted immediately. There wasn’t time for anyone to complain because it never made it on to my profile. I fought them for months, filling out its appeal form daily till the video was reinstated (a bit can be found here: As far as I can tell, Facebook is completely random with its so-called policies.

  35. The “flag as objectionable” feature on YouTube is a similar story. While the video might not be deleted, it will forever after wave a red flag of judgement and lose any casual visitors who now have to log in … all based on the click of some troll and the split-second judgement of an overworked employee in a third-world country. I’ve seen it used to censor political and religious speech in addition to reinforcing heterosexual privilege.

    As a webmaster myself, I get how hard it is to deal with the sort of volume YouTube and Facebook have. It’s a systemic nightmare. But I do think there are solutions.

    For instance, I would like a “flag as non-objectionable” button added. If a certain threshold of users clicked it, the video would be re-reviewed or just go back to being available. I’ve recommended this to YouTube, but naturally never got a response.

  36. Across the board, people who make censorship calls simply don’t have the cultural studies backgrounds that many of their critics have. If they did, they probably would not work in classification/censorship roles.

  37. @ teapot – why do you have to bring fat shaming into the conversation. A person’s size is no reflection of their moral character. C’mon!

  38. “Facebook is a powerful tool of communication.”

    Facebook is a piece of slag in the Ozymandias shit-dump of history. In ten years noone will admit ever going there.

  39. As a gay man with a bit of common sense, I challenged alot of people who branded the action and website as being homophobic. I agree that this whole to-do was completely uneccesary drama from some people who like a bit of attention and to shout ‘homophobe’ for no real reason. Makes the rest of us look like over-sentitive idiots. I’m so glad to see the original poster come out and basically agree with what I was saying from the start.

  40. Great post old pal….I see Mr Digioia has suggested we be friends! We should!
    I would love to see you in person!

  41. DOUGLAS DEMILLE! Friend me on Facebook, let’s get back in touch!


    Historically, our mod has mostly deleted just *your* comments because they are always so inane and witless. I know who you are. You are the guy always calling me Stalin *each and every* time and then daring me to delete you.

    We repeated this same activity until we finally just blacklisted you. From about seven different IP addresses! The mark of an experienced troll.

    Aside from spam, you were troll #1. There are a few other trolls on Dangerous Minds, but not that many. Mostly one-offs, not “persistent types” like yourself.

    The other ones we just leave because they’re much better, funnier, smarter than yours. Your comments are just *moronic.* And pointless, except to you, maybe? And you DID, after all dare us to delete each one, didn’t you? Is that not what you wanted?

    Peace out, as the kids say!

    1. That’s a nice bit of revisionism there, Richard. But since you’ve deleted all my comments on DM, made me an unperson there, no one else reading this will get to judge for himself. (Perhaps now you understand why I’ve given you the sobriquet “Stalin”.)

  42. I just saw this because a friend of mine hot linked it. I think though i took the time to prowl through the linkage to get to this point. BTW I’m in Florida.

    You Have posed a very valid point. And sadly it is something that touches far to many people than it should because of certain beliefs and values.

    It is part of human nature to be one’s self. Being that self is not always accepted by the masses. Or by the dogma that we have all been raised with in our various cultures. It takes a lot of strength and bravery to be yourself in a world where your not fully accepted for being who you are.

    I want to tell you thank you. You may have accidentally done this but you have brought attention in a different way over the same issue that LGBT individuals have been fighting for many years.

    It may have been an accident but you have taken the leading step in a new direction. And that is what I thank you for.

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