Though Facebook is known to be notoriously embattled over breast feeding photos or censoring cancer survivors sharing their post-mastectomy pics, they won’t disparage those having hearty laugh in the wake of a violent mass murder and encouraging more men to rally forcibly against women.
After madman and misogynist Elliot Rodger embarked on a violent murderous rampage terrorizing the University of California Santa Barbara campus as “retribution” for his lifelong rejection from females, perhaps one positive outcome of these heinous hate-filled actions has been the ignition of a serious discussion on the danger of true chauvinism in our culture.
In the wake of the murders, women worldwide flooded Twitter and then Facebook to find solidarity in our shared fears and frustrations with the hashtag #YesAllWomen, to examine the daily precautions that women learn to take to stay safe, and confess personal, heartbreaking stories of violence, abuse, harassment, and intimidation. Many supportive men also chimed in to stress the importance of men utilizing this important insight to see and think about what females go through in a male-dominated world day to day. But the backlash – attempts to shut down criticism of a male-dominated culture, the needlessly defensive hashtag #NotAllMen, and support of Elliot Rodger – began rolling in just as quickly.
Almost certainly meant to be a parody of Rodger’s rants and delusions, some fun folks thought it would be hilarious to troll the web with a Facebook page called “Elliot Rodger is an American Hero.” While the First Amendment protects satire (if indeed that is its intent), Facebook has infamously been known not to operate with the bounds of one-hundred percent free speech, instead preferring to personally patrol what it deems explicit sexual content and hate speech. Except when it doesn’t.
After a feminist group, and likely many others, began targeting the page for removal due to its frighteningly coarse and menacing content, Facebook quickly issued stock replies saying it wasn’t pulling the page. The community posted screen grabs of the replies, which came from user reports including hate speech based on gender, and violence or harmful behavior.
In addition to posts supposedly praising and grieving for the deranged young man, one post on the page read: “If it weren’t for the feminazis who ostracized Elliot Rodger, this never would’ve had to happen. Elliot was the only one with the courage to take a stand against feminist fascists who sought to repress his rights as a male in a patriarchal society. Feminazis need to know their roles and shut their holes.” A link to a men’s site which won’t be shared here was posted along with it.
Finally, citing its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, Facebook took the page down on Monday, May 26. Though more of the morbid fan forums will undoubtedly continue to spring up in its place.
Meanwhile, as the social media giant hemmed and hawed over whether or not to take aim at the hero worship of violent sexual entitlement and misogyny, shots were fired and at two more teenage women, allegedly because they turned down a 21 year-old man for sex. –-Casandra Armour