Sunday, January 24, 2010

facebook hate groups

Facebook hate groups and sites - well I am not a facebooker so I can't say I've seen too many of these but it is disquieting how many offensive groups form in this social networking arena. In Australia there is a big battle, from The Sydney Morning Herald
"Facebook sites inciting anti-Indian sentiment continue to flourish despite protests from Indians in Australia.
Groups such as I think Indian People Should Wear Deodorant, Stop Whinging Indians, and Australia: Indians, You Have a Right to Leave, have not been removed."
Freedom of speech so get over it? or the birthplace of hate and abuse?
"More than half a dozen Australian groups that are specifically anti-Indian are still active on Facebook. On top of that, there are many broadly racist groups, including F--- Off – We're Full and Speak English or Piss Off!!!, which has 54,000 members and is growing at a rate of about 2000 people a week.
"I don't think it's just a Facebook problem – it's a social problem, a problem in the society," Gautam Gupta, secretary of the Federation of Indian Students said.
This month anti-racism groups and school principals condemned students from elite Melbourne private schools who joined the group Mate, Speak English, You're in Australia Now.
Students from Sydney private schools Monte Sant' Angelo, Trinity Grammar and MLC are members of Speak English or Piss Off.
Facebook declined to comment on the sites.
I don't think i'll search for anti maori or anti-people of colour immigration in NZ because I am sure the results will agitate me.

Is this acceptable? Where are the lines? For me, respecting others and their unique differences is part of what connects us all. I love diversity and individuality because, paradoxically, the more we respect differences and diversity the stronger collectively we become. Knowledge is power - power over ourselves. And knowledge is the basis of awareness and connection.

I know that some people live in so much fear, mainly of themselves, that they hate or dislike people because of their race or colour. These people get together via social networking or whatever, and they gee each other on, reinforce their mutual paranoid fantasies, sometimes commit hate-crime, sometimes shoulder a person of colour on the sidewalk, and so on. If they didn't have a facebook site would they still do this? Yep. Does having a facebook site encourage them? Yep. Should the facebook sites promoting hate and intolerance be banned? Dunno. Or yes and no. Yes - because we must always make it harder for these people, they must know that we won't accept their dehumanising of other people. And No - it is important that we keep an eye on these nutters, their rantings and raveings are just mindless dribble from their fear-maddened minds. But those maddened thoughts lead to action for some.

What do you think?
Hat tip - Fight Dem Back


feddabonn said...

[on a tangent]

as a holder of an indian passport, though not culturally 'mainstream' indian, i find this whole issue rather interesting. i know india and indians to be casually racist. radio and tv and conversational jokes constantly play on stereotypes- this race is dumb, that group is cunning, yet another is greedy, another are drunkards...and so on. in fact people from my part of the country are constantly fighting the same behaviour indians seem to facing in aussie.

in the international scene, though, indians also seem the most ready to cry wolf. i have seen emotionally heated campaigns on face book asking other indians to vote to remove groups that say "we hate india" and stuff like that.

this is not to say they deserve the treatment they are getting. stereotyping/hate on the basis of race/colour/gender/religion is sick. but while i know it is unfair, i still cannot help failing to be surprised when indians abroad get treated the same way indians treat my people inside the country!

Marty Mars said...

Yes it is a real paradox. Perhaps showing the 'power' aspect of racism.

Very interesting comment feddabonn - thanks