The community guidelines on social media are sometimes as mysterious in their intention as they are in their enforcement.
Take Michete, an up and coming transfeminine rapper and producer, who posted a status condemning what Michete describes as people engaging in “fake solidarity” in the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando that took the lives of 49 people.
It is tremendously unclear why — seeing as there are no pictures, no hate speech and no singling out of any specific group (other than "straight people who are also assholes") for ridicule — but Facebook took the post down. And when Michete tried to repost it, Facebook implemented a total 24-hour ban.
Here is the status. It was shared over 2,000 times by the time it was taken down:
Michete was understandably confused and angry by Facebook's decision.
And others were angry on Michete's behalf:
If I had to think of anything that would have caused this thoughtful, straightforward expression of Michete's personal beliefs to be taken down, the only thing I can come up with is the inclusion of the word “faggot.” Of course, if you put that word in the context of how it was used for literally one second, you immediately see that Michete is explaining how people should not be saying that word.
The thing that doesn't make sense though is that these are Facebook's own community standards regarding hate speech:
And they go on to explain,
This means that whoever actually reviewed this status is either a robot or a moron, and neither of these things should be in charge of policing what we can or cannot say to one another online.
Whether we like it or not, social media has become the most important and active arena for modern debate. And, in debates, context matters. I don't care how many annoyed dudes who like calling their friends “gaylord” reported this post to be annoying — Facebook needs to get their act together.