Facebook Groups Need to Deal with Hate Speech

Facebook admins have a responsibility to monitor groups not just post threads.

Today I received such a horrendous comment on one of my Facebook Groups, it stuck with me for the day. I reported it to the group admin and as I write this they have done nothing about it.

As an admin of several groups myself, I hold a higher responsibility than posting threads and letting them run. As an admin for groups which have 800+ people. I need to support and value every one of them.

The Insult

At present, it is suspected that my daughter is on the ASD spectrum (autistic spectrum disorder.) As a teacher who worked with SEN (special educational needs) students, I know more than most parents. However, I am a firm believer that you can always learn more. So I joined some groups that offer ASD support to parents.

Yesterday a lady asked how she should deal with the fact her son had been bullied on the bus home and called a gay boy. There was some brilliant advice about contacting school, governors etc.

I offered an alternative response. To sit with her son and explain being gay wasn’t an insult and that the person doing it was an idiot. I explained that I did this with my school. Ninety per cent who had ASD and they saw the sense. Once it was explained it wasn’t an insult, it took the sting out of it.

Below are the responses I received on the post. I considered showing the names, these people don’t deserve the anonymity I gave them.

SamHArnold

The first comment I have no words for. The second comment filled me with hope. The third person, I can see the point that is being made, which is why I advised what I did in the first place. The tone of the third response is, however, off in my opinion.

It is worth mention this is not the first time this has happened to me. I had someone tell me being gay is unnatural and a gift from the devil on a very popular and large writing group. Again the admin, a well-respected member of the writing community, did nothing. I have never mentioned this person’s name. I left the group, giving the admin the benefit of the doubt thinking they were busy and missed my call for help.

As Admins We Must Protect Our Members

Within my largest group Bloggers and Medium Support I have 600+ members. It is my responsibility to support every one of these writers.

They have given their time to my group. They deserve my respect to take their concerns seriously and look into them. No matter how big my group is, I will keep doing this.

A few members a couple of months ago came to me and said others were dropping links and then not supporting them. My response was to keep a closer watch on members, to make sure they gave back to the community, as much as they take. I hope my members felt supported.

No matter what your group, think carefully about your responsibilities when you set it up.

Make sure you support your every member, help others where you can. Even if you don’t agree with the concern of some members, listen and make them feel valued.

Being an admin on a Facebook group is a huge responsibility and a lot of work. To all those doing the job properly, I salute you. To those of you, like the admins in the two groups I mentioned, the job isn’t for you.

NB: As I published this post I received a note to say the admin had removed the comment. They didn’t contact me or block the member. You can decide if they went far enough.


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