Posted by Dharmesh Chaubey
Facebook is an interesting place. One meets diverse people here. With some we forge strong friendships, while some try to troll us with their extremely dehumanizing behaviour. These trolls are free to say anything vile that comes up their mind, and when we try to hit back at these trolls, Facebook itself comes to the rescue of these trolls with its “community standards”. These “community standards” are in sleep mode when homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic racist dudebros make threats of rape, mutilation and murder. These standards are made by and for cis-het white men and before they can point out anything that would even remotely hurt their fragile masculinity, Facebook takes it upon itself to nurse the ego of these men.
These “community standards” are in sleep mode when homophobic, misogynistic, dudebros make threats of rape and murder.
So when I recently posted that how when homosexual men molest other men the discourse and criticism that follows is not about rape culture but the mockery of homosexuality. Apparently Facebook didn’t agree with me and not only my post was removed but i was also blocked out for twenty four hours with the warning to not post anything that violates Facebook’s community standards. Oh, okay then.
The original post read: “When homosexual (/homoerotic) men molest other men, the criticism that follows (if it ever does) is less about molestation and more about homosexuality. There is much less discourse on the rape culture, there are more jokes on homoerotic sluttiness. There is less talk of addressing the real issue (non-consensual sexual advances), and more of how, “ye sale homos chhake gandu aise hi hote hain” (These fucking homo faggot assholes are like that). Why is it so? Heterosexism folks, it’s called heterosexism.”
Since my Facebook is still not responding, I am unable to attach the screenshots of examples of the mockery of homosexuality on a post of molestation.
The thing with these Community Standards is that they are set in a way that is not going to allow marginalized people to voice their opinions. These Community Standards do not allow the marginalized people to change the narrative and assert their identities and influence the discourse. Because that would end up smashing cis-hetero-patriarchy, something Facebook obviously doesn’t want.
While talking about this issue to some of my friends, a cis-het man said that i shouldn’t be so hyper about everything and need to relax. That, my friend, you can only say thanks to the privilege you have. Your sexuality or identity is not being invalidated or dehumanized. Of course you can relax.
But then my friend Rajneesh said, “They accept you because you are straight passing. Homosexually is acceptable to them as long as it’s docile, it doesn’t create a ruckus. The moment we make a noise, and stop being not so polite in a non sassy way, the *feels* of non-queers get hurt. But I think the word *gandu* might have violated [Facebook] standards.”
Another senior friend Nidhi pointed out, “I guess reported posts are looked into by robots (AI) who have no idea that a reported (hate) speech, within inverted commas, is not the same as hate speech.They just detect hate words/cuss words. Zuckerberg – you seriously need to upgrade.”
Homosexually is acceptable to them as long as it’s docile, it doesn’t create a ruckus.
That seems agreeable. It might have been simply an act of artificial intelligence. But in a time and era when marginalized voices are being ignored, invisiblized and spoken over, how intelligent is it of artificial intelligence to remove a post that talks of a pertinent issue?
Dharmesh is the co-founder of RAQS (Resistive Alliance for Queer Solidarity), which is trying to have a discourse on sexuality and gender in Allahabad. You can follow RAQS on Facebook. He is pursuing his MA in English from University of Allahabad and is trying to establish himself as a writer and translator. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.