Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hypocrites, Trolls, And Other Wastes Of Oxygen

“The only vice that cannot be forgiven is hypocrisy. The repentance of a hypocrite is itself hypocritical.” ~ William Hazlitt

I have something of a rant today, just so you know (after a rant yesterday at my photoblog). These things happen from time to time- nostrils flare, the motormouth begins, and, well, I get a chance to vent. There may be the occasional bad word. Sisters of Little Or No Mercy, you can add this to the long list you’ve been keeping about me.

Trolls. They are a pestilence on the earth, even more annoying than scammers and spammers (by the way, scammers and spammers, it’s been awhile since you’ve sent the latest scam email from the widow/ daughter/ concubine of the late general/ el presidente/ warlord/ minister, and I’m looking for easy blog material, so what’s taking you?). They infest everywhere you look online, of course, starting fights, being obnoxious to the point of fingernails on a blackboard annoying. And they’re probably most present on Facebook (otherwise known as Zuckerberg’s Personal Playground).

There are more than one kind, of course. One is the belligerent asshole who spends all their time being themselves, ignorant, bigoted, despicable pricks- that’s all they know. And there are the hyperpartisan political shills that one will find all over any and every news story. Here in Canada we have ourselves more than our share, on both sides of the political spectrum, but the ones who are primarily irritating these days are from the right. They’ll be on all day- one can see from the time marks of their dozens- or hundreds- of comments on multiple news pages. 

I’ve blocked some- a particular troll by the name of Kiechle who uses a photo of the late and unlamented right wing commentator Andrew Breitbart and comments hundreds of times a day comes to mind, and someday if I write a white supremacist character, it’ll have his name. Others I’ve been snarky with. These are people who, among other things, defend the prime minister of my country, a man who’s tearing the country to shreds. They defend the indefensible, and, well... I see no reason why I should bother debating or reasoning with such people. They don't respond to logic. So being snarky and sarcastic is my default status. Incidentally, should their beloved prime minister lose the fall election, I might expect a number of people bearing the surnames Kiechle, Wakelin, Hatton, Kinney, Taylor, Konyo, and Thompson to suffer from what passes for their brains enduring massive short circuits.

Which brings us to what this is about. There might be those who think I’ve dropped off the face of the earth. That is, of course, assuming they only know me through the proverbial social network that is Facebook. I am at present in Facebook jail (whilst plotting my jailbreak), suspended for a month for a so called violation of their community standards. Where did this start? Well, engaging two of those aforementioned trolls in an argument and saying something that frankly did not violate Facebook’s community standards.

The trolls in question are ardent defenders of the Harper Cabal. One of them in particular is a devoted fan of the former mayor of Toronto, the crack smoking drunken pile of garbage otherwise known as Rob Ford. Both of them are, well, from extensive comments, blithering idiots. The Ford fan in particular I’ve clashed with repeatedly, while enjoying watching numerous other people call her out for what she is. Fundamentally, after years of the buffoonery of that former mayor (who can’t take a hint and go away), I’ve concluded that anyone who still defends and supports him must be a) drunk, b) stoned, c) oblivious to reality, d) unbelievably stupid, or e) all of the above.

Both of them were commenting on an item about the crack smoking blowhard. My remark- the one that got me flagged and suspended for a month- was that the two drunks should just get a room and get it over with. That’s it. And that got me turfed. The last time this happened, it was supposed to be for a week. Instead it went for over two weeks. While this suspension is due to end by Monday, it really wouldn’t surprise me if it goes twice as long yet again.

Here’s the problem: in my view, that did not cross the line of community standards. Particularly given that these two, in response to my remark, tried to turn the insult back on me- if I’d violated the community standards, it would only be fair to suspend them for the same insult, but no, an attempt to report both just came back with the standard “this does not violate our community standards” automatic reply.

When I report something, 95% of the time, that’s what comes back. And I only report something when it’s serious. Racism, misogyny, whatever form of bigoted remark that I believe really does cross the line. And yet overwhelmingly, the response comes back: “this does not violate our community standards”. Apparently even the threat of violence doesn’t seem to bother Facebook- I recently reported someone I’d had no contact with at all for a comment suggesting that police officers should be killed in front of their families so they can understand how it feels, a comment that didn’t “violate their community standards”. The police, obviously, would feel different.

Facebook, among other things, allows white supremacists to get away with racist remarks that are an absolute violation of their policies. I’ve seen this repeatedly. I’ve seen the remarks of a specific racist asshole stay up- the accidental death of a toddler who fell from a highrise window some weeks ago got this comment from him: “who cares, the young boy was gonna grow up to be a hood rat like his kind does”.

That’s low. This is a repeated pattern of behaviour from this individual- and yet Facebook never removes a comment, nor feels it violates their community standards, nor suspends such a person. This is a repeated thing with other bigots I’ve reported. No consequences for racial or gender hatred. Meanwhile I get suspended over nothing.

I’m not annoyed by the suspension- at this point it really doesn’t surprise me. What bothers me is the rank hypocrisy, the double standards of a “social network” that throws someone out for not crossing the line, while letting repugnant excuses for people like that have the freedom to spread around their bigotry.

The odds of him ever reading this are of course non existent, but I'll say it anyway. Mr. Zuckerberg, you’ve gone and created something of a monster. You call it a social network, and yet your community standards are a joke if your site suspends people who don’t cross the line- from the help forums, I see I’m not alone in this dilemma, there are a lot of people either being treated this way- while at the same time letting goddamned hate filled jerkoffs get away with being bigots. You’ve become the problem, while your site goes further and further into hypocrisy and double standards. If you actually gave a damn about users, you’d make your site accountable, allow for appeals of wrongful suspensions, refuse to give bigots a free pass, and give users real answers and actual communication instead of bullshit automatic replies. Faced with the rampant double standards and hypocrisy running rampant through their life’s work, someone with integrity would bloody well deal with that. It would seem you don’t have any.


  1. I'm sorry to hear this, William. That's really incredibly frustrating! It is good to know that you stand up to these trolls--it inspires me to speak up more when people are being insufferable.

  2. The law is an's not the only one by the sounds of it.
    Jane x

  3. Possibly--and this is just me talking--someone (of the aforementioned bigots, etc.) must be paying him off. Or something. I've seen crazier schemes in mystery plots. Why not on facebook?

  4. The rules should apply equally to everyone.

    Just don't get suspended again. Facebook is a pretty dull place without you!

  5. I wish FB would suspend the trolls.

  6. William, it's time you started your own social networking system. You probably have plenty of techno-brain friends that can help you. Call it Fairbook or DaretoShowYourFace-Book!

  7. I joined Facebook for a friend but I can't figure it out and I don't have the time plus I constantly hear all this awful stuff coming from it.
    I do not know why you where banned it does not make sense, so I guess that is why ? ? ?
    It is just like when a drunk driving on a suspended, plows into a family and he injures or kills them but he walks away. Non of this makes sense.

    cheers, parsnip

  8. @Meradeth: I find it amusing to treat the trolls with the contempt they so richly deserve.

    @Jane and Chris: indeed!

    @Lorelei: well he's certainly not short of money. I often wonder if it's politics, given that it's right wingers getting a pass on this sort of crap.

    @Norma: it is just a matter of time before I get suspended again.

    @Kelly: they honestly do not care.

    @Eve: that's an idea!

    @Parsnip: it's a bloody headache.

  9. I've not known other places that can compete with the political industry on the double standard issue. Nope, sorry. They win hands down. lol

  10. Aha! So we finally find out what you did to land in FaceBook purgatory! You little 'tell-it-like-it-is' rascal, you!

  11. Oh no. Not again. You keep life interesting William.

  12. They really need to take a step back and look who the real problem starters are. Instead they just punish the ones who are standing up for themselves. It's really annoying.

  13. I hope one of these days you'll take the time to tell us how you really feel. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Love it. Go get 'em! I hate Facebook, will have nothing to do with Facebook, and wish it would go to some special Internet hell for eternal fiery punishment.

  14. Almost 3 years later and Kiechle is still trolling hard on FB.. seems to frequent the globe and mail page and hates everything even remotely ‘liberal’

  15. @Diane: it's a nuisance.

    @Cheryl: and I've been in purgatory since!

    @Christine: I'm never surprised when it happens again.

    @Cassandra: I've seen some vile stuff that never gets pulled.

    @Lowell: If Zuckerberg were dying and the only thing that could save him would be a blood donation from me, I'd tell him to give my regards to hell.

    @Anonymous: every once in awhile I see his name marked by someone else in a comment thread, so I know he's still out there, but I never see his comments. I have no interest in unblocking the Andrew Breitbart shit for brains fuck up. The day that asshole dies, it'll be the first good thing he's ever done for the world, by no longer being in it.


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