Hundreds, if not thousands of Pagans, Wiccans and Witches are outraged as an openly hateful, anti-Pagan/Wiccan/Witch page continues it’s slanderous posts and open intents of violence. Report after report is submit, and the only canned response from Facebook is declination upon declination.
Here is a link to an article from the CNN website (Thank you to RowanDark for reporting!):
I won’t give the page itself the attention it seeks by posting any links to it here (the CNN article names it and posts a link if you’re really that curious). And I have also personally reported the page to no avail. And although the page openly voices a clear intent of violence (actually stating all witches should and will be burned upon SUSPICION, not fact), facebook refuses to acknowledge Paganism as a Protected Religion under the Freedom of Religion Amendment.
With that said, I’m not sure what I find more offensive, the page spewing ignorance and hate towards ANY religious group, or Facebook going directly against the Constitution. Facebook has, by it’s response and allowance of an open hate page, assumed that We are neither a true Religious Community nor under the protection of the Constitutional Amendment that is very specific that religious persecution is wrong & unlawful.
Maybe Facebook doesn’t realize that even the Military recognizes Wicca and allows our Soldiers to have it noted on their Dog Tags. When our Soldiers fight for our Freedoms, it includes our freedom of belief. So, what is Facebooks actual stance on Paganism/Witchcraft as a true religious philosophy? Well, first of all, Witchcraft is a Practiced Art. Paganism/Wicca are religious belief systems. The page admin’s can’t even understand that much, and their ignorance knows no bounds.
Aside from that, it is clear that the admin’s don’t know anything about Us, as they blame “Witches” for AIDS, their spouses leaving them, for loosing land disputes and court rulings or other even more ridiculous reasons. Clearly, they just need some one to blame. And that’s fine. Blame the person with AIDS who you paid to have sex with. Blame your ex for not being patient or understanding enough (or for not ever really knowing you. I’m also pretty curious if getting AIDS is a reason why their spouses may have left them.) Maybe they lost that land dispute/court judgement because IT WASN’T THEIRS TO BEGIN WITH!
If one were to go to Google or Bing and search Witch Burning, you’ll find a slew of articles about “suspected Witches” being burned all over New Guinea and Africa this year alone! Worse still, New Guinea (being within Australia’s realm) as well as Africa both have laws against violence towards Witches, as well as violence against religious groups. But maybe this page just can’t grasp that that means they aren’t LEGALLY allowed to go off half cocked and burn some one else, for any reason! Hate is hate! And there is a reason we have anti-discriminatory laws!
So, what exactly is facebooks stance on our community of Mysticism? Let me show you their response to posts reported where it specifically stated they intend to burn suspected Witches:
And when their page was reported:
As well as this response when I used the feature of reporting based on Hate Speech:
Furthermore, here is a link to facebooks “Community Standards”, which specifically denotes intention or action of violence as well as groups that are promoting religious hate as against their “Standards”:
So, Facebook, care to address this? Or is one of these Anti-Pagans working for Facebook and sweeping the reports under the rug? I am honestly to the point where I would actually believe a conspiracy like that (and I’m not huge on Conspiracy Theories generally), based on their continued refusal to address the issue at all.
With that said, I am now awaiting a response to my most recent message which I sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a copy of the message I sent. And I will gladly post their response as an update to this posting once (if ever) I receive something back:
- Conversation started today
I am writing to you today with the deepest concern for facebook’s lack of action in reference to an openly hateful page that is also defaming and making slanderous accusations towards Paganism. It is Unconstitutional and needs to be addressed.
To date, reporting has done nothing but resulted in negative responses from facebook’s support dashboard. And this page is CLEARLY a hate group who has openly voiced their intention of burning Pagans/Witches if an opportunity presents. They have even made direct posts regarding how they feel witches need to be burned. I cannot imagine they mean this in a rhetorical or metaphysical sense as many of their posts are abusive and full of misinformation.
Facebook may not be aware, but Paganism is a recognized religious group in North America and the UK (as well as in other countries such as Australia among others). It is protected under the Freedom Of Religion Amendment. And facebook is doing nothing to cease the hate speech and pushes for violence against us that continues on an hourly basis.
The page/group I am reporting (which you probably know all about since hundreds, if not thousands have also been reporting it) are:
My bigger concern is that even in accordance to facebooks community standards, these groups are pressing for hate and violence against Paganism (as well as Islam, another Protected Religion).
Specifically, under Violence and Threats: You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence. Organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site. We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.
As well as under Hate Speech: While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.
If I went as far as to consider this bullying, it would fall under “We allow users to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but take action on all reports of abusive behavior directed at private individuals. Repeatedly targeting other users with unwanted friend requests or messages is a form of harassment.” Or is threatening to burn people not an open intent to commit an act of violence, targeted at a religious group? Does one of my faith need to be physically burned or beaten for facebook to take this issue seriously?
What’s more, we (Pagans/Witches) are taking this to the media and have begun a protest. We will withdraw our support for facebook (there are other social media sites and many of us utilize them as well as facebook, but why use a site that has no concern for our welfare, well being, safety, or our protected Constitutional Right to Freedom of Religion?).
This is an issue. It’s not some joke that being passed around callously or without thought. It was created with the sole intent to cause us to worry for our safety. And if I cannot feel safe being open in my beliefs as other religions do, then why should I continue using facebook? Also, being a direct violation against our Constitutional Rights will eventually become a class action law suit against facebook for not adhering to your own Community Standards within your Terms of Service. I have contacted a lawyer who is already drafting the paperwork for Unconstitutional Behavior/Allowing Harassment and Threats of Violence (and so have many others). Should facebook be unable to resolve this issue (not just of mine, but of many other Pagans and Witches), then we will be left no choice to make a legal issue of this as well as keeping the media, such as CNN up to date on the lack of action and failure to respond to our very reasonable request.
And I think the worst part of this is the fact that if any Pagan’s created a page along the lines of “I Hate Jesus” or “Down With Jews” (examples only, many of us have the utmost respect for ALL religions, which is actually part of what TRUE Paganism is), it would have been shut down from the moment of the first report from an offended person. So, why should this page receive special treatment and be allowed to voice misinformation, direct lies, and a clear ignorance toward our belief system?
I look forward to a response that suggests some sort of reasonable solution. And I will continue to write every day until this is address properly, the way you would address a Pagan group or page that was spreading the words of hatred based on religion.
-END OF MESSAGE-
Please feel free to check back for the update with their response. Also, if you feel compelled to write to email@example.com, then know that your support is appreciated.
I will close this lengthy blog here (this is even long for ME!). Thank you for reading, and thank you deeply for any support you may choose to lend to this cause.
(wow, didn’t take as long as I had feared it would!)
1. First and foremost, I am deeply sorry as I saw this morning that several e-mail notifications had been sent out about edits to the page. That was my mistake and I am deeply and truly sorry if any one had been e-mail bombed from it!
2. The offending have been removed!!! Happy Freakin Day!!! Thank you to any one (every one) here who lent your time, efforts and support to reporting them! It was a bit of work, but worth every effort!!! Apparently, my Protest event is gone too, in case any one was looking for it! 😀 But that’s fine! It would have been removed anyway since we accomplished our goal! (Although, I do wish I had friended more people from the event. You all brightened my existence with your posts and conversations!)
THANK YOU to every single person who, like myself and so many others, spent countless and tedious hours writing to facebook, and reporting the page and individual posts, as well as spreading the word about their hate page and their hate group! When we are all able to work towards the same cause, we can accomplish anything! ❤
3. While other people did receive some form of notification about the removal of the page (I believe via the Facebook Support Dashboard), I have yet to receive an actual response from Facebook. But, I won’t sweat it. Mission accomplished!!! And this means people may actually begin to understand that Paganism, Wicca and the art of Witchcraft will be recognized and protected in the future!
Lastly, I was deeply touched by every one who read my blog, joined my event and offered support (emotionally & by efforts) as well as aiding in reporting the page/group and their posts. I did have many friends and family who also supported the cause even though they are of various other religious backgrounds (Catholicism, Protestant, Presbyterian, Baptist, Judaism, Buddhist, Hindi and other Religions). The support across the board was unprecedented! And as they were more supportive than I could have ever hoped or expected! I hope they are aware I would also lend my every efforts to protecting any religion from persecution!
THANK YOU!!!!! ❤