Disability Advocates Call Out Facebook Over Offensive Pages
A group of disability advocates is charging that Facebook is turning a blind eye to profiles and pages on the social network that they say are offensive to people with disabilities.
In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, advocates point to profiles and pages on the social network with names like “I am retarded and proud of it” and “Re Tard” that persist even after repeated reports to site administrators. They also claim that profiles critical of individuals with disabilities feature stolen photos of kids with special needs that have been ripped from personal Facebook pages.
More than 1,000 people have signed on to the letter spearheaded by Steven and Holly Tischer, who have a son with Down syndrome and run the organization Tischer’s Troops, which supports inclusion.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
They plan to present the letter to Facebook officials on Wednesday by asking supporters to post it to the notes section of Zuckerberg’s Facebook page.
The Tischers say they have reported pages with questionable content to Facebook administrators hundreds of times with no result. When pages have been removed, they typically reappear with the same name and slightly different information, the couple indicates.
“We continue to report them, but (Facebook) does nothing to the individuals creating these fake profiles even though FB’s own policies indicate they will,” the Tischers wrote in an e-mail to Disability Scoop from their home in South Korea where Steven Tischer is serving in the U.S. Army.
“There are no ‘fake’ or other pages or profiles in existence that discriminate against any race, sexual preference, gender, religion or political view… The only hate-filled or discriminatory profiles are those pages specifically targeting individuals with disabilities. It is sick and needs to stop,” the Tischers wrote.
Facebook officials did not respond to numerous requests for comment.