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This briefing looks at the homophobic Facebook page “Stop the Straight Hate” (ID# 716487785164679). The page was started on July 4, 2015 and has garnered 425 likes. It was started soon after the US Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015 that legalised same-sex marriage in the US. Given the media debate it has generated in Australia, and calls for similar legalisation of same-sex marriage, it is unsurprising that many of the supporters of the page are Australian.

In its About section, the page’s aim is described as “to address the real issue is of Bullying of Straight people and the Hateful actions toward Straight people”. However, as we will illustrate through numerous examples on the page, it presents gay activists calling for their inclusion in mainstream life and institutions as bullying of and hate against heterosexuals.

The page is an example of “intolerance of intolerance” being presented as hate. OHPI too has been accused of this by some commentators on our Facebook page. Such an argument is clearly designed to muddy the debate about what is hate speech, and why it has no place in modern societies. In order to promote tolerance, you have to identify, call out and combat intolerance through campaigns, dialogues and legal action. Hence, “tolerance of intolerance” is an oxymoron, it cannot exist in any meaningful way.

Gelber & Stone (2008) defines hate speech as “speech or expression which is capable of instilling or inciting hatred of, or prejudice towards, a person or group of people on a specified ground including race, nationality, ethnicity, country of origin, ethno-religious identity, religion, sexuality, gender identity or gender”. It is important to see that such speech is not hateful of behaviour but of a person’s unchangeable identity. From this context, while the gay activists are attacking behaviours (intolerance of gay rights), anti-gay social media pages, such as this one, are attacking people’s identity, which amounts to hate speech.

In its About Page, the admins say that “This is NOT a HATE page, and hateful comments will be removed.” This is a trick often used by hate pages to fool moderators of social media platforms. Merely describing yourself as not standing for hate, doesn’t make you any less hateful if your posts are designed to marginalise and exclude others from mainstream life.

The page is also promoting misinformation and stereotypes about the gay community.

This briefing has two parts:

  • First, we discuss some examples of hate speech from the page against the gay community.
  • Second, we discuss how to report the page and its contents to Facebook and to FightAgainstHate.com

Hate speech on the page

Much of the hate on this page promotes misinformation, stereotypes about the gay community and its marginalisation from mainstream society and its institutions. Below are some examples of such content.

Equating homosexuality to immorality, pedophilia and other sexual deviancies

In this section, we share numerous examples of content from the Page that suggest that all homosexuals are child predators and sexual deviants. It also suggests that acceptance of homosexuality would force us to accept all forms of sexual deviancies including bestiality.

Such comparisons are flawed as there is no credible research to suggest that homosexuals are more likely to be sexual predators than heterosexuals. Also, greater acceptance of homosexuality around the world hasn’t led to any increased acceptance of pedophilia, ploygamy or bestiality.  As we discussed in another briefing, this is an old argument used to drum up fear against acceptance of homosexuality, and is so unacceptable in mainstream society that in 2012, Senator Cory Bernardi had to resign as Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary because of the backlash caused by similar comments.

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 722703877876403 (pedophile 4)

View and report here.

 

 11082015 FBid 721785497968241 post id 716487785164679 (pedophile)

View and report here.

 

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 732495570230567 (pedophile 2)

View and report here.

The abuse of Boy Scouts discussed above was not committed by homosexuals. However, the page is using the incident to campaign against the inclusion of homosexuals as guides in the Boy Scouts, thus implying that children are more at risk around homosexual men.

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 716539685159489 (pedophile 2)

View and report it here.

Promoting boycotting of products

The page is also promoting the boycotting of products that support events promoting and celebrating gay rights. Such tactics are aimed at isolating the gay community.

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 721785887968202 (boycottproducts)

View and report here.

Fighting against inclusion of LGBTIQ communities in mainstream institutions

Here are some examples of content suggesting that homosexuals should not be included in mainstream institutions. The examples here relate to the Boy Scouts and inclusion of books on LGBTIQ community in public libraries.

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 723228571157267 (immorality)

View and report here.

 

mainstream soc

View and report here.

Promoting anti-Muslim hate

The page also promotes anti-Muslim hate. It suggests that celebration of Islam as another religion practised in the US is somehow anti-national. It also suggests that all Muslims stand against homosexuality (which they don’t) and try to find justification for their own homophobia through it.

 11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 724741797672611 (anti-Muslim hate)

View and report here.

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 724288554384602 (anti Muslim hate 2)

View and report here.

 

Condemning Intolerance of Intolerance

Below are some examples of how the page is promoting the idea that we should be tolerant of bigotry and hate in our societies.

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 725431014270356 (hateagainsthomophobes)

11082015 FBid 716487785164679 post id 729900430490081 (hatinghomophobes 2)

Report this page

Please help us by taking a minute to report this group to Facebook. If enough people report it, hopefully Facebook will reconsider and remove it. Don’t be surprised if initially your reports of this content are rejected.

Here are illustrated guides on how to report a Facebook pagepostcomment and image.

After reporting it to the platform (e.g. Facebook) we also request that you report these items to OHPI’s online hate reporting tool FightAgainstHate.com. This will allow us to keep a count of how many times each item has been reported. You can of course also report other online hare to this system.

Reporting to FightAgainstHate.com:

  • If you haven’t registered yet, the registration instructions are here.
  • The Reporting Instructions are here.

Please help us spread the work by sharing this briefing:

Your support via our Facebook page will help in our work to combat all forms of online hate. You can also stay informed about our work by joining our mailing list for a monthly summary of our activities. For further publications by OHPI on hate against Indigenous Australians, see here.