For a brief moment, the talk of the town among parents was not about the latest level of Candy Crush but about the website schoolfights.co.za – a website that was set up to show videos of school kids beating each other up.
Htxt.Africa wrote a story this morning about the site citing that:
[the website is] not online this morning. Visitors are greeted by a blank page which suggests it may have been removed by the ISP rather than simply overwhelmed with traffic. The website, which launched two weeks ago, solicited videos of school ground fights, filmed by fellow pupils in South Africa.
So it would seem that someone woke up to the fact that what we don’t need is website that encourage even more bullying at school and the website has been taken off the Internet. However, as Charlie Fripp mentions in the Htxt article, there is still a Facebook page which everyone is encouraged to report to Facebook page as being inappropriate. To do that, open the Facebook Page, Click on the Gear icon and click on Report Page.
Facebook says no
I did exactly that. I reported the page to Facebook as I do not believe that this kind of bullying has any place on Facebook. Bullying in schools is an epidemic and cyber-bullying is simply making the problem worse. There are horrific stories being told across all schools: government and private, rich schools and poor schools – none are excluded from the bullying factor.
What I did not expect to see was this reply from Facebook:
Facebook said, and I quote: “We reviewed the page you reported for containing graphic violence and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.”
I beg to differ.
The Facebook Community Standards page clearly says:
Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences and raise awareness about issues important to them. Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. In many instances, when people share this type of content, it is to condemn it. However, graphic images shared for sadistic effect or to celebrate or glorify violence have no place on our site.
When people share any content, we expect that they will share in a responsible manner. That includes choosing carefully the audience for the content. For graphic videos, people should warn their audience about the nature of the content in the video so that their audience can make an informed choice about whether to watch it.
Not sure you can see videos of kids beating each other up in any other way than “to celebrate or glorify violence” not even going to mention the fact that they are minors.
So now what ?
Since there is no “appeals” process with Facebook I am contacting Facebook directly to see if I can get someone to discuss this with me.
In the mean time, I encourage everyone to report that page as inappropriate and hopefully the more reports they get the more likely they are to remove it.