Update on FourSquare and Facebook Responses to Gay Bashing, Sexism

Well, there’s nothing good to report

Facebook has had multiple people report three separate status updates that contain the phrase “Hag Bag Headquarters welcome to whore ville (sic) all dykes welcome” but they have yet to remove the posts.  Interestingly, when I tried to do a status update about this topic, it would not let me post those same words. It deleted the post as quickly as I put it up. Huh.

So if you have the time, you can go to his public status updates and click “report” in the upper right hand window.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2545074635100&id=1500803475

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2545070955008&id=1500803475

Dealing with Facebook is terrible. There’s no way to reach a live person short of a court order. There’s no way to report something via email or if you aren’t part of their system AND friends with the perpetrator. So a parent is stuck. I find that appalling.

FourSquare at least responds to me. My position is that the person who set up the fake, defamatory venue AND the Mayor who repeatedly checked-in were more culpable than the folks who simply checked in. The latter get a warning, fine. But the two other individuals (I don’t know if they are the same person) should be held to a higher level of scruntiny.

FourSquare contends that the Mayor has no prior offenses, was warned and will be monitored. I don’t think that’s good enough. His actions on FourSquare led to the Facebook posts which continue to defame me and a project helping food pantries.  How is that okay? How is that not bashing me?  How is that not connected to FourSquare since the FB posts were crossposted … they PERMIT that after all.  Sheesh.

Mind you, I had to repeatedly ask them to take the site down AND to remove Aaron K as the Mayor of our legitimate project site. A site that we are now uncomfortable using because we don’t know this man or his motive, much less his capability. This whole scenario is a ridiculous overreaction to the original trigger.

This is FourSquare’s response:

Hi Susan,

I totally understand where you’re coming from, and feel it’s probably best to explain our approach a bit more.

As you noted, what he posted was clearly inappropriate and violated our Terms of Service. As per our policy, we immediately removed the venue and tips in question, examined his account and found no other similar items, and sent him an explanation of appropriate behavior and a notice of violation of our House Rules. If this behavior arises again, then we’ll definitely take stronger action, such as banning him from the service.

We are strong advocates of the LGBT community and social causes in general (and have a long record of our support), but this issue is not about supporting a community but about the appropriate policy for a platform. We warned the user, we removed the inappropriate content, and we’re monitoring further. We don’t tolerate abusive, hateful conduct in any respect, and please know that we do take things like this seriously.

Again, I’m sorry that we disappointed you, but I hope you understand how we approach these things. We will continue to monitor the account in question.

His use of FourSquare led to ongoing violations of me. They don’t seem to get that. I am not sure of what long record of support FourSquare has for the LGBT community, but this isn’t reassuring to me.

The email for FourSquare is ct@foursquare.com and the ticket number is 204550  Multiple people have begun contacting them about this matter.  Ledcat has been saying this is about sexism more than homophobia and I’m inclined to agree although the two are often intertwined.

What FourSquare fails to understand is that a weak response from them at this point in an interaction sends a message about the impact of this hate speech. There’s no crime.  Yet. I can’t report him to the police for calling me a whore. I’d love to do that, but I can’t. Is it harassment?  Well, you could argue he staked out my home to set up the venue. He also checked in to the legitimate site for our project so there’s a real possibility he could find my car. He repeatedly took note of the venue by checking in.  So that seems like harassment. But it doesn’t meet the legal definition. I essentially have to wait and see if he does anything further.

In the meantime, I can’t really use FourSquare. I’m the one whose movements are limited b/c of this man’s actions, yet FourSquare seems to do nothing.

The social media companies need to a better job of responding to these situations and provide options for the public to report violations. But as with any monopoly … what leverage is there aside from a few people closing their accounts?

I hope you will contact FourSquare.