It was International Women’s Day on Wednesday and here Quiip’s general manager, Julie Delaforce (pictured above), takes a look at three top feminist Facebook sites and the secrets of their success…
Any woman who believes in equality, and has expressed those beliefs (oh, the audacity!) on social media is likely to have come up against some form of backlash. Occasionally this backlash, for lack of a better term, can result in important and thought provoking discussion but mostly it results in sexism, slut shaming, threats and personal attacks. Think Ron Burgundy but without the irony.
This culture of hate speech and vitriol on the internet has been well documented by academics, including Dr Emma Jane, who coined the termRapeglish to describe the language used to harass women online. Prominent feminists and female writers experience attacks on a daily basis, and are then accused of interfering with freedom of speech when they hide, delete or ban offenders. It’s worth noting here that there is a difference between freedom of speech and speech that intends to harm others. For more information, read our guide to freedom of speech and what it means for businesses on social media.
This is where a solid set of community guidelines is not only important for businesses, but also for writers, media personalities, feminists and other public personas. Here are 3 Feminist Facebook pages with guidelines andmoderation practices to help them keep the trolls at bay.
1. Clementine Ford
Clementine Ford is no stranger to trolls. She’s also unapologetic in campaigning for women’s rights. The combination of the two have led to the most badass set of community guidelines the internet has ever seen. The guidelines clearly outline what will and won’t be tolerated, and they are pinned to the top of the page so they set the tone for anyone visiting. The only thing I would add is that any comments interfering with the course of justice or making false or misleading accusations will be deleted.
I encourage you to click through and read the entire guidelines post, they are glorious.
2. Everyday Feminism
Everyday Feminism is a publishing site covering equality in all its forms. Their Facebook page has a fanbase of close to 550,000 and their very thorough Facebook comments policy has been created with high comment volumes in mind. The team have a short and succinct version of the guidelines in theAbout section of their facebook page, and also host an extended version on their website. The guidelines state that the Facebook page is moderated, but they also ask the community to self-moderate and report any comments that violate the guidelines.
3. Celeste Liddle
Celeste Liddle also known as the Black Feminist Ranter, uses the About section to plainly state what to expect from the page, what won’t be tolerated and presents a ‘like it or leave’ positioning.
Australians don’t have a constitutional right to freedom of speech per se, you can read about that in more detail in our post on free speech and social media but we do have laws that prevent certain types of speech, such as anti-discrimination laws and defamation laws. A clear set of community guidelines sets the framework for acceptable behaviour, be it legally binding or community specific. They also help protect a brand or an individual from undue risk and give the community a starting point for self-governance.
The normalisation of hate speech and online bullying means that community guidelines are an important part of a moderator’s toolkit. Not only will they help to protect your brand/employees/self from exposure to online vitriol, they’ll also help to shut it down before it negatively impacts your community.