Facebook Marketing Gone Awry – A Tale of Venom and Hate

Facebook needs to do a lot more to stop hate speech, especially hate speech attacking marginalized communities.

Time for me to rant a little.

This will probably be my last blog I pay to promote on my business Facebook.  Why?  Part of my marketing budget goes toward promoting my diversity blogs on Facebook, but now I am increasingly being bombarded by hate – which Facebook refuses to acknowledge or dialogue with me about. Perhaps this blog and my story of Facebook and hate will be read by some Facebook professionals who will want to engage with me and see if this can be fixed… I do have some positive, constructive suggestions.

Let me explain the situation.

I am a diversity consultant and trainer and write 2-3 blogs per month on a variety of topics. They include addressing racism, the value of diversity, being an ally, supporting the LGBTQ community, hiring veterans, addressing Islamaphobia and more. Then I write a one or two sentence summary with a link and pay Facebook to push the ad to people interested in these particular topics.

Now here is the issue … when I specify that I want a blog summary and link targeted to people interested in anti-racism, or the LGBTQ community, or diversity trainers for example, I am trying to appeal to people who are interested in those topics with a desire to learn or find resources. But the Facebook algorithm pushes the ad to all people who have commented or engaged around those topics, including those who write nasty comments about those topics.

Now whenever I promote a blog on a diversity topic, I often receive 20 – 30 comments, 95% of them nasty and hateful. A small handful voice disagreement in a respectful way that encourages a dialogue, but a vast majority are hateful nasty comments about the group I am writing about, or personal attacks telling me I can go to a certain very hot place, or to copulate with myself (I assume you get the drift.)

Why are there so many toxic people who only want to spread poison everywhere?

Some of these comments are truly over the top. Examples:
• When one young gay man who got fired from his job for being gay  found my blog encouraging, another reader called him a faggot who deserved to be fired, and should go to hell. (I reported this to Facebook and they replied this did NOT violate their community standards.)
• In response to a blog fighting Islamaphobia, someone posted a photo of an Arab holding a severed baby head declaring that the intent of all Muslims in the US was to kill our children.
• One women summarily declaring that transgender people are all mentally ill.

Often I will check the Facebook feed of the individuals who write this stuff, and normally 80% of their feeds are nasty hateful attacks of people who are not like them. Their Facebook feeds are full of hate, nastiness and poison.

Sadly, having diverse people who may read my posts, but then see these harmful nasty comments before I get a chance to remove them, may cause more harm than good, so I think I will stop using Facebook marketing. I have tried to engage Facebook on this issue, and I even have some suggestions in how to fix and address this, but Facebook refuses to engage with me.  We really do need a safe space for nurturing forums for marginalized communities void of hate and attacks.

Thanks for listening to and reading this rant.