Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Why does Facebook allow Prejudice Groups to Exist?

By: Elizabeth Jeska

Many people including me use Facebook on a daily basis. According to the statics on Facebook’s website there are more than 400 million active users. Active users spend an average of 55 minutes a day on the website-keeping in contact with friends, playing games, and joining groups or becoming fans of pages (Statics, 2009). Facebook stats say that more than 20 million people become fans of pages every day. Groups and pages can range over a wide variety of interests, including things such as sports teams, college and high schools and groups like if I get 1 million fans my wife says she will let me turn our living room into a pirate ship. Many of groups on Facebook are pointless and they are for fun. It was not until recently when I was looking around Facebook did I realize that there were prejudice groups being formed and many people becoming fans and supporting these. According to Marsiglia and Kulis 2010, “A prejudice is an irrational and unsubstantiated negative feeling towards members of different cultural groups, such as racial and ethnic groups, women, gays and lesbians, people with disabilities, and certain religious groups, which generates stereotypes about those groups (p.38). A few of the groups I have come across are: We Want a White History Month with 133 people supporting; this group discusses how it is unfair that there is a whole month dedicated black history and no month for white history. All people on welfare should have be drug tested; which says that all people on welfare are drug addicts and that they should tested before they are allowed support. It’s not rape if... in which then people comment with reasons it wouldn’t be rape. These are just a few of the Facebook pages I have come across. I find it interesting that a website with this many people is allowing such groups to exist, especially when a rule against such is written in Facebook’s rules and responsibilities. The rule states, “You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence” (statement of rights and responsibilities). Why is Facebook thus letting such groups exist? There needs to be a better way to regulate the types of groups that are allowed on. Facebook should not be a place where people have to deal with prejudices and hate speech. Facebook groups should respect the rights of others and realize that other ethnic groups, social classes, and sexual orientations are online as well. Facebook should be a place where all people are allowed to connect with each without having to deal with prejudices.

Statics. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Statement of rights and responsibilities. (2009, December 21). Retrieved from

Marsiglia, F., & Kulis, S. (2009). Diversity, oppression, and change. Chicago, Illinois: Lyceum Books


  1. I completely agree with you that "Facebook should not be a place where people have to deal with prejudices and hate speech" Especially since it is stated in Facebook's statement of rights and responsibilities. However, who is going to keep track of that? It would take a tremendous amount of time to try to monitor all of the groups that exist and the new ones that are created each day. Facebook would have to pay someone to do this. Even though facebook a rules against facebook groups that promote racism or violence, they are not a babysitter. They give us the opportunity to report groups so that something can be done about them. Yes, it is terrible that these things exist on facebook, but really it is terrible that they exist in the world at all. We need to take a stand against discrimination, whether it is actually taking the time to report these discriminatory groups when we come across them on facebook or confronting people when they make discriminatory comments. We need to make the effort to fight against these issues on facebook and in real life.

    Brianna Gmeinder

  2. Hi Elizabeth, I have also seen some of the groups that you have mentioned on facebook. I was taken back by some of the comments that were on the "people on welfare being drug tested" page. I understand and stand behind people having freedom of speech but I can't understand how ignorant people can be, it makes me sick to my stomach. It bothers me as well that facebook does not follow through with the policies that are clearly stated on everyones facebook.Anyone who is fimilar with facebook knows that facebook advertises these groups to every facebook member. This means that even if you try to stay away from these groups, they will still be advertised on your facebook. Thank you for posting about this because it is an issue that bothers me as well.