Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Facebook needs to start enforcing it's own rules!

Yesterday I saw something on Facebook that really p*ssed me off!

Granted I see lots of things on Facebook that p*ss me off (sometimes on an hourly bases) but the things that usually get my teeth grinding are just rude, or offensive, or ignorant, or all of the above. What I saw wasn't neither rude nor offensive, but it sure was ignorant, and it was definitely dangerous.

What ticked me off was an infograph posted on Green Med Info's Facebook page concerning a "study" about "GMO" insulin (which all insulin is) that claimed that certain people with type 2 diabetes can develop type 1 diabetes from injecting insulin. (Link to original post here)
While people with type 2 diabetes can develop type 1 diabetes over time there are usually several factors that can cause this, such as a person's diet, or whether they exercise, or if they take the medication that has been prescribed to them, or genetics. Insulin is not one of the causes. Infact it could prevent a person with type 2 diabetes from developing type 1 diabetes.

What gets me so angry about that post isn't just the sheer ignorance of it, or how outright dangerous it is for the people at Green Med Info to promote something like this (because despite the fact that it promotes quackery and fraud medicine, better known as alternative medicine, people do listen to and take "advice" from that page) this type of "info" could kill a person with type 2 diabetes if they take it to seriously and decide to stop taking insulin. Either that or result in a person developing type 1 diabetes, or slipping into a diabetic coma, or losing a body part. The very worst thing that could happen is that the parent of a child with type 2 diabetes reads that and decides not to give their child insulin and what I listed above happens to that child, and there is little they can do about because they are at the mercy of their parent (unless they tell a teacher or family member about what their parent is doing and that person gets the authorities involved).

Now, back to the original reason why I'm writing this.

I, along with many other people reported this post to Facebook hoping that the social media website would take down the post due to the fact that it could cause some people to do something that was dangerous and hazardous to their health, and warn Green Med Info not to post something like that again.

Facebook has done nothing.

As many of you have probably found out over time this isn't the only time that Facebook has failed to remove a post or a page that promotes stuff that's either dangerous and/or violates it's own rules.

There are lots of pages on Facebook that promote a great amount of medical misinformation that in the hands of an uninformed person could cause that person to do something that results in their death or the death of others. The biggest violators of this would be anti-vaccination pages and HIV denialism pages, two types of groups that promote medical misinformation that has led to multiple deaths. Such pages should not be allowed because the "information" they a spreading is harmful.

Then there are the pages that promote bigotry, which antisemitism seems to be the the one mostly promoted.

While the spreading of medical misinformation may be dangerous and for some people questionable whether or not it violates the rules, promoting bigotry in what ever form it may come in clearly violates the rules.

Now sometimes Facebook will do the right thing and remove a bigoted post or page, but more often than not it just doesn't happen and the person or people running the page continues to spew hate speech.

Facebook needs to better enforce it's own rules and take down posts and pages that violate it's own rules and promotes things that are dangerous.

I'm aware that the main reason why the people at Facebook do not often take down these pages is because of free speech concerns, and while I do understand that reasoning the fact remains is that Facebook has a set of guidelines and rules that everyone is suppose to obey, and when they don't enforce those guidelines and rules they become meaningless.

I know that Facebook is a private company and can remove any content it so chooses to. I just wish it would start doing so.

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