It’s not easy, and can be incredibly frustrating, as platforms like Google, YouTube, and WordPress.com can be very slow to react; and often as soon as a video is removed, someone posts another copy. But we are making headway: you can tell by the volume of the whining and moaning coming from the Hoaxtead pushers about how the ‘large, rich and powerful Satanic cult’ is messing with their God-given right to destroy the lives of innocent children, families, teachers, clergy, and business folk:
If you check out the page, you’ll discover that it’s peppered with posts like this:
The amount of red ink on this page should give you an idea of the type of thing Kane likes to post: he’s fond of putting up pictures of RD’s children, along with as much identifying info’ as he can manage. This sort of page is typical of Hoaxtead posts on Facebook, and trying to get them taken down can be a huge chore–not just because of the volume, but because Facebook itself seems to offer no reliable way to remove this sort of child-abusing garbage.
Here’s why: when you click ‘report’ on a post like this, the following box will appear:
Okay. Option 1 (It’s annoying or not interesting) is obviously intended to weed out trivial complaints, like “I hate One Direction, stop putting up pics of them”. Option 2 (I’m in this photo and I don’t like it) doesn’t apply to those of us trying to have Hoaxtead posts removed. Unless, of course, we’re RD. Option 4 (It’s spam) doesn’t really work either.
Obviously, the answer we’re looking for here is I don’t think it should be on Facebook.
That response brings up this box:
This is where things get very tricky. Pictures of RD’s children, even though they might include graphic descriptions of sexual acts, can’t be construed as nudity or pornography. They’re not photos of our own family; they don’t seem to humiliate me or someone I know. And while they’re definitely inappropriate, annoying or not funny, we get the distinct sense that choosing this category will doom our complaint to the circular file.
All right, then…could the answer be Something else? Let’s see:
Again, we’re left with a list of options that don’t really fit the case. The pictures aren’t attacking anyone based on religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation; they’re not advocating harm (except in the broader sense of promoting vigilantism); they aren’t pictures of someone harming or planning to harm themselves; they’re not about guns, drugs, or related products; and they’re not unauthorised use of intellectual property.
Yet these are the only options Facebook offers us. It’s no wonder it’s difficult to have this material removed!
Without some sort of “these pictures break the law” or “these pictures violate a court order” option, and with no space to write a note explaining the problem, complaining to Facebook is like talking to a wall.
That said, it would be unfair of us to completely condemn Facebook without looking at it from their perspective. Here’s an article on how Facebook moderation works, from the point of view of someone whose job it is to handle all the complaints that make it through the algorithm.
Obviously, rescuing people from immediate harm must take precedence over anything else a moderator does; but surely there must be room in Facebook’s complaints process for issues that will cause harm in the future—like when RD’s children are old enough to look themselves up online, and find out what the Hoaxtead loons have been saying about them.
Reporting fake accounts
The news on Facebook isn’t all bad, though. For example, Facebook has strict rules against people using fake names for their accounts; this can be used to our advantage. The reporting procedure for fake accounts is much more straightforward than the procedure for complaining about a post:
It can take a while for Facebook to get around to dealing with this issue, but in our experience, they will pounce on anyone they suspect of not being who they say they are, and will ask for proof of identity. If the person can’t provide it, Facebook will suspend their access to the profile, and ultimately close it down.
We wish we could give you more encouraging news, but right now it seems that the best way to halt the spread of Hoaxtead posts on Facebook is to target fake accounts.
If any of you have had better success, and would be kind enough to share your tips and tricks, we’ll be very grateful to hear them!