People who work in abortion clinics know what it’s like to be discriminated against. Oh, I’m not talking about discrimination in the legal sense. I’m just talking general “discrimination.”
For example, it is not unusual for a local business to refuse to serve the local abortion clinic. It may be a cleaning service that does not want to clean the clinic at night. It might take a long time for the director of the abortion clinic to find someone who would be willing to construct a website for them. In some more extreme cases, the local police might not react as quickly as they normally do when called to control an unwieldy group of protestors. It’s just all part of being in the abortion business.
Now, I am hearing of another form of possible “discrimination” against abortion providers – by Facebook.
Let me explain.
This blog is associated with the website, www.abortion.com. That site is a directory of abortion clinics across the country. The clinics pay a fee to be placed on the site, much like they pay the Yellow Pages to be listed in their books. A while ago, the manager of the website decided to create a Facebook page. As of two weeks ago, that Facebook page had over 100,000 “friends,” an incredible amount of people.
On a regular basis, the manager of the site (or one of the “friends”) would post a comment in an effort to generate a conversation. For example, he might post something like “how do you feel about late term abortions?” In response, dozens upon dozens of people would comment. Many of them were anti-abortion, which was perfectly okay because it engendered some very lively debates.
Indeed, at times it would get downright hot and heavy. Unfortunately, some people used foul language but if they did, they were immediately warned by the manager and removed if they ignored the warnings. Then, a number of anti-abortion nut balls would flood the site with inane comments, repeating them over and over again. I think the word is “trolling.” The manager spent an inordinate amount of time deleting the troll’s comments. In addition to all of this activity, the Facebook page was used to advertise for www.abortion.com in the hopes of directing women to reputable abortion clinics.
Then, suddenly, about a week ago the Facebook page disappeared.
Just like that.
The manager and his staff immediately tried contacting Facebook to find out why the site was taken down. It was puzzling. After all, there are a number of other abortion related Facebook pages out there. Indeed, some of the anti-abortion pages are incredibly gross. So, it was very hard to figure out why they were shut down without notice.
Compounding the problem is that it is virtually impossible to talk to anyone at Facebook because they are so insulated. There may be some bullshit “contact us” button but you know that your message will wind up on the computer of some teenager in some Third World country who is getting paid $5 an hour. Go ahead, try it yourself. Try contacting Facebook.
So, where does that leave us?
I cannot imagine why Facebook took down this page. But, no matter what the reason, it is incredibly arrogant to close down a page with that many fans without even notifying the manager. Who are these anonymous people who make these decisions willy-nilly? Or sure, I understand it’s their company but, c’mon folks, where are your manners?
I can only conclude that Facebook was getting somewhat uncomfortable with the page for some reason. The cynic in me would say that the powers that be are anti-abortion and were concerned that an abortion rights page was getting so much visibility. And, if I can prove that is the case, then I am ready to lead a pro-choice revolt against this company whose owner recently named “Person of the Year” by Time Magazine.
My antennae is up – is it possible that, once again, abortion providers are being discriminated against?