iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Facebook protects many groups from hate speech. Here's one they don't offer protection to: Fat People. Check out these Facebook groups:

• beautiful girls, all over the world, except you. fat bitch.
• If sex is such good exercise, why are there fat sluts?
• You're not "thick", you're a fat-ass in denial
• I don't hate you 'cause your fat, you're fat because i hate you.
• "Do you ride Elephants in India?"..."No, do you ride fat people in America?"
• i hate fat/ugly people that try to act bitchy. like no, your fat.
• Friends don't let friends bang fat bitches
• I would carry you to the moon and back...LOL jk, your fat and i'd die
• Being Fat and Ugly
• we all know a fat slag who thinks their fit
• You're wearing a tight clothes and you're fat....that's not good.
• SHUT UP AND GET NAKED. LOL jk... your fat
• HIT THE GYM FAT ASS !!!

Terrible grammar and lack of creativity aside, this cannot stand. When a user starts a Facebook group, they're notified that:

"groups that attack a specific person or group of people (e.g. racist, sexist, or other hate groups) will not be tolerated. Creating such a group will result in the immediate termination of your Facebook account."

The entire purpose of the above groups is to propagate hate speech against fat people, specifically women. Can you imagine similar slurs being cast on any other group? Yes, you can. That's why Facebook is so rigorous in removing groups that attack federally protected minorities. That's fantastic--except lots of minority groups that aren't federally protected under the EEO laws, including gay or transgendered people, and Facebook appears to have silenced hate-groups against them. And it's not because there isn't a single person on Facebook who hates gay or transgender people enough to take two minutes to start a group. It's more likely that every time a group of that nature pops up, it's very rightfully flagged and removed.

Well, the fat-hate groups listed above have been flagged numerous times, and yet they remain. What's worse, multiple women have had their pictures used without their permission in Facebook fat hate groups. Bloggers such as Fat Nurse, Definatalie, and Pretty in Plus all write of experiences with this.

Shannon Russell of FierceFatties.com and the creator of the Facebook group, "Facebook, Please Stop Permitting Fat Hatred", who is currently pressuring Facebook to expand its definition of "hate speech," says that his emails to the company about this matter have remained unanswered. He goes on to say, "The sole purpose of these groups is for brow-ridged mouthbreathers to collectively exercise their inferiority complexes at the expense of others. There's no reason why Facebook should continue to allow hate speech directed at any group, let alone to defer their ethical rights and responsibilities to an outmoded federal mandate."

If Facebook is in the business of deciding what constitutes hate speech, they must be evenhanded about it. The cruelty of such groups cannot go unchecked, and we must all remind Facebook of this until they're gone. If you're outraged and interested in doing more, join "Facebook, Please Stop Permitting Fat Hatred" and let Facebook know that this kind of imbecilic, vile hatred against any group is not okay.

 

Follow Laura Beck on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mrpenguino