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[EZRA WRITES] Behind FaceBrowser's Harassment: A Female's Perspective


Sammy

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A site utilised for the usage of targeted harassment, ‘tea’ posts, and regulated meme-posts, FaceBrowser’s initial presentation of sociability was to form a ‘community,’ to bring families together and to support its community with consistent monitoring. Los Santos’ community has shifted FaceBrowser’s intended concept into hate-fuelled environment that lacks efficient monitoring, ultimately, producing targeted statuses to defame an individual’s character and or to prove one’s self through defaming another’s character. Four women have been inquired multiple questions throughout the article about prior personal experience with personified attacks against them occurring on FaceBrowser, the lack of monitoring on FaceBrowser, and contagious witch-hunts that transpire on FaceBrowser without the server acknowledging the merciless actions of its ‘community.’

 

To specify, the article’s main area of investigation is to question Sara, Isabella, Irelia and Amiyah on their personal experience on FaceBrowser’s services, specifically on whether the service has been useful against the harassment that has been forged across the site’s atmosphere. Among uprising groups, such as; Spill the Tea, Guil-Tea, The Whisper and certain users’ negativity, these three women detail individual encounters of harassment received on FaceBrowser’s site with their own individual perspectives.


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Photo Credit: Rot Garden


Sara Kowalski

Firstly, we explore Sara Kowalski’s experience with FaceBrowser. Sara has a noticeable online presence, being specifically targeted in multiple feuds on FaceBrowser’s server. Sara has the newfound occupation being signed as a ‘Creative Co-Director,’ at Nithercott Cosmetics, a brand targeted to beauty supplies and cosmetics. Additionally, Sara is a self-described ‘shit-poster and student.’


 

Q: Have you personally experienced harassment on FaceBrowser’s services? If so, how did it occur, and how has FaceBrowser and Los Santos reacted to said harassment? Secondly, has FaceBrowser provided support throughout the harassment?

 

A: ‘Well, yeah. I got harassed on FaceBrowser last Sunday. Got called out publicly and slut-shamed in front of everyone. I got broken, didn’t know what to do in that situation. I just started panicking. My DMs were blowing up with messages asking me whether it’s true, some of them were positive; asking me whether I’m alright, or not. A friend, Isabella, redirected all of that hate directed on me onto her. I’m still thankful for that. She was like an angel sent from the sky, and I am not prone to criticism.’ She continues, ‘I was ready to hurt myself if she wouldn’t help me.’ This emphasises on FaceBrowser’s dire need for active administration and further support for its community, as the toxicity of the environment caused Sara to consider inflicting self-harm. She, however, continues; ‘There was hate, but there was also help. I’m young, I make mistakes, and I just want to live my life.’

 

Q: Has FaceBrowser responded to the claims of harassment that you’re actively receiving, or has the community other than Isabella supported you throughout the situation? And has FaceBrowser acted on the harassment that you have been receiving?

 

A: ‘FaceBrowser did nothing because the person who posted the posts deleted their posts, and they didn’t even reach out to me. Unfortunately, I think that they should be more considerate about what people are posting? I mean, okay – racist memes are banned, that’s good. But when it comes to hate posts, they really don’t care. Well, just a couple. Akari, Hazel, Krystal and Lana. Can’t really recall anyone other than them supporting me. They basically said the same thing that I did. I’m young, I make mistakes and I learn from them. And if I ever have any problems, I can vent to them.’

 

Q: How does FaceBrowser’s lack of monitoring and allowance of hate-posts to be submitted make you feel? How could FaceBrowser improve in these areas as a whole?

 

A: ‘Well, they do nothing. I’m actually kind of disappointed by their lack of action to just do anything to monitor these posts. Obviously, they won’t be able to save people’s lives. I think that the moderation team should really take a closer look at what people are reporting, though. They could act upon that.’

 

Q: Lastly, how would you specifically define your online persona? And is there any final words you would like to include into the article?

 

A: ‘Well, FaceBrowser’s community varies. We have models, artists, regular people and I’m happy to be apart of it and share my thoughts, and make people laugh. Social media is not something we’re able to get rid of or run away from in the 21st Century, because we’re all somewhat addicted to it. My online persona – I think I’m just trying to be myself. I love supporting and making others laugh by any means, I also, similarly to Isabella, like to support people who are attacked, or shade thrown at them. I just can’t stand when people are suffering both online and offline. I just wish that people won’t ever experience what I or any other person had to go through. Not everyone is as strong as Isabella – and I wish that everyone would be at peace, but I know that’s impossible. We can all at least try to be nice to each other.’


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Isabella Roberts

The owner of Crucial Fix, Isabella’s notable for her online presence, and being deemed as a ‘controversial figure’ for multiple individuals to personally target. Earlier in the week, Isabella was apart of a mass-leak of private information and photographs, causing the woman’s nudes to be leaked on FaceBrowser’s non-administered website. Isabella and I discussed how this occurred despite FaceBrowser’s regulations in the following text.


Q: Have you experienced harassment online? If so, how has Los Santos’ community and FaceBrowser’s reaction been to said harassment? Has FaceBrowser offered any support throughout the harassment?

 

A:  She answers by saying, ‘I've been called an attention whore, slut, whore, thot and much more. And how did it happen? Just because I was doing my thing, taking photos and boosted them - which is a feature that I paid for. I remember firing shots back, ya - da, ya - da. And nobody really cared when I got targeted. But that situation was not as damaging as the latest one where Keinan Walker released my nude photos. Nobody really cared about me or how I felt. People made 'jokes' about selling them and shit, for example Hayley Cross. Anyway... FaceBrowser hasn't done SHIT.’

 

Q: How do you feel about FaceBrowser’s limited response to your nudes being leaked? And their lack of definition on what should be boosted or not?

 

A: ‘I'd love to personally strangle the people who are in charge of moderation in this platform. They should have reacted faster and done their job. They haven't even fixed the blatant racism in this platform, all the KKK shit and stuff, it's disgusting.’

 

Q: How do you personally think that FaceBrowser could improve on their system?

 

A: ‘By getting new or more moderators, or at least adding a system where it detects any inappropriate shit.’

 

Q: Lastly, how would you define your online persona?

 

A: ‘From other’s perspective, I’m probably seen as a slut or something bad, because nobody cares to actually get to know me. I actually want to get married, lock myself down onto one man until death parts us ways, I would also love to have children. Unfortunately, nobody actually bothers to even find that out about me.’


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Photo Credit: SingleFlash Photography


Irelia Podhajna

Irelia Podhajna, Director of Weazel is known for her regular trips to the beach as well as open sponsorship of start-up businesses around LS. Her goal is to provide news to everyone within the city and making sure that all news produced is of a high quality. In the article, Irelia and I discuss the hashtag #OccupyWeazel and FaceBrowser’s lack of monitoring of potential defamation.


Q: Have you personally experienced any form on harassment online? If so, how did it occur and how has Los Santos' reaction been to said harassment?

 

A: ‘I have been a target of harassment via the racist groups within Vespucci. I've had riots outside my place of work against me, photo's drawn up about me on Face browser and even people following me home to shout things about it. For the last 2 weeks (no longer) I found myself under constant fire from internet trolls and individuals with a grudge against me. Which ended up with someone attempting to shoot me as I left work one night two weeks ago.’ She pauses.

 

Irelia adds, ‘OccupyWeazel was a movement by Mr Nigel Stanton which claimed that my organization were racists and fascists, as well as homophobes, that we killed and ate babies and had a particular grudge against a noodlehouse. They were daily riots outside the HQ which got so out of hand at one point, PD had to deploy all units to keep the protesters controlled.’

 

Q: How has FaceBrowser’s administration system dealt with the harassment you have received?

 

A: ‘I feel like FB's rules whilst good, they allow too many loopholes in the rules when it comes to abusing copyrights and targeting people. As it stands death threats of course are dealt with promptly, but everything else will be simply ignored and even allowed to be promoted via FB's boost function.’

 

Q: How could FaceBrowser improve its administration to further avoid harassment from occurring?

 

A: ‘More staff and rules which are combed over to prevent loopholes from being abused to the determent of other users.’

 

Q: How would you specifically define your online persona?

 

A: 'I am a large business director, so majority of what I post is public relations statements or the occasional photo from my life.'


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Amiyah Pelrine

Lastly, we now have Amiyah Pelrine who also has a very noticeable online presence, mostly for her heavy involvement into the Beauty and Fashion side of Los Santos - Online and Off. She also owns and models for the clothing company, ‘Sevencz’ along with two others. Additionally, she has her own side business, 'Makeup By Amiyah'. Amiyah gives her in-depth insight to the current state of hate on FaceBrowser and how to combat it in general. To quote Amiyah she wishes to, “Shed a more positive light to the online and real world. I want to make changes and challenge the status quo.”


Q: Have you personally experienced any form on harassment online? If so, how did it occur and how has Los Santos' reaction been to said harassment?

 

A: ‘Harassment? Yes, I have, sexual and aggressive. Quite a few times over a long period of time using Social Media, but I don’t think I’ve had it nearly half as bad as others from what I’ve personally witnessed online. I get the odd Juvenile comment on my posts, people messaging me privately with vulgar intentions - They come to me thinking I owe them something and can end up becoming rather aggressive when they don’t get what they wanted. Then there’s obviously the odd pot-stirring post that pops up on these drama pages which has never even been close to the truth. Although many people don’t take these pages too seriously, it’s a frightening thought that anyone can just send anything they want in to be posted and someone might just believe it. It has the potential to be dangerous and I don’t think people really contemplate that enough.’

 

She continues, ‘On how people react to it though, usually quite well or they ignore it completely. There are others who try to jump on the hate, but they usually get shut down very fast. I have the most amazing group of friends and they’ve rushed to my aid ready to be my white knight many a time, haha. Usually we’ll just make a joke out of it and turn it into a pleasant experience. It’s what you have to do. Succumbing to the bait is what the aggressors want. Honey, don’t give them the satisfaction. If people took every single negative comment about them seriously, they would never be happy or content.’

 

Additionally, commenting on the topic, Amiyah adds; ‘Overall though, my online experience is a mostly positive one but I strongly believe it’s due to how I treat others. There are people online that do find it easier to victimise individuals who are always surrounded by drama and controversy. I’ve also noticed people who put out a lot of negativity are usually the ones online who get it back the most and then there’s the poor sods who just don’t deserve it at all.’

 

Q: How does FaceBrowser’s lack of monitoring and allowance of hate-posts to be submitted make you feel?

 

A: ‘Sad and Frustrated. Though it depends on the severity of ‘hate’ in my opinion. Nasty, passive-aggressive and nonconstructive comments are always going to be a thing and you know what? Whatever. If those types of comments don’t escalate further and its the odd one here and there by a singular person or a couple you can easily ignore that, it’s the more deeply hateful posts, groups and comments that’s the main issue. Homophobia, Trans-phobia, Racism, Slut-Shaming, Private Media Leaks and The Bully Bandwagon. Why on earth is hate like that not being dealt with properly and taken more seriously? No wonder people are just saying whatever they want to online, there’s no real punishment and therefore there is no fear of consequence. So yeah, very sad and very frustrated.’

 

Q: How could FaceBrowser improve in these areas?

 

A: ‘I don’t think the pressure of improving your own and other peoples’ online experience is entirely up to the FaceBrowser team, mostly as it is their platform to run but the users have a big part to play too.’

 

She adds, ‘Firstly and in regard to FaceBrowser themselves, they can start with getting a proper, bigger, more active and more efficient moderation team. We don’t care who you pick. Just make sure they aren’t past aggressors and they have a neutral to positive online presence. Enforcing more punishment to those who are deserving of it. If reports of posts or comments contain illegal content, report it to the Los Santos Police Department and let them investigate it. That’s a good start. I think a lot of the issues can be resolved just with a decent moderation team.’

 

Amiyah finishes her argument by stating, ‘Secondly to the users who feel like they are being targeted and receive online hate, make use of the functions that are already there. In no way am I saying the hate you are receiving is your fault or that you should have to suffer more in any way but help yourself rather than make it easier for them. Clear your friends out and make sure it’s people you completely know and trust, block those who are giving you grief, make your page more private and set your posts to be seen by friends only. When it comes to your feed make sure it’s set to ‘People I follow’. I promise you that you’ll see a decrease in the hate online, those functions are there for a reason. Utilise them. Of course, then comes the fear that they’ll come at you in real life if they can’t reach you online. Just be careful, have trusted friends around you and stay smart. It will blow over.’

 

Q: How would you specifically define your online persona?

 

A: ‘Online I’m really not all that serious when it comes to my personal page, I’m myself one hundred percent but I use it as a platform to joke around with friends, connect with people and stay informed. There is obviously a more serious side when it comes to the business online. A lot of the time I’ll be posting creative content whether it be a design, fashion photography or beauty. I’ve been doing the same thing for a long time now, way back when there was less than a handful of photographers. A break in-between here and there though.’

 

‘I’d like to think I have a positive presence on FaceBrowser and online in general. I’m confident in the fact I’m a nice and down to earth person. It’s pretty much known now that I run a new page called ‘Positivi-TEA’ to bring a change against the other ‘Tea’ themed pages that are used to spill gossip and confessions. Positivi-TEA is actually going pretty well, again it’s not overly serious, but I’ve already seen a great impact the page has had. People have given me great feedback over it and the lack of troll submissions is surprising. There’s not even been anything negative posted on the comments to any of the posts. I just got so tired of scrolling down my feed and seeing hate, gossip, hate, gossip and so on.. So, I decided to do something about it even if it was just a small addition.’

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‘I try not to get involved with drama, but I’m human and I’m certainly not perfect. Although it be rare, I have chipped in here and there when it comes to responding to hate but mostly always to defend or give my opinion. I’d rather just have fun and being cruel to someone isn’t on the list of things I enjoy. Overall, a playful businesswoman that doesn’t take herself too seriously and aims to shed a more positive light to the online and real world. I want to make changes and challenge the status quo.’

 

Q: Would you like to include anything else in the article?

 

A: ‘Nothing other than a short statement. Hate is always going to be there, especially online. Do something about it, if we don’t.. it persists. Apathy will be interpreted as acceptance. Counter it with goodness. Do what you can to help someone and lift people up. Think twice and then thrice before hitting the send button. Contemplate the consequences your actions might have. Be kind and kindness you’ll have returned.’ She pauses.

 

‘You have one life. Do you really want to spend it being a dick? That’s all.’


To the viewer’s reading, respond to this article by answering a few questions. Firstly, how do you believe that FaceBrowser could improve its administration and how could both men and women avoid being the focal point of harassment? How do you voice your opinions on FaceBrowser, and how would you personally describe FaceBrowser as a platform currently? Do you agree or disagree with the four women’s opinions provided? If so, leave a comment in the enabled comment section below! - EZRA


 

Edited by Sammy
  • Upvote 5
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Username: AP
Comment: Ezra you've put this together so well, was a pleasure talking with you and being a part of this.
Keep up the awesome work girl. You have my support 100% Nothing else needs to be said I haven't said already. 

Edited by Coles
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26 minutes ago, Sammy said:

People made 'jokes' about selling them and shit, for example Hayley Cross

Name: HC

Comment: In my defense, the pictures are still on FB, as in they're still on the servers, just because the post was deleted, doesn't mean the picture was. 

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1 hour ago, Mitch said:

Name: HC

Comment: In my defense, the pictures are still on FB, as in they're still on the servers, just because the post was deleted, doesn't mean the picture was. 

Name: SS

Comment: Dont complain about posting stuff you shouldnt have in the first place. Once on the internet, always on the internet. And whoever may have downloaded them.. ?

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Username: MuthurshipTravellur

Comment: The internet is the most dangerous weapon ever created, man.. Worse than a nuke. You know how many industries it killed the past couple of years? If only the kids we're aware of this.

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12 hours ago, Rumbunctious said:

User: McDonaldsLiberal

Comment: I say every post should require approval before being posted! Seeing the likes of gays, trans-people, and mass sensitivity rise on sites such as Facebrowser should also mean we limit any form of criticism or unwanted opinions. Social media should have nothing but positivity, and if you think it's a WOMAN'S FAULT that her nudes get leaked just because she sends them IN TRUST, you're a misogynistic pig! So if your post doesn't directly and progressively praise another user of the platform, it shouldn't be allowed!

 

Username: PassingObserver

Comment: Said not one person, ever. This user is obviously feigning and makes these insincere comments in attempt to discredit "Liberals." Take everything he/she says with less than a grain of salt.

Edited by Midsummer Night's Dream
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Username: JLixx

Comment: Liberals are narrowminded apes following simple pattern, more freedom anywhere. Guess what...

Humankind proven times and times again, that they cannot be free, for they don't even understand the concept of freedom.

Edited by Engelbert
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Username: keinanW

Comment: i love how some of the women complaining about being harassed here fail to mention how they've themselves been responsible for it. you cant go around "exposing" people then cry when someone does it back to you.

Edited by keinanW
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