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by
Charlie Martin

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July 19, 2013 - 8:18 am

It started yesterday, when SF author Michael Z Williamson was blocked by Facebook for 12 hours for using the word “chigger” in a post.  When his twelve hours were up — following massive derision against Facebook by all his friends — his block expired. He was promptly blocked again.

I wrote the FB press address asking the following:

[Press contact], it appears Williamson has been blocked *again* for using the word “chigger”. I continue to be interested in this and expect to go to press with it tomorrow. I’d very much like to have Facebook’s response. I’d also like to ask

1. Is saying “chigger” really more offensive than the “Kill Zimmerman” page that Facebook refuses to remove?  See this facebook search: https://www.facebook.com/search/str/Kill%20Zimmerman/pages-named

2. Is “chigger” really more offensive than the multiple uses of the ”n-word”? https://www.facebook.com/search/str/nigger/pages-named

3. What is Facebook’s procedure for dealing with reports of abuse? Are the people responding to the reports fluent English speakers in the case of reported pages in English?

Facebook responded to me as follows:

Mr. Williamson’s post was removed in error and once we were alerted of the mistake we worked quickly to rectify the situation. As our team processes more than one million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. We worked to rectify the error as soon as we were notified. We apologize for the inconvenience caused due to the removal of this content, and we have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future. Additionally, we have removed any blocks on associated accounts.

Williamson says:

I’m glad they were able to resolve it on review. They unbanned me two hours early.

I understand facebook likes chiggers. I don’t. It’s nothing personal. I believe chiggers have a right to exist. I believe nature has a reason for chiggers. I have never suggested chiggers are less respectable than other arthropods, or that they’re not entitled to exactly the same treatment as others. I just don’t like them personally. I keep my yard spic and span and would hate their presence.

And if one were to attack me, I would feel perfectly justified in killing it in self defense.

It’s also important for everyone to be aware of this chink in Facebook’s armor.

But wait, there’s more. Erin Palette was also blocked this morning, after Facebook responded to me, for the following bit of doggerel (reconstructed by Palette from memory, since Facebook of course removed it):

“I was once niggardly with a jigger full of chiggers. Tigger wanted that jigger with a vigor, but I refused. A Tigger with a jigger full of chiggers is a digger with rigor.” Something like that.

Basically, all the silly words I could think of that rhymed with chigger.

Palette comments:

English, Facebook, do you speak it? “Niggardly” is not a racist word, as a brief Googleing would indicate. Kindly grow a sense of humor along with a larger vocabulary.

I’ve asked Facebook for further comment, and clarification on my questions.  I’ll let you know what comes of that.

Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
How much do you want to bet that "chigger" becomes a racial slur as a result of this Facebook dumbassedness?

A couple years ago someone complained that a Michigan-based coffee company called "Beaners Coffee" had an anti-Hispanic slur in it -- to wit, "Beaners." How many people even knew at the time that "beaner" was an ethnic slur? Maybe ten outside of New Mexico? As a result of that litigation, millions of Americans now know of another ethnic slur to add to their vocabulary if they so chose.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The "Chegro" joke got me banned the first time. My second one was about chiggers being found on all continents, and how it's wrong to stereotype them.

They completely missed my jokes about sniggers not being black Smurfs, and "denigrate" not meaning to remove all the black people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I believe you meant to say "Parasite-American."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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How much are these idiots at FaceBook paid?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Would "Wigger" pull Face book's censor trigger although "cracka" would certainly be allowed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'll simply note that as an expiriment, I reported the following page for depictions of violence: https://www.facebook.com/#!/TheFightDepot1 Oddly, no response yet and the page is still there.

Facebook Admin sucks porcupines and rapes cactus plants.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
How much do you want to bet that "chigger" becomes a racial slur as a result of this Facebook dumbassedness?

A couple years ago someone complained that a Michigan-based coffee company called "Beaners Coffee" had an anti-Hispanic slur in it -- to wit, "Beaners." How many people even knew at the time that "beaner" was an ethnic slur? Maybe ten outside of New Mexico? As a result of that litigation, millions of Americans now know of another ethnic slur to add to their vocabulary if they so chose.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Beaners"?!?! OMG, that's predjudice against people from Boston!!1!11!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
[redacted] my [redacted]
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, I guess this means "sniggering" is not allowed, as in sniggering all the way to the bank?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That must be why a slightly PC American friend of mine always said "snickered", when she meant "sniggered". It never dawned on me before.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure how much PC has influenced the evolution of the word over time, but "snickered" has been by far the more common usage where I live for as long as I can remember, although both would be understood to mean the same thing. Possibly a regionalism as much as anything?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The people writing their algos must be the same ones designing the HFT algos that drive the S&P 500 ever higher in the face of ever worsening macro news.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Another log on the private industry enforced political correctness. Not driven by beliefs (though Facebook the company leans liberal), but fear of lawsuits and lose of customers. If Facebook is seen as "enabling racism" they have a PR issue on their hands.

It's not politics, but cowardice.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Everyone knows that the proper term is "chegro."

Now, what you do about the book "A Trigger's in Brooklyn," I have no idea. Maybe re-title it "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The "Chegro" joke got me banned the first time. My second one was about chiggers being found on all continents, and how it's wrong to stereotype them.

They completely missed my jokes about sniggers not being black Smurfs, and "denigrate" not meaning to remove all the black people.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I believe you meant to say "Parasite-American."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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