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Update on FB anti-Pagan hate group

The "Witches must die by fire" Facebook group has returned from its temporary removal. I had a thoughtful reader named Morey, who runs social activism groups on the site, suggested reporting the page to Interpol instead of Facebook, in the hopes of holding them to a higher authority. You can report the page to Interpol here: http://www.interpol.int/Forms/Contact_INTERPOL

If you decide to go the Interpol route, include a screenshot (I have one in this blog post) along with the link (https://www.facebook.com/WitchcraftTheBattleLinesHaveBeenDrawn) and the page's title. Talk about the real-world violence against witches - a quick Google search of "witches and Africa" yields stories like this: http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/family-of-witch-hacked-to-death-1.1296038#.UhJ3p5LVBrs - this page is not a troll or a parody, this is someone inciting people to violence, death, and mutilation. If you need a sample letter, feel free to borrow or amend mine:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to ask that the site "Witches must die by fire" (URL: https://www.facebook.com/WitchcraftTheBattleLinesHaveBeenDrawn) be removed. This webpage spreads misinformation and encourages violence against witches and pagans. And violence does happen (http://www.iol.co.za/news/africa/family-of-witch-hacked-to-death-1.1296038#.UhJ3p5LVBrs) - this fire does not need more gasoline. Please remove this shameful, hateful page. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Legal Name

Edit: Elani Temperance wrote an excellent post on why we ought to report Facebook as a whole to Interpol, because the underlying problem is that FB doesn't consider Paganism or Witchcraft to be a real religion, thus its lack of interest in preventing hate speech against us.

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Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.

Comments

  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley Monday, 19 August 2013

    I have heard rumors that the page owner who call his self a Reverend is actually from Texas. Does anyone know the truth of this? If it is true can Interpol still intervene on this matter?

  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir Tuesday, 20 August 2013

    I don't know if the Texas rumor is true, but if I find something out, I'll update the entry. However, you can still report to Interpol, regardless of where the hate is coming from.

  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley Wednesday, 21 August 2013

    I did not know this about Interpol. Thank you for your response on this.

  • Caleen Canady
    Caleen Canady Tuesday, 20 August 2013

    My husband had a suggestion regarding this site that I thought we should pass along. He's dealt in security and investigations and he's seen similar sites like this that have literally been "taken over" by the ones (in this case us / pagans) the site is against. Rather than us posting responses to the nonsense that this extremely ignorant individual is posting - stop posting any responses to what he/she is posting. Instead, we deluge the site with links, comments, articles, pictures about our faith. Anything and everything positive about who and what we are, and completing ignore the site admin. He/she will have to spend so much time trying to comment on or delete everything we keep posting that they will most likely delete the site themselves. And, if we are all focusing on the beauty and love that our beliefs offer rather than one ignorant and extremely misinformed individual...we can turn what was a site of hate into one of truth. If we all spread the word I think we can make something like this happen...

  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley Wednesday, 21 August 2013

    I like that idea Caleen but I have read on some of the Facebook pagan pages that some pagans/wiccans are now under personal attack from either the Hate page owner or some who "Like" the page.Either by posting on their walls or by personal messages. They got the names from those who commented on the page. A couple of the pages I am on have now started asking their followers to just ignore the page and stop sharing the link as it is only making the page grow. I reported them and got the automated response. I then used their feedback link to further report it. I have also signed two different petitions for Facebook to remove them.Interpol is next. Someone also mentioned reporting them to different sites who are against violence. I have even thought of contacting several of the elders to see if and what they say about this. I've thought about the news media as well but haven't contacted them for fear it will only this this hate the publicity they no doubt want.

  • Christine Kraemer
    Christine Kraemer Thursday, 22 August 2013

    Helpful informational page for explaining why these pages contain credible threats of violence: http://www.whrin.org/

  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Thursday, 22 August 2013

    I just received this in my in-box from Facebook: "You reported Witches must die by fire. for harassment. This page has been removed."

  • Amy Begley
    Amy Begley Friday, 23 August 2013

    Yes both pages have now been removed. "Lady Liberty League" and "Circle Sanctuary" both wrote letters to Facebook about the pages. From what I understand Facebook has also revised their rules/regulations regarding pages and/or groups that are seen as hate pages. Once again we have stood together and won.

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