Idiots - the planet's one commodity that is becoming ever more plentiful. Take for example this site: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Theres-a-perfectly-good-path-right-next-to-the-road-you-stupid-cyclist/190080667052 - God only knows the depths of depravity that spawned the mind that felt compelled to create this rubbish.
And Facebook is washing its hands in an admirable Pontius Pilate impression. "Freedom of speech", "No violence against a named person threatened", etc. Especially that last one is laughable! If you're interested, I've copied the e-mail from FB at the bottom of this post.
The reaction was different amongst different cyclists. Some were outraged, some joined the FB group and are flooding it with pro-cycling content, others have started a different FB group to get the first one shut down. My advice is to take a screenshot, then e-mail advertisers whose ads appear on the site asking if they are happy to be associated with such content. Hopefully one or two large advertisers will object to FB and that this will lead FB to do something so as not to lose advertising income.
But perhaps nothing will happen, as my friend Sam claims. (Sometimes you're such a cynic, Sam).
I want you to imagine that same site, but substitute "Cyclist" with "Black", "Gay", "Muslim", "Jew" or any other persecuted group. See how shocking it is now? Do you STILL think Facebook should leave it be and not shut it down?
Cyclists are people. Living, breathing human beings. Some are idiots, but most are nice, same as with pretty much any other group of people. So why hate people because of their method of transport? Sad idiots that feel the need to do so!
Being a cynic myself, I try to balance it out by being extra positive. A bit like Yin & Yan - there should be balance in the world. This FB group has disturbed the balance by spreading hate, and the 2nd FB group targeting the 1st is spreading even more hate!
What is needed now is to spread some love, so we can balance things out! So hug the person nearest to you, especially if they're a complete stranger! Tomorrow, while commuting using whatever form of transport, don't throw a rude finger sign at somebody, even if you believe they deserve it. Instead, smile at them.
Spread the LUUUURRRVVV!!
Response from Facebook to my e-mail:
Thank you for reporting this potential abuse on our site. We will review the reported material and remove anything that violates our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If warranted, we will either warn or disable the user responsible.
In the future, please feel free to use the "Report" links located near most pieces of content on the site to report offensive material to Facebook. We will then review the material and take appropriate action based on our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Rest assured that these reports will be kept confidential.
Remember that you should also contact the authorities if you ever feel threatened by something you see on the site.
Thanks for contacting Facebook,