Title: What People Really Mean By “Censorship” by Josette Souza.
Text: (Written on a scroll) Calling all upholders of: free speech, the U.S. Constitution, and all things holy and uncensored
Text: Have you ever had a comment removed from an intersectional feminist FB page and had no idea why? (There is a person wearing an “I <3 Free Speech” t-shirt shrugging and looking angry.)
Text: Ever wonder why all these people think they can tell you to stop saying something just because they’re marginalized? (The words “dumb”, “rape jokes,” and “’you’re being too sensitive!’” appear in circles with big lines through them.)
Text: Has this ever happened to you? (Image of a FB thread showing someone with a comment from someone named Joe Schmoe that reads “Women aren’t oppressed anymore, they’re equal now! Stop whining!,” followed by a message from an Everyday Feminism moderator saying “Hi, your comments have violated our comment’s policy, I’m–,” with the word “BANNED” written over it in big red letters.)
Text: Then YOU need our handy dandy Translation Guide for 98% of the Censorship Complaints on the Internet! With this brand new guide, you’ll be able to understand just what it is you’re actually saying and why no one wants to put up with it! (Image of a book that reads “Guide” with a “Buy now!” sticker on it.)
Text: For example, when you say:
Person 1: How dare you delete my comment stating that the “obesity epidemic” is a burden on the healthcare system, you’re violating my first amendment rights!
Text: What you’re actually saying is:
Person 1: I believe it is my right to make everyone read everything I have to say, including my malicious attacks against fat people (using misinformation*) for daring to love themselves.
Person 2: You just delete/hide all the comments that disagree with you! My comment claiming that we need to save muslim women because they’re all helpless and oppressed is totally valid!
Person 2: Rather than notice all of the many other comments critiquing your article that are not hidden or deleted, I’m just going to continue to choose the most offensive and problematic way to express my views. And there’s nothing wrong with telling muslim women what freedom looks like!
Person 3: Stop policing me — I can say LGBTQIA+ people are taking attention away from women’s issues if I want to. I thought equality was about allowing all views to be shared — you’re being undemocratic!
Person 3: As someone speaking from a privileged position, I find it incomprehensible that my needs and wants are no longer the only ones being taken into consideration and I cannot yet imagine a world where equity and justice*, rather than equality, are the goals.
Person 4: Now you fascists say I can’t tell Black people I’m tired of hearing them complain about racism?! I can do what I want — it’s a free country!
Person 4: The thought of all these marginalized voices being heard has shaken me to my core — I literally have no understanding of myself or my self-worth outside of my delusional sense of superiority.
Everyone all together: CENSORSHIP!!
Text: Translation: We are equating not being allowed to move through the world uncriticized and unchallenged — even in privately-owned spaces — with the government preventing us from expressing our views in public. Also, we don’t understand what freedom of speech means.
Text: And WAIT — if you order now, we’ll throw in our “I didn’t read the article but I’m gonna comment anyways: a commenting manifesto” PLUS our “Are you seriously trying to get away with this on an intersectional feminist page?” guides for FREE. That’s almost as helpful as just reading our darned comments policy*! Order them now!
Call now! 1-800-COMMENT
Text: And remember, when your words become tools for perpetuating oppression, absolutely no one is obligated to listen to you.