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Editorial: Anti-bike group on Facebook needs to go

Posted by on January 8th, 2010 at 9:53 am

Screenshot from Facebook group that has
posted this horrific photo and added:
My Way, Get the F%&* Out of It.

A group on Facebook with 32,000 members that is encouraging dangerous behavior and fomenting hate toward people on bicycles violates Facebook’s terms of use and should be shut down.

Among other things, the group named There’s a perfectly good path right next to the road you stupid cyclist!, has posted photos of cars plowing into a group of people racing bikes with words, My Way, Get the F%&* Out of It. Here’s a snip from their group description: “My car is hard, and i am not slowing down!”

We have received a lot of emails about this from concerned people in the last few days. Some people have decided to join the group just to post pro-bike photos and messages. Others have started a new Facebook group called, HELP REMOVE this HATE GROUP against cyclists!. It currently has over 9,400 members.

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Portlander Dan Powell, co-found and owner of Portland Design Works, tells us that the response group added over 9,000 members in under 24 hours. Powell also thinks the offensive group should go. “I think Facebook has been slow to react. This is the age of the internet, that page should have come down in an afternoon.”

After reading about the “stupid cyclist!” group in the popular RoadBikeRider newsletter, Vancouver Bicycle Club member Bill Byer wrote to Facebook to point out that he feels the group violates their Terms of Use.

In the “Safety” section, the Facebook Terms of Use state:

6. You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
7. You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.

I agree with Mr. Byer. This group is in clear violation of those terms and should be removed by Facebook immediately. As I have made clear on several past occasions, encouraging violence on other road users is no joke. Given the already divisive bike/car culture clash in America and the relative vulnerability of people using our roads without the protection of 3,000 lbs of steel to protect them from harm, this type of thing should not be tolerated.

Free speech is one thing, but making it seem like a joke to run people over is not O.K. I hope that Facebook takes these concerns seriously (hopefully there’s a regular bike rider among their staff) and decides to take action immediately.


UPDATE:
1/8, 2:28pm: Streetsblog SF picked up on this story and has published a response from Facebook. The company says “We’ve reviewed this group and determined that it doesn’t violate our policies.” I disagree, but am not surprised by their initial review. Hopefully they take a second look.

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Comments
  • dp January 8, 2010 at 10:00 am

    I think the original group is a perfect example of the chasm that bicycle advocacy has to cross…for as much work as has been done, for as much money that is earmarked for infrastructure, bicycles are seen still as kind of a joke by main stream America.

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  • Nick January 8, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Hear hear. These people need to be sent back to kindergarten and re-socialized properly.

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  • beelnite January 8, 2010 at 10:03 am

    This is absolutely horrifying. Like many things in this world it seems as if there are a whole bunch of folks walking (driving? riding?) around with some very skewed and sick perspectives about our purpose on this earth.

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  • Michael42 January 8, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Duly reported, but we’ll see if it does any good.

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  • domes January 8, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Uhhh, aren’t hate groups on Facebook the least of our worries? Also, don’t you think this article is likely to increase rather than decrease their membership?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 8, 2010 at 10:18 am

    domes,

    i understand that, but the group needs to go and we need to raise the attention of Facebook (and others) to make that happen.

    when the account is deleted, it won’t matter how many members they have.

    and, just FYI, this is not the #1 thing we’re worried about. The story took about half-hour to write and now I’m working on other things!

    thanks for the comment.

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  • Jackattak January 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Domes -

    Facebook has millions of users, so no, this is not “the least of our worries”. They’re spreading hate through this group which violates the ToS of Facebook. Secondly, it’s not like it’s that hard to click “Report this Group” on their Facebook page, so I don’t think we’re going to spend hours fighting this cause.

    This article is well written and not hateful in any way, so I don’t know where you’re coming from regarding the possibility of the article only increasing the group’s members.

    I have done my part and reported the group through my Facebook account.

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  • bahueh January 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

    its some stupid 16 year old kid and many of the subscribers are of similar ages…why are you giving him the time of day when he probably can’t even drive?

    Maus, seems like you giving him attention is exactly what he wants…

    Thanks bahueh, I expected someone to say this. I don’t care if the person is happy for the attention if that same attention also leads to the group being removed. — Jonathan

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  • Jackattak January 8, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Jonathan – perfectly put!

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  • Ed January 8, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I joined the facebook petition to get them to stop that hate group. I’ll do my best to spread the word.
    thanks.

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  • Larey January 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Note to personal injury lawyers. If your client was injured in a bike wreck, check to see if the driver was a memeber of this Facebook group. If so, quadruple whatever settlement you were thinking of.

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  • Stripes January 8, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I checked out the group, and i see some PRO BIKEY people from Pdx have joined it, in order to put up positive photographs and messages to the page in the meantime. I think that’s a good way to go, until the site is shut down.

    I will be reporting both the offensive photos, and the site as a whole, to Facebook, this morning.

    I think it’s sad that many American motorists don’t know the law about bicycles having full road access. I wish the DMV could be a greater part of the conversation at the table here.

    They have the potential to play SUCH A HUGE role in changing people’s awareness as bicycles as a legitimate mode of transportation, rather than merely a toy that should “stay on the sidewalk:.

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  • K'Tesh January 8, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I’m going to send in my complaint as soon as I can

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  • Nick V January 8, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Honestly I wish we could just get rid of Facebook.
    Also Twitter and My Space while we’re at it.

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  • Donna January 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Nick – the beauty of the internet is that you don’t have to participate if you don’t want to. It’s awesome that way!

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  • Vance Longwell January 8, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Agreed. Why bother attempting to convince an opposed position through argument, when you can just as easily censor them outright; and be done with it?

    That’s efficient at least.

    If the idea this group is putting forward is so bad, then it should be a simple matter to convince those whom hold this position that they are wrong, yes? The process of which was started the instant an opposing position congealed into the formation of another group, right? Censorship implies that I’m to be protected from something. That something, presumably, is the harm which may occur from being exposed to certain ideas. Yet, if those ideas are defeated in argument, or are simply a case where I’m never exposed to the idea in the first place, either way, it shouldn’t matter the means because the outcome is the same.

    If the plan is to slow the spread of flawed logic, incendiary ideas, and provocation, then the means to that end are varied; arguably infinite. Good options besides censorship exist, that will serve the same purpose, and bring about the same ends. On the other hand, censorship gives rise to corollary-arguments about what is appropriate speech, and not; and that only serves to mire-down dialogue on all levels. And also censorship isn’t even 100% effective, a trait held in common with many of the alternative options I’ve mentioned.

    Look, this fB group makes me angry. It’s childish, it’s emotional, and it could be argued it also impacts my personal safety. My own anger at this makes me suspicious that those whom support censorship are reacting to that same anger. But it’s much better to declare this, right, and hope that this declaration is supported by logic, and right-thinking than it is to just wipe-away what are, regardless of your personal judgment of them, the thoughts and feelings of your fellow man? Isn’t the idea to keep the notion that it’s okay to kill bicycle-riders, out of anger, from spreading? If so, isn’t that accomplished by convincing those exposed to this dreadful idea that it’s dumb, and irrational? Isn’t the success rate there gonna be similar to the success rate of simply imposing censorship?

    Then why censor?

    I join you, wholeheartedly, in your disdain, and anger, I really do. But I implore you to always consider other options than censorship. It’s just gross, man.

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  • twilliam January 8, 2010 at 10:50 am

    While the FB account is gross, after reading the comments over there (and how illiterate they are), I’ve got to think “Don’t Feed the Trolls” is an option.

    Some propeller head is just reeling in the lulz over all this, and if we manifest some sort of retort, it just eggs them on.

    $.02

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  • mcas January 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Beyond the reporting the group, image guidelines are more strict, and reporting images can work. The FB guidelines are:

    Facebook removes photos for attacking an individual or group if:

    * the photo has been edited to attack an individual or group
    * the caption or tags attack an individual or group
    * the image is hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable

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  • BicycleDave January 8, 2010 at 11:02 am

    The right of free speech does not protect the right to yell “fire” in a crowded movie house.

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  • Peter Korchnak January 8, 2010 at 11:04 am

    I agree, the FB group is in poor taste. But that’s what freedom of speech entails. So I second Vance. Censorship never solved anything, it just reinforces the opinion of the censored. Everybody calm down.

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  • Jackattak January 8, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Hate speech is unprotected by the 1st Amendment.

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  • Elly Blue (Editor) January 8, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I’m curious what alternate measures you folks who are against censorship would recommend.

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  • John C January 8, 2010 at 11:13 am

    On a different note, While on a ride I stopped by my local bank and the teller asked me point blank, before any business, “why do you guys always ride the white line when you have the whole bike lane to ride in”. I mentioned how some feel it’s safer as it slows the cars down, but the point is she has a bad image of all of us based on actions of a few. Riders running red lights was also mentioned. There is a lot of work to be done on both sides, and I agree with DP as how most people see cyclist, and I would like to concentrate on good viable solutions how we all can get along instead of it always being us vs them. That starts with emails to facebook as the Jonathan has mentioned, to try to get the crazy and negative us vs them off the radar, and promoting safe and courteous cycling in you neighborhood/ town. Just my $.02.

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  • JE January 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

    FYI—here’s the story that goes with the picture

    http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/car-87345-dead-four.htmlre.

    The Facebook gang neglected to mention that the driver was stoned, drunk and arrested.

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  • [...] a local blog dedicated to issues related to bikes in Portland, is expressing concern about an Australian Facebook group named, “There’s a perfectly good path right next to [...]

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  • dan January 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I’m with Larey #11. Maybe some crafty person could collect the names of group members in case they are someday involved in an accident with a cyclist. Noting one’s membership in this group would go a long way towards proving willful intent and denying a simple accident claim in case of an “accident” and subsequent criminal charge or civil claim.
    Anyone with the know how want to take this on? Maybe Keep the list of member available in an online searchable database?

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  • Justin C, Houk January 8, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Sorry,

    I’m usually with you on this stuff but your making mountains out of mole hills here. Posting a pic that’s probably all over the internet to express someones sentiment isn’t hate speech. I bet you can find that pic on many facebook pages. Should they all be banned?

    You use social media to great effect in expressing yourself. I’m a bit taken back that you would attack the page by trying to get it taken down with a weak assertion like this one.

    Sure, express yourself on the page and disagree with it. Post pics of obese people in cars if you think that does the trick. It’s over the top to ask for it to be banned.

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  • gabriel amadeus January 8, 2010 at 11:32 am

    How is all this Anti-Bike Facebook Group drama any different than our stickers of “Fuck Cars” & burning hummers? It’s not. This type of response is just widening the rift between “car people” and “bike people” in my opinion.

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  • gabriel amadeus January 8, 2010 at 11:34 am

    (oops, sorry for the explicative y’alls)

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor-in-Chief) January 8, 2010 at 11:42 am

    thanks for all the feedback.

    gabriel,

    I feel that random stickers are much different than a large corporate entity allowing a group to encourage dangerous behavior that threatens the safety of others.

    and I disagree that calling attention to this group “widens the rift.” I think the rift is there to begin with because our culture does not take this sort of thing seriously enough in the first place.

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  • Alan Cordle January 8, 2010 at 11:43 am

    “# Elly Blue (Editor)
    January 8th, 2010 11:08
    22

    I’m curious what alternate measures you folks who are against censorship would recommend.”

    Ignoring the group.

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  • Jackattak January 8, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Justin # 27 -

    As has been posted previously, hate speech and hateful imagery is against Facebook’s ToS (that’s Terms of Service).

    It is completely within anyone’s range to ask it to be removed.

    Call it a “ban” or “censorship” but it clearly is hate speech and hateful imagery, therefore it should be removed based on the Terms of Service that all Facebook users must comply with in order to be a Facebook user.

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  • [...] H/T Bike Portland. [...]

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  • Ivana Tinkle January 8, 2010 at 11:55 am

    This is sad. Even sadder is that they have that many ignorant people on their FB site, we need to lean on FB to get this hate group kicked out. Ignorant people are bad enough, but when they have the power of unity it’s scary.

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  • Ivana Tinkle January 8, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    PLEASE…….GO TO THEIR FACEBOOK SITE FIND THEIR PROFILE PIC, STAY ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE PAGE, SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM AND FIND “REPORT SITE”
    LET THE ADMINISTRATORS KNOW THIS IS A HATE GROUP!!!!

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  • PastoralVelo January 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    IDK… I like my bike activism fierce but at some point you have to pick your battles.
    Campaigning against a FB page seems lame and petty. Really not going to convince anyone through this action. Focus your efforts on platforms that matter.

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  • Bob Paxton January 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    John C. #23 tells an all too common tale these days. Someone yelled at me this morning to “Use the @*#&(*@# bike lane!”, which was comical because I was the only vehicle going in my direction for at least several lights (I was in the left lane in order to take the left traffic light ahead). Someone yelled a similar “use the bike lane” request at me not even a month ago, so now I wonder if online campaigns like this are spreading that as some kind of mantra.
    To be honest, I kind of liked things better before all these bike lanes….

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  • Justin C, Houk January 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Elly Blue #31

    There are facebook pages for Nazi youth and the KKK. If you go look at them you find out that people regularly post opposing views and a few even try to advocate for changing minds. I’m not saying they change minds but who knows.

    This group has 32k fans! I bet that most people became fans because they just liked the name. Activists posting bike friendly materials could win some people over out of that 32k. Well, they might have before the campaign to get the site banned from facebook and the posts of many insulting pics and comments.

    You could contact the owner of the page and find out what they think about working together. Again 32k fans offer some interesting options if you treat this like an opportunity vs a rally for censoring the site. Fat Chance now I guess.

    Sorry, I love what you guys do on this site. I just disagree with your stance on this.

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  • wsbob January 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve visited Facebook…maybe 2-3 times. Didn’t see it having anything of interest to me.

    Somewhere, there always seems to be people thinking that violence and mayhem is hysterically funny, at least when directed against at anyone but themselves. Being able to eliminate that probably isn’t a realistic possibility, but I’m glad to hear people are willing to converge on the ‘hip’ confines of FB and give some of the idiots there a wake-up.

    John C #23…did you invite the bank teller to come ride with you on ‘the whole bike lane’? No better way to show them why riding the white line or the main lane is often preferable.

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  • Jackattak January 8, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Well Justin looks as though you’re going to have it your way.

    Facebook has announced they are not going to remove the group due to the group’s non-use of “actionable violence” (whatever that means).

    So, I suppose it will be all of our collective jobs to go to the group, become members, and post our dreams filled with flowers and rainbows with cars all over the road and cyclists riding happily on sidewalks.

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  • Oh Word? January 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Maybe I’ll start a group called “The easiest way to break off a sideview mirror on a car”!

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  • Michael M. January 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Happily, I don’t do Facebook, so it probably goes without saying that I tend to think ignoring it is the best policy.

    I used to get all worked up about racist or homophobic or sexist or anti-this, anti-that speech, and it still irritates me. At the same time, I long ago realized what people do is much more important than what people say, especially in the age of the Internet, where it is so much easier to be “virtually obnoxious” than it is AFK. If this group was making serious arguments about changing rules governing bike / car interaction or enforcement priorities or similar, then those arguments could be addressed constructively and productively. As it is, they are trying to provoke — and apparently, they are succeeding. I have my doubts as to whether anyone’s safety is really jeopardized by this kind of juvenile activity.

    But, to each his or her own. Enjoy your Facebooking!

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  • q`Ztal January 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Certainly the least that should be done is to not allow these toxic personalities to breed in a social setting where they think their behavior is acceptable.

    The only thing that stops the closet sociopath from acting out against others is fear of reprisals, fear of punishment and fear of financial hardship. Take these social inhibitors away and they will lash out at anything for no reason with no concern for the life and well being of any life, animal or human.
    There are a lot of these people hiding in our society. Certainly we expect that a convicted criminal is the sort of person who would shoot someone in the face to see what they bleed like. How many people do you know that are so selfish that they have to be pressured in to sharing when everyone else is and they are so willing to take and not give? How many people do you know that made their money, millions even, by what is considered by common knowledge, if not law, as theft and laugh in your face as if it was your fault you where swindled? How many people do you know that would steal a winning lottery ticket from a homeless person, beating then senseless or dead in the process? There are more of these people out of jail/prison system than are in it?
    What can we legally do?
    What can we ethically do?

    Can you un-teach a sociopath? Is it something that is taught or is it genetic? If these people are born this way, you know puppy kickers, is there any hope to change their ways?

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  • Vance Longwell January 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    How ’bout this E #22? An analogy. Let’s say instead of fB pages, it’s leaflets pasted to a community wall. I assert that you are advocating removing an offending leaflet from the community wall, whilst it is my position that pasting a leaflet next to it, containing an opposing position, will suffice. The real difference is that both parties are afforded their respective freedoms, my way, with arguably the same outcome either way.

    In my analogy, we agree upon what offends us, but we disagree with how best to handle it. Rather than simply tearing down the speech of others, I recommend kicking the poo out of it with wisdom, talent, and aplomb, for all to see. Then let the whole s**t-er-ee sit there, indelible, forever as a record of, if nothing else, the stupid s**t people think up.

    Maybe history wouldn’t be so goddamned prone to repeating itself if we weren’t changing it all the time.

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  • Elly Blue (Editor) January 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Vance, I agree with you — wasn’t actually stating my opinion, just hoping to find out what folks would actually do.

    Disheartening to hear people advocate to ignore it though. Turning a blind eye to something like this and hoping it goes away feels like tacit approval to me. It’s definitely the higher road to address this stuff one way or another rather than simply letting it be.

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  • PastoralVelo January 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Elly
    I think you are misreading most of the anti-comments. I don’t think you should ignore it but trying to control another persons or groups speech, however offensive it may be, is a BAD way to advocate your point.
    As a long time organizer – all you are doing is drawing attention to the group instead of advocating your own positive message. You are wasting resources on something you may or may not win versus using those resources to advance your message.
    Drivers who are frustrated at cyclists have every right to vent through bad humor… activism without the ability to laugh at the other sides bad taste is boring, pretentious, and unlikely to win new converts.

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  • Undercover cyclist cops January 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Put plain clothes cops out on the bike lane as commuter decoys, let the media know, and see how funny motorists think it is to harass cyclists.

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  • Elly Blue (Editor) January 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    PastoralVelo, my comments are in response to a couple people who said they’d rather everyone just ignored this group. I don’t think that’s the way to go.

    This editorial was written by Jonathan. I didn’t know about it until he posted it. Personally, I don’t think simply deleting the group is the best way to go, though I do agree that it violates FB’s terms of service in terms of the violence being “actionable” (FB disagrees, probably because there isn’t a hell of a lot of popular credence for thinking of cars as deadly weapons).

    As in all things, however, I would rather keep the authorities out of it. Kudos to those who are wading in to reframe the conversation around respect and reason.

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  • Vance Longwell January 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    E #45- Agreed. Don’t you find your own compulsion to rise to the stated perceived challenge quite gallant then, noble even? See, if you’d protect a stranger from a harmful idea, man, that’s some serious high-road, righteous, kind of stuffs. Which is implicit in your clear outrage.

    I find it difficult to present a sufficiently persuasive argument opposing this fB group’s position, myself. This frustrates me. That frustration exacerbates the aforementioned anger this all causes me to feel. At some point, I experience an impulse to simply censor the expression of this idea, my own self. This feeling in me, makes me suspicious of others, and their motives. Shouldn’t we be suspicious of emotionally driven behavior? I mean, isn’t that what the dang principle gripe here is?

    However, the underlying logic of my real-position in this applies and is sound. It is my emotions, and impetuousness, that are maybe interfering with constructing the thus elusive all-persuasive argument in support of my position. So, just ’cause my alternative to censorship aint working-so-good in this particular context; that’s not my idea’s fault, so much as my own.

    Hehe. You said, “alternative”, not, “great alternative”. Again, I’d argue that censorship won’t get you much either. Other than the knowledge you let a bad idea cajole you into being uncivil.

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  • [...] H/T Bike Portland. [...]

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  • Brad January 8, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Agreed #46!

    Censorship is a tool of the insecure. It shows that you have nothing to offer other than a need to control someone you disagree with. It smacks of arrogance and reeks of fear. Fighting bullies with another form of bullying solves nothing and makes us the petty whiners our adversaries portray in their invective.

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  • Larey January 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    (I’m sorry, I didn’t have time to read all the comments so this might have already been covered)

    Someone should post the following on their wall (or words to this effect)

    “By listing yourself as a fan of this page your name has been associated with a group that encourages violence against cyclists. What does that mean for your future? If you are ever involved in an accident with a cyclists, no matter who is at fault, your membership in this group will be presented in court as evidence of your disregard for the safety of others and will aid in your criminal prosecution. Be careful how you drive for the next 50 years.”

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  • Peter Korchnak January 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Why not ban and censor every opinion that we disagree with?

    You win an argument not by suppressing the opposing argument, but by convincing your audience with your argument. Suggesting that this FB page be censored is barking up the wrong tree and only contributes to escalating the conflict (witness some of the comments here).

    Ignore them and do your own thing.

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  • Anonymous January 8, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    How is that fB page any different than the bike zealots on this site that wish injury on drivers because the saw one do something stupid.

    Plenty of examples of hate speech in the comments on this blog.

    Should bike Portland be removed from the web?

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  • Justin C, Houk January 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    What is really the most remarkable aspect of that page is not the content. THEY HAVE THIRTY TWO THOUSAND FANS!!! When you stop to think about this it’s pretty remarkable because there are very few fan pages that have over 700 fans.

    To say that facebook isn’t relevant and it should be ignored probably doesn’t take into account that it gets more traffic than google and now has over 350 million people signed up world wide.

    What that page has going for it is a well written headline and pic. It basically has no content. It’s only a community site in an academic sense at the moment.

    My hunch is that if you started to make constructive posts on that page you can turn a very negative thing into something that at least reaches those that will listen. All folks did when they signed up was read a headline. Say you only reach 10% – that’s still 3,200 people!

    Sorry, off my social soapbox and last post in this thread before I become spam :)

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  • Lester January 8, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I don’t see anything wrong with asking Facebook to take the page down. If this kook wants to share his sentiments on his own web server, then he should be allowed to, however.

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  • Elly Blue (Editor) January 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Anonymous #54, please point out to us any specific examples of hate speech that you find on our site. We take that seriously.

    I’ve edited this editorial to say “I,” not “we,” since it certainly doesn’t reflect my opinion in any way. Agreed about engaging constructively. Disagreed about calling in the FB authorities.

    Vance, re/ formulating a constructive response, start with poking at the premise that it’s justifiable to threaten individuals with violence or death because one is annoyed by their actions (or by those of other people assumed to resemble them).

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  • borgbike January 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I’m loving the photos that bike-friendly people are posting on that group. Keep it up, I can’t stop smiling.

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  • Joe Metal Cowboy Kurmaskie January 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Facebook disagrees? What about this facebook – That photo the club has featured of the car plowing into all those cyclists – that’s a photo of a dear friend of mine – alejandro – being killed – it stirs up such sadness in me and if that is not a hateful image to post then i guess I don’t know what the word means!!!!
    I know that this will stick around – freedom of speech – but that image and the comment below it demonstrates sick broken souls!

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  • Ivana Tinkle January 8, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    ”Maybe I’ll start a group called “The easiest way to break off a sideview mirror on a car”!”

    ROTFLMAO!!!!! Sign me up!

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  • Joe January 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I reported this awhile ago. just scares me thinking some are like this. but then again im on the streets day to day, see it!

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  • Frank January 8, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Let’s have a Frank discussion. Most people hate cyclists because they’re perceived to be weak, defenseless, and a bane to efficient motoring. If Portland cyclists want to make an impact for their collective safety, they’ve got to go on the offensive to punish dangerous drivers. This includes gathering video evidence(cheap digital camcorders mounted on bikes) and media attention to undercover cops posing as cyclists. In Washington, where unmarked police cars enforce traffic violations, potential offenders obey laws under threat of citation because they don’t which car contains a cop. Let’s stop being wimps and start being proactive. Toughen up greenies.

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  • david....no the other one January 8, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Be the change you want to see in others. Let’s bike. How about a redirect in a post on the FB page.

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  • Max January 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I disagree on a lot of points of this debate, on all sides. I’m not even here to voice an argument for or against pursuing censorship or punishment on these individuals.

    I more wanted to draw some attention to what the cycling community is missing here. These kids from the UK are easy targets, and they are not the big “bad guys” of the cycling community. Those guys would never publish stuff like this. They will just idly talk about road taxes and cyclist infringement on drivers in a passive sense. It’s sad that we can only spot our enemies when they threaten to kill us with a car outright. There are individuals in this very city that feel that way, that make political and media movements to these ends as well…but they rarely illicit this much attention or disgust.

    I’m not saying don’t act on your judgment here, with these kids from the UK, please do.

    What I am saying is that they are the tiniest fish we could spend this much energy frying.

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  • Joe January 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I will never forget the time in Northern CA
    when a driver was tring to force me off the road many times, slaming on his breaks.
    avoided this for about 1 mile before he got out of his car up the road and waited for me. I sprinted soooo fast and shot across the line to not plow him, cars coming on the other side of the road. shot back into his path. he just missed me, jump’n at me. but i was in 53×11.

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  • Joe January 8, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    #62 BTW i was Tough back then, sometimes the crazy fokes cant calm dowm, it only fuels it. I say get away, and yes i got a plate number.. did no good out state plate.

    be safe everyone, crap like this fb group just shows closet anger lives on the streets.

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  • dp January 8, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    I’m still impressed that the latter group had a few hundred fans yesterday morning, and has over 14K now.

    Yeah, Facebook is irrelevant.

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  • Tonyt January 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    As noted by others, that photo shows people actually dying. Combined with the language, I do not see how that does not violate the terms of service.

    This is NOT a freedom of speech issue. Freedom of speech involves the government. Facebook owns their site and they are well within their rights to establish terms of service. Pointing out that this group is violating those terms is not censorship. We are, at this point, merely disagreeing with FB about the interpretation of their terms of service.

    Every single person in that group is free to create their own site. Those crying censorship should talk to someone like my father who actually lived under a totalitarian regime. You all are swimming in an ocean of free speech and complaining about someone splashing water in someone else’s face.

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  • Bry January 8, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    While I agree with the basic premise of this article the notion that “Free speech is one thing, but making it seem like a joke to run people over is not O.K.” is misplaced. Free speech is not just free speech as long as one agrees with what’s being said – if we really agree with free speech, we have to be able to tolerate words that make our blood boil, realizing that the person who speaks them has every right to. That’s the way it works constitutionally.

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  • Afro Biker January 8, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    It’s alright to make effigies of a depcapitated George Bush and deficate on American flags…so why try to stop these fools from having their childish hate page? All this attention is exactly what they want. They are irrelevant. Ignore them and they will go away.

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  • jh January 9, 2010 at 1:28 am

    You guys should go to this face book site and read the comments! Apparently, it looks like this site has been taken over by bike people!

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  • Marcus Griffith January 9, 2010 at 5:06 am

    the first amendment right to freedom of speech prohibits GOVERNMENT from censorship etc. Facebook, like any private company, can impose its own standards and limitations on free speech.

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  • gracie January 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

    I just checked out the group, and it appears that it has been taken over by pro-bicyclists who are discussing sharing the road and positive things about bikes.

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  • Cogs January 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Have cyclists brought a lot of this hostility on ourselves? You know we have. From Critical Mass to the most recent trend of bad traffic riding inspired and encouraged by the fixed gear fad, we have fed this fire. Also, anti-cyclist types are perhaps rightly encouraged by the fact that while cyclists get to share space on the road, we are not licensed, and cops choose to ignore or go easy on scofflaw cyclists because of this. At a recent bike advocacy conference in Texas, attendees were asked how many had violated a traffic law that very day on their ride to the event. Show of hands was 80%, accompanied by smirks. Take this Facebook page as a lesson. Maybe you are a 100% law-abiding cyclist, but most are not and we are not taking responsibility for how arrogance, self-righteousness and plain immaturity in traffic is hurting our cause.

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  • Hank Sheppard January 9, 2010 at 10:43 am

    As reported in today’s “O,”…5 years hard time to the doc in LA who used his car as a weapon is a good start.
    Let’s catch, prosecute and put away the perps. Is PPB listening?

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  • middle of the road guy January 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    @62
    “Most people hate cyclists because they’re perceived to be weak, defenseless, and a bane to efficient motoring.”

    No, I think they hate cyclists because cyclists demand that cars obey laws that the cyclists themselves do not.

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  • SkidMark January 9, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Can you motorists stop pretending that you don’t make moving violations? Also when you break the law, you could kill someone, like a cyclist.

    I ride and bike, and I drive a car. I’ve even driven a delivery van as a job. I rode motorcycles for 13 years. You motorists are just as guilty as cyclists are as a group.

    RE: Facebook. The group is in violation of Facebook’s own TOS. That should be enough to get it shut down. It isn’t a matter of free speech, because Facebook doesn’t have free speech.

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  • high road guy January 9, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    @#76

    “No, I think they hate cyclists because cyclists demand that cars obey laws that the cyclists themselves do not.”

    Perhaps, but cyclists piss me off when they’re riding several abreast and refuse to line up single file so the line of drivers behind him or her can scoot on by without having to dangerously speed up and pass in the opposing lane.

    Stops signs and red lights:
    Cycists can hear cars coming up to intersections as opposed to drivers who can’t hear over their engines, brakes, radios, or cell phones. Disparities in speed cause accidents and keeping the flow of traffic running smoothly and predictably keeps accidents down. The loss of momentum when a cyclist has to stop results in him having to exert a tremendous effort to restart. Studies have shown that red light and stop light running cyclists are rarely involved in accidents.

    Engineers calculate the safest speed on a road is the speed in which 85% of cars are travelling on that road. That doesn’t mean they always set that as the posted speed limit. Politics and safety perception come into play. In that vein, coming to a full stop at an empty intersection causes a huge disparity of speed. Non cyclists don’t seem to understand that. Running stop signs looks dangerous to the uninitiated who are cocooned in their own world of steal and noisy distraction.

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  • JH January 9, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    You all should check out the facebook page in question. There are actually about 33,900 fans whick seem to be mostly bike people, tonns of people from PDX, and lot of cool bike pictures. I’m not sure what the original intent of the page was, but it is now seems to have been taken over!

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  • middle of the road guy January 9, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    @77.

    That’s exactly the point. Cyclists are just as guilty as motorists.

    I would also point out that a cyclist hitting a pedestrian can indeed kill the pedestrian.

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  • DDDeebo January 10, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Here’s a thought: removing a given web site/book/movie/piece of music because it offended your frail sensibilities is reactionary censorship and does nothing to address the sentiment behind the media in question. This article does nothing to address the rationale or the justification for the thought behind the offending site. Cyclists can be extremely entitled and aggravating to drivers. Case in point: the doofus yesterday taking a lane on the Ross Island bridge during rush hour, headphones on, blissfully ignorant to the quarter mile of traffic backing up behind him. I know this is legal but just because you can do something does not mean you should. Common sense seems to be lacking here. Now, this type of thing is obviously no justification for killing someone but these events accumulate into a shared sense of aggravation from drivers which is directed at cyclists as a whole.
    To close: cool it with the reactionary censorship attempts. You can’t tell people what to think and shutting down their site will only reinforce their thinking that cyclists are entitled jerks. Take steps to address the issue behind the site.

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  • toddk January 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Agree with Tonyt above… asking Facebook to restrict or prevent users from using language that promotes hatred or the use of violence is not a form of censorship. Facebook is a corporate entity and is free to make restrictive policies as they choose. (They already do so). Asking Facebook to discourage or not permit this type of behavior, IMO, is a fair request and not censorship.

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  • DDDeebo January 10, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I agree Todd. Facebook has every right to restrict usage on their servers however they see fit. However, the outcry here is not a result of people getting upset about the minutia of terms of use policies. The outcry is a result of people disagreeing with the ideas expressed by another group and thus wanting to shut them up. Focusing on the terms of use is a misdirection being used to justify censorship. It is being done because some people disagree with the content not because they care deeply about enforcing Facebook’s term of use policies. This is really neither here nor there though because even if their page is removed it does not address the cause of the issue.

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  • Michael42 January 10, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    @DDDeebo

    When the ideas expressed are the promotion of violence against a group of people, there *should* be an outcry.

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  • Craig January 10, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    There’s a new spinoff FB fan page that represents cyclist’s POV called “I prefer to ride my bike in the street so deal with it you stupid motorist!”, which you can support. Check it out here:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-prefer-to-ride-my-bike-in-the-street-so-deal-with-it-you-stupid-motorist/242980189798

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  • matthew v January 11, 2010 at 12:44 am

    how’s this? become a fan and start posting pro bike comments. i did and love it!!!

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  • Domes January 11, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Three days later… The group has grown from “more than 32,000″ to 34,767. It’s still there, obviously. Has anyone received any correspondence from facebook about the group’s account being “deleted?”

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  • Domes January 11, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Oh, and has anyone actually read the content on the page?

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  • [...] H/T Bike Portland. [...]

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  • Ken Steinhoff January 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Looks like the cyclists have overwhelmed the site.

    For once, the solution to pollution appears to be dilution.

    Here were my earlier thoughts on how to deal with it.

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  • Pete January 12, 2010 at 1:50 am

    Lots of discussion on censorship versus freedom of speech, but let’s put forth a hypothetical situation. You have a family member that was taken hostage by a militant group and had their neck slit open and a photograph of this was sent to be published (a dilemma editors often face) to attract attention to their cause. A newspaper decides to publish it on their front page. How would you feel about that? Would you enjoy it more if there were comments saying your family member deserved it?

    The incident pictured above was truly irresponsible and tragic, claiming the lives of innocent people including my friend, one of Mexico’s great racers. I loath Facebook for allowing this to be published, and it tips my decision against joining (I was on the fence since several friends use it to share photos).

    Censorship or not, poking fun at murder is unacceptable to me.

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  • Tom January 12, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Facebook thrives on user accounts and publicity. So, ignore it and deactivate your account. That’s what I did.

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  • Joe January 12, 2010 at 10:56 am

    #85 thank you just joined! :)

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  • jenn levo January 12, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    late last week i urged my friends to report the facebook page “national hit a cyclist day” (which was scheduled for sometime in June) and within 20 minutes, the page was removed from Facebook. I think the thing is, you can share your opinions and thoughts on facebook and if it’s just a thought but no actual threat, the FB officials will leave the page up. However, if it is a direct call to action (like the beat up a Ginger Day that happened last year) then facebook will stand by their guidelines and remove the page.

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