November 26, 2016
Would you want your beautiful son driven to depression or thoughts of suicide by hate-filled misinformation on circumcision? That's the kind of treatment circumcised men and boys can expect on Facebook if they either publicly mention their circumcision status, or if they go to the social media giant in search of answers about how routine circumcision affects adult circumcised males.
Facebook can be fun for sharing photos and experiences with groups of people. Many use it for political and social advocacy, and others flock to Facebook to try to learn about the world. Everything from news, fashion and entertainment to healthcare, parenting, and sex is on Facebook. Difficulties arise when we use social media for education because there are a lot of non-professionals giving advice on a lot of topics. It is not always easy to distinguish the good online educators from the bad misinformation providers, or from the fanatical fringe!
Much like the rabid anti-vaccination groups on social media, the anti-circumcision groups ("intactivists" doing "intactivism") are hostile to anyone who provides any information contrary to their position. The gurus in this little corner of Facebook are like militant cult-leaders who block all dissenters and black-list other anti-circumcision advocates who might just be a little critical of some of the aggressive bullying tactics. This nasty activism is going on every single day by leaders in the intactivist movement and supporters of their organizations. Facebook is a little bit protected by its reporting system from things like blatant pornography, but for easily identifiable posts containing harassment and hate, the system is severely lacking! We've been documenting some of these intactivist tactics (mostly on Facebook) and you can check out the links below if you haven't done so already, but today we are here to tell you about another person's efforts to say "enough is enough."
Thomas Howard has eloquently set up a change.org petition
to try to convince Facebook to do something about these hate groups. We think this is a worthy cause to support and wholeheartedly recommend that you give him a hand!
It could be your son or your significant-other driven to despair over his circumcision status, not because routine circumcision is worthy of this type of emotion, but because there is a cult of truly misguided and often hate-filled Facebook users and groups who will say anything to demonize not only circumcision and circumcision providers, but also to promote the belief that circumcised men are somehow forever physically and sexually inadequate!*
Links to intactivist tactics (we could list more):
The Antisemitic Roots of Intactivism (they are not so subtle)
*We have also documented how this belief is false: here