With nearly 7,000 members, anti-LGBT Facebook group “We are against Pinkdot in Singapore” was temporarily removed yesterday for violating the social media platform’s community standards. Those against the page took satisfaction in the fact that the group, whose members included someone who threatened to “open fire” on LGBT folks, was snapped out of existence.
The celebrations were… brief. Facebook restored the group and apologized to its administrator for removing the entire group in error. The reason that Facebook took down the page was because of a post that violated community standards, but it wasn’t severe enough to result in the “entire Group being removed”.
The group itself is an assembly of conservative Singaporeans of all races and religions who are uncomfortable with the existence of Pink Dot — the ever-growing annual rally that started in 2009 in support of the LGBT community in the country. In its ninth outing at Hong Lim Park last year, nearly 20,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents showed up to lend their support.
On a side note, it’s ironic that “We are against pinkdot in Singapore” members are so vocal and active on a platform that is committed to making itself a safe place for the LGBT community.
After the reinstatement, group admin Azman Ivan Tan reminded members to follow the house rules and stay civil in their discussions. “Please check your postings and be nice,” he said.
A man then reiterated what he and his fellow members stood for: being a “united voice” standing against the LGBT lifestyle “with all the vices that is associated with it.”
It shouldn’t be surprising though, that the group was reinstated. Facebook has over a billion active users around the world and it makes sense for the tech giant to position itself as an impartial platform. Mark Zuckerberg may openly support gay marriage and LGBT acceptance, but his platform does not have the same advantage to lean on one side or the other. Driving away users would mean lesser eyeballs to push ads on, and that’s a big no-no for business.
Nonetheless, each year sees Pink Dot growing bigger in spite of opposition, and both sides won’t be seeing eye to eye anytime soon, like the time when a woman called for folks to pray for heavy rain during the rally.