Redirected to "the right thing"

Trigger warning: diet talk, fatphobia, indirect bullying and food/body snarking.

This is physically revolting. You know how when you look up something mispelled or related to something else, Wikipedia redirects you to the right thing? For example, you look up “Mark Corrigan (Peep Show)” and it redirects you to “Peep Show (TV Series)”.  And you know how, when there is no official page, Facebook relies on Wikipedia information when you look up anything on the social network?

Well, just look at this:

I will copy-paste the original post as seen on Red No. 3’s tumblr:

This is what happens when you search Facebook for “Fat Acceptance”. Go ahead, try it for yourself. Facebook has taken it upon itself to literally erase Fat Acceptance in favor of promoting fat shaming and fat stigmatization. When someone wants to find about Fat Acceptance, Facebook has opted to stand in their way and hand out a weight loss pamphlet instead.

Lest you think its because they are just loading content from Wikipedia, when you search “fat acceptance” on Wikipedia, it redirects you to their page for “Fat Acceptance movement”. Someone had to make a choice to silence Fat Acceptance on Facebook. This is what disenfranchisement looks like. This is what marginalization looks like.

Remember this the next time someone is bothered about how fat activists are silencing dieting. And write a letter to Facebook and demand that they stop disenfranchising fat acceptance in this utterly indefensible manner. My considerable thanks to Miss Mary Max and @Sullenmel for letting me know about this total and utter bullshit.

Revolting. Silencing, manipulating, abusive.

This is dangerous in at least two massive ways. On one side, it tries to misinform anyone who is curious about Fat Acceptance and wants to know more people and concepts that could help them out. On the other side, it mocks anyone who is well invested to the movement by telling them not-so-subtly that what they do is wrong and they should follow “the right thing”. In this case, “shut up and chump on a celery, fatty!”

It makes me feel bullied and unsafe. It’s not like Facebook has ever been this Holy Land of Joy and Joyness, and it’s not like hateful groups and concepts don’t roam around. Nevertheless, this is a more-than-direct attack, and a sign that tell us that The Man knows about us, and The Man wants us to digress. The Man wants us to believe we are wrong, and that we should only follow One Right Way.

I am a certified Spanish teacher, but the process to get my certification was a hard one. The exams were simple, the bureaucratic process was swift, and the tuition fees were alright; but dealing with people was an ordeal that took me back to high school. I was openly a fat activist, showed an unbreakable self-esteem, and proved to live a wonderful life while being as professional and respectful as possible, never over-sharing. However, my teacher and classmates used every.single.class to diet talk and despise themselves in my presence. Even if I changed the topic, they would always find a way to bring it back.

“Oh, but don’t take it personal! They are the ones battling insecurities, they’re not thinking about you!”. For one activity, the teacher split us in two groups. One had the more professional, nice people (including a skinny FA ally); another one had a chronic dieter, a marathon junkie, and me. The teacher wanted us to elaborate a vocabulary class using the real-life concepts he gave us. To the nice team, he gave them an inventory of an stationary shop or something. To my team, he gave us a dieting menu. A real one, from a real weight-loss plan.  He only wanted us to introduce the names of fruits, veggies, kinds of meat, nuts, etc. Something that could’ve been achieved with an inventory of a groceries shop, to match the other team.

But not. It had to be a diet plan, which made my “mates” diet talk non-stop. It was triggering and upsetting. I asked the teacher if I could change groups, as the topic didn’t make me feel well.

“No. This is your team”. He said.

Everyone knew my opinion perfectly well. But they just continued and continued.

I was so affected by the experience, by the indirect bullying, the negative vibes, that I actually do not want to put my certificate to use. The idea of being in a teaching room with people still terrifies me. As a teacher, I could be clear from day one and restrict my group as a Diet-Talk-Free area. It wouldn’t be creepy. Language-teaching groups forbid people from talking in their native language so they can learn faster. Some even have a piggy bank, so every time someone speaks in another language, they have to put on some money for pizza at the end of the course.

But I’m still too shocked to do that. Just like now I’m too shocked to continue being on Facebook. I’m so close from deleting my profile and pages. I refuse to spend more time with them, knowing that they hate me and they laugh at me. It’s the only way I can still talk to some people back home, but I’d rather disconnect myself from the world forever.

Update 19-Jun-2012: the Facebook page has been corrected to the Wikipedia Fat Acceptance Movement entry. Whatever, bro. Here’s a cookie.


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