Facebook shuts down Leelah Alcorn FB ‘hate group’

James Patrick Carraghan

James Patrick Carraghan is an award-winning activist, writer, librarian and student at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania. He spends his free time gardening, hording books and flirting. You can follow him on tumblr at http://thelibrarynevercloses.tumblr.com/

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In response to outrage on the part of transgender individuals and their allies, Facebook has shut down the page for a group called ‘Go Truck Yourself’. The page was created after the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager from Ohio who committed suicide by throwing herself in front of a truck. The group described itself as ‘stand[ing] up to degeneracy and Cultural Marxism of all forms’.

Proclaiming ‘Gender can never be changed’, the group included images of its name plastered over pictures of the late Alcorn – similar to the way that the Westboro Baptist Church used photographs of Matthew Shepherd surrounded by flames to promote themselves.

The content of the page’s posts included racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and transphobic language, including a reference to the Holocaust as the ‘Holocahoax.’

It was not until the news site Gay Star News made senior editors at Facebook aware of the issue that the page was finally removed. The page had previously been considered to meet Facebook’s ‘Community Standards’ guidelines.

A page called ‘Shut Down Go Truck Yourself’ was created to rally people to the cause of shutting down the page. The page was shut down on 4 January. Another page created by the same person behind ‘Go Truck Yourself’, this time called ‘Ghosts of Europa’, was shut down soon after when the moderator made comments referring to transgender people as ‘degenerates.’

The moderator of ‘Shut Down Go Truck Yourself’ summed up their motivations in a post on the page, ‘Leelah Alcorn’s last wish was that we all work together to fix society. Together we are strong, and we can and will make a difference in order to honor Leelah.’

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