Facebook has heeded calls for it to close a page that was used to dangerously out Ugandans who are gay or suspected of being gay.
The page, ‘Kampala Exposed: Rumor and Facts’, maliciously published unverified claims about people that ranged from them being womanisers to being gay.
LGBT rights group Freedom and Roam Uganda started a petition on Change.org asking the social media site to close the page as it was “attempting to incite mob violence, firing, eviction and annihilation of named people in Uganda who are perceived to be gay – or rumored to be gay…”
On Wednesday, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, announced that, “The page is down and we are about to declare victory, after receiving the message from a Facebook employee via change.org that they have seen the petition and dealt with the issue!”
She explained that “this effort was not about disregarding the opinions or values of Ugandans. Many of us engaged in this fight are Ugandans ourselves. But some things are not negotiable. Things like human dignity and the right to privacy. Common decency is non-negotiable. For these reasons and others, we had to fight this fight. We had to take this stand. And thank you for standing with us.”
Nabagesera also urged supporters to report the page creator’s blog, kampalaexposed.blogspot.com, which contained much of the same information as the Facebook page, for hate speech. The blog was also removed soon after.