MySpace: No place for Atheists?

AS reported at Secular Student Alliance, MySpace has deleted a major atheist group from their site, apparently after complaints from religious groups:

Social networking site, MySpace.com, panders to religious intolerants by deleting atheist users, groups and content.

Early this month, MySpace again deleted the Atheist and Agnostic Group (35,000 members). This deletion, due largely to complaints from people who find atheism offensive, marks the second time MySpace has cancelled the group since November 2007.

Hey, if you find atheism offensive:

a. don’t read it
b. don’t be so uptight
c. get a life
d. if your faith is so fragile that seeing an atheist symbol upsets you, perhaps you should just give up and join us.

I see this as blatant discrimination, this could be a rallying cry for all the atheists out there.

Personally I don’t have a MySpace account, don’t see any need for one, but the idea that a few religious people can cause MySpace to delete accounts just because they are atheist seems wrong on so many levels.

Here’s something for the religious to ponder; if you are Christian do you try and delete all the Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish sites? If Catholic do you try and delete all the Protestant accounts? If Anglican do you try and delete the Baptist accounts? Where does it end? What ever happened to live and let live?

There are several things that could be done;

  1. Do NOT delete your existing My Space account, that’s what they want, instead:
    1. add more atheist comments into your existing profile.
    2. Send the post by Secular Students, and any other good sites discussing this, to all your MySpace friends.
    3. Send a complaint about a religious group or user.
  2. If you don’t have a MySpace account, start one up and ‘atheist it up big time’.
  3. Send an email to them, there is a contact link at the bottom of the home page, this only sends an email (form mail) to the Customer Service desk, but if suddenly 30 million people sent the same message, surely someone will take notice.
    1. It seems that you can put in any old name and email address and it accepts it.
  4. Write a letter to your local newspaper, particularly any Murdoch owned paper.
  5. Post on your blog, about this, make sure you include a link to the Secular Students original post.
  6. Comment on others blogs about this, we all have different readers so this will help spread the message (reciprocity)

There is a also a petition Save Myspace Groups you can sign (mainly aimed at MySpace account holders) but you can just add your name if you don’t have a MySpace account. Every little bit helps.

Lots of blogs have started commenting about this including Friendly Atheist, on the earlier attack and again on the recent happenings, Richard Dawkins, and many others.

Thanks to Sean for the heads up.

Advertisements

15 Comments

Filed under atheism, atheist, discrimination, MySpace, news, politics, religion

15 responses to “MySpace: No place for Atheists?

  1. Turkish citizen

    So is this a global trend now? Fundamentalists of all beliefs all over the world in perfect coordination…
    Wake up people… The laicist vs. fundamentalist struggle is not only taking place in Turkey but all over the world. By the time you wake up it may already be too late and you may just find that you have no freedom left anymore.

  2. Pingback: Locky's World

  3. AV

    There is an extremely twisted logic to all of this, you know. From a certain (paranoid, mindless, irrational) perspective, atheism is much more of an affront to Christianity than Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism or Judaism–and it has nothing to do with Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens.

    You see, at least Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Jews–whatever their theological differences–can agree on the idea that faith (magical thinking, belief without evidence, belief in the supernatural) is a good thing. Atheists, on the other hand, don’t see the necessity of faith at all (I’m not counting the Straussian view that faith might be necessary to keep the hoi-polloi in line). I can see how from a certain point of view, when I say “I am an atheist,” what they hear is “This ‘faith’ you have–it’s pointless, a waste of time and energy, a joke. Because if it wasn’t, then we’d all have faith.” In short, atheists are mean and offensive purely by virtue of the fact that they are atheists.

    Obviously I’m not claiming that all theists think this way about atheists. But evidently some do, and I think this MySpace discrimination issue is symptomatic.

    A final thought. If I was a Christian and ill-disposed towards atheists, I wouldn’t necessarily see the MySpace discrimination against atheists–which gives atheists the moral high ground–as a good thing.

  4. Since I posted my comment I’ve been trawling the atheosphere and there are many different thoughts and feelings on this whole issue. There have been quite a few Christians condemning this, nearly as much as the atheists, from both the discrimination/censorship issue as well as the issue AV states.

    Further to this current debacle, a lot of Christian groups and accounts were hacked on MySpace a while back and quite rightly they complained. The difference was that MySpace promised to fix their problem promptly, and did so. It appears that this same promise was given to the atheist group, but they (MySpace) seem to be lagging in their response so far.

    Some also think this whole thing has been blown out of all proportion, and have even accused atheists of being paranoid.

    I guess we’ll just wait and see what happens.

  5. Pingback: MySpace bans atheists . . . a few thoughts « Five Public Opinions

  6. I said it over at Sean’s and I will say it here. This is wrongwrongwrong on so many different levels.

    I find a lot of the content on pages that I have ended up on extremely offensive. But here is the catch-what offended me had very little to do with religion. Sometimes it is the language, not that I am a goodytwoshoes by any stretch, but if it offends me then it is really bad. Some of it is the general disrespectful tone. Anyway-my point is that if it offends me I just don’t go there again……………

    WM

  7. Saved Sinner 2

    I am not atheist, but I do find this to be BS
    I am not to up on the Myspace deal, I mean I don’t even have a Myspace account 🙂

    I see it this way, like many here do as well, if you don’t like it don’t look at it.

    I don’t agree with bombarding the site with atheist views would do much (that is my opinion of course). That would only put needless traffic on the site which would give them a false sense of popularity which in turn more revenue in thier pockets from ads.

    I do agree with bombarding them with emails though, stating your issues.
    I don’t agree with opening up an account just to protest, but I do agree if you have an account prior to deleting your account ,network out to get other Myspacers to delete thier account and the reason why and maybe open up a FACEBOOK profile (I don’t belong to this one either)

    Or since if the suggestion that everyone that doesn’t like atheist post and find it offensive than they should just go to sites that don’t offend them, I feel that MySpace has the right to do what they please. MySpace is a free site that has the right to mandate what they do (my opinion of course) and if they want to delete an account for the reason of discrimination they should be allowed to, BUT and that is BUT just because they have a right to do that doesn’t mean it is good business sense, Because discrimination of any account pisses everyone off and cause them to take their business elsewhere.

  8. I’ve had trouble at of all places, computer graphics forums. Despite rules stating no religious comments will be tolerated, there are people with comments and signatures with bible passages and other religious references. Any time I did anything, like sign a post “there is no god, have a nice day”, the christians flooded the mods with messages to the point where I was either censored or banned. Just like there, I’m hesitant to say MySpace has a christian agenda. I think of this reaction as more of a parent who just wants quiet instead of justice. This is another reason why it’s important for atheists to be organized and vocal. Too often things happen simply because the squeakiest wheel gets the grease. Christians are both organized and vocal. We need to be the same.

  9. SS2, well said, you’re correct in that it’s MySpace’s right to do what it wants, but as you said it doesn’t look good for the business. If even religious people, like yourself and WM, think what MySpace has done is wrong, then they aren’t aggravating just one (atheist) section of the community, but also aggravating the wider community. That is not good business sense.

    As I’ve said elsewhere, whether or not MySpace deleted the atheist group on religious grounds, the appearance that they have is what makes them look bad.

    Philly, too true about the ‘squeakiest wheel’, I wouldn’t hesitate to suspect the perpetrators of the hack and the complaints only came from one very small section of the religious community, but a very vocal one.

  10. For Adelaidians, there is a new atheist MySpace group;

    http://groups.myspace.com/atheistsadelaide

    Hint, hint, nudge, nudge. 😉

  11. cheers Bruce, Adelaide is a bit specific though; I don’t live in Adelaide, but I grew up there, does that count?

  12. Yeah that counts. It’s just that there was already a Canberra one, and a NSW one and so on.

  13. OK Bruce I signed up and joined your group, I’ll set up my profile and join some other atheist groups when I get a chance.

  14. Pingback: More absurd anti-Atheist discrimination ala MySpace « The Thinkers’ Podium

  15. Pingback: Atheists say “Screw Myspace!” « First Order Historians

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s