‘Band Fags!’ Banned From Facebook

BandFagsCover This has gotta make you wonder if the employees Facebook hires to screen the site's profiles and fan pages are actually paying attention. Openly gay writer Frank Anthony Polito created a Facebook profile in 2008 in support of his novel BAND FAGS! It took Facebook two years to find that they have issues with the profile's content.

The social networking giant has removed the page and sent Polito the following message, which reads in part: "You created a Page that has violated our Terms of Use. A Facebook Page
is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional
purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or
obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an
individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual."

Kenneth in the (212) has published a statement from Polito:

"While I understand that the word "fag" is offensive to some
individuals, I find it ridiculous for Facebook to deem my fan page a
"violation" of terms without further looking into matters. This is
clearly a violation against me as a gay author.

I would contact Facebook with regards to this matter, but they make it
next to impossible to contact them regarding ANYTHING on their site."


  1. Mike says

    Sorry folks, can’t have it both ways. We can’t run around saying that the term “FAG” is offensive and then want to use it ourselves. I’m with Facebook on this!

  2. says

    I tell you the truth: Equal rights will not occur in the foreseeable future for many reasons, a major one being the use of the oppressor’s hateful words and epithets as self-identifiers.

    When I read of “The Million Fag March,” or hear about a book written by a Gay author entitled, “Band Fags,” I literally cringe! By use of such hateful epithets, it unconsciously and/or consciously shows shame and self-loathing; sticks a finger in the eye of potential Straight allies; seems to revel in permanent sexual outlaw status; seems content to remain as second-class citizens.

    Enough is enough! We must condemn the use of such words as “fag,” queer,” “dyke,” etc, and show dignity and actively and seriously confront the oppressor, rather than exhibit self-defeating foolishness that can do nothing but sabotage the LGBT Civil Rights movement.

  3. Dave says

    UGH. “While working to remove abusive anti-gay language from your unimaginably vast social networking site, you didn’t take time to research me personally or read my whole book and discover that I’m using abusive anti-gay language in a cute way, and you have therefore committed a hate crime.”

    Shut up, Frank Anthony Polito, and come join us here in 2010 where we don’t use the word “fags” anymore.

  4. contragenic says

    Hey now,I like the words fag,queer,dyke etc.
    I don’t identify with “gay” in the least bit,I am just way too radical a fairy to fit into that narrow box.I don’t and won’t use either facebook or myspace,and there is no queer alternative for these.Before anyone tries to argue this point with me let me ask you,do online cruising for dick sites really count as social networking websites?
    Does the embrace of negative terms hurt us or empower us? Ask Tyler Perry.

  5. Megan says

    Maybe Facebook should ban all of the other groups/pages that use worse words than “fag” before they say anything about this page! They say pages are for promoting things right? Well he’s promoting his book. This is absolutely ridiculous.

  6. Megan says

    Do you know how many pages I’m a fan of that are not promoting anything at all? Probably about 98% of the pages I am a fan of. Great job facebook, you’re doing SUCH a good job by banning something that is ACTUALLY promoting a BOOK, than banning something like “I have to put my cereal in a bowl before the milk.” What is that promoting? Nohing at all. You people are ignorant.

  7. johnny says

    Facebook has more problems than Lady GaGa has outfits. They change the way it works monthly and many parts simply DO NOT work. I’m just about to the point of taking my page down and leaving it forever and this is about to make me cross the line.

  8. Rich says

    This is the downside of hate speech protections. Think about it from Facebook’s perspective. It’s not up to them to decide the relative value of different uses of the word ‘fag’. They don’t want 90% of the uses, so they eliminate 100%. It’s not that they’re blind to the use, only that they need a policy they can uphold 100% of the time, rather than letting some techie make the rules as he goes along.

  9. nic says

    if certain epithets are banned, they are banned. should a huge enterprise like facebook check for satire? i don’t think so. polito does have a point about the accessibility of the poobahs at facebook. youtube is just as bad. they recently changed they’re format and screwed the pooch big time. why fix something that ain’t broke?

  10. Brad says

    I mean, I’m just spitballin’ here… maybe the page for “I have to put my cereal in a bowl before the milk” hasn’t been banned because the words “cereal”, “bowl”, and “milk” haven’t been included in Facebook’s LIST OF OFFENSIVE TERMS. If you continue to be upset about this, you can either (a) report the site – Facebook makes it easy to do from right on the page or (b) convince groups like the ACLU to label those terms hate speech and then urge them to pressure Facebook to agree.

    Until then, let’s congratulate Facebook on their attempts to eliminate abusive, anti-gay language from their site… and forgive them when they occasionally fail to distinguish between hate speech and “cute” hate speech.

  11. Zlick says

    I think the main problem is that it’s next to impossible to contact anyone at Facebook with an issue. That goes for this instance, and for dozens of others I’ve heard of. That seems really sucky for an enterprise of this magnitude and scope.

    On the other subject, ever hear of “reclamation?” Whether or not Facebook allows it, we fags are ALLOWED to say “fag.” If some of us choose to take the sting out of that word by using it affectionately among ourselves, that’s our right and a time-honored political tool. YMMV.

  12. Laverne says

    “I think the main problem is that it’s next to impossible to contact anyone at Facebook with an issue.” You are so right! Their FAQ frequently answer nothing. I’m still waiting for a response about a problem I was having with one of my pages I’m an admin on…a year later. I just gave up.

  13. says

    Leave it to Towleroad commenters to have ALL the answers to anything LGBT-related without knowing ANY of the facts. (Have any of you ever tried reading????)

    The author isn’t “using” the word “fags.” That is WHAT the bullies called the guys who were in the school’s marching band — “band fags.”

    Now people who are picked on aren’t allowed to refer to WHAT they were called BY their attackers? This isn’t even political correctness — this is censorship. While you’re at it, why don’t you tell all black people who were ever called racial epithets to erase the words from their memories — and works of art — and pretend it never happened? Apparently this will make Facebook — and Towleroad commenters — happier.

    Honest to god, you people are fucking idiots.

  14. Mike says

    It isn’t reasonable for Facebook to deep-dive into offensive terms to make a determination on the intent. They should be commended for including the word FAG in their list of offensive terms. There isn’t any inherent right to use Facebook. Freedom of speech doesn’t apply. If you choose to participate, you have to agree to their terms of service. If you don’t like it, go elsewhere.

  15. Megan says

    It doesn’t matter if those words are offensive or not. If you actually read my post, that’s not the point. The point is, they say it’s for promoting things and that is not promoting anything at all. And I know you all have heard the term BAND GEEKS. Well back in the 80’s instead of BAND GEEKS they called them BAND FAGS. He’s not calling anybody a fag. Don’t post things if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

  16. Jordy says

    I was and still am, a proud “Band Fag”. I was never offended by the term, it was kinda’ cool to be a “Band Fag” in Michigan, back in the early 80’s. Sounds ass backwards but that’s MIchigan for ya’.

    You can’t see them in this photo but our Color Guard carried RAINBOW flags and our opening song for 2 years was “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”!

    1981 – Dondero Marching Band, Royal Oak, Michigan

    In 1984, the rainbow flags were retired before marching season had begun.
    Don Smith, the Assistant Band Director, who chose the flag design and opening song, was stabbed & killed, in his apartment, by a stranger that he had picked up at a gay bar near Woodward & 8 Mile Road in Detroit.
    Not knowing what had happened the night before. I arrived at school, my first period class was Band and Mr. Smith wasn’t there. I went into the other band teachers office and saw Mr. Perkins, at his desk, with tears in his eyes. He was holding the local paper and on the front page was the story with ALL of the details. Apparently, he was trying to pull himself together and asked me to leave the room. A few minutes later, he came out of the office and announced that Mr. Smith had been killed and that the murderer had been caught.

  17. Thomas says

    The problem with the whole “community”-use of the word f-g is that there is an implication that if you hear someone in your office building, for example, say the word, you would need to ask them their sexual orientation in order to know whether or not to be offended. How does that make any sense?

    I don’t believe in the concept that a word can be selectively offensive. Words are either derogatory and hateful, or not.

    For example, I, a white man, am offended when I hear anyone, even African Americans, say the n-word– and why shouldn’t I be? If a word has a long and painful history of being used by intolerant bigots, “reclaiming” the word causes more harm than it’s worth. And for what? So that I can occasionally hurl the word at one of my gay friends? The problem with this is that even if my friend and I are OK with the usage, we are still encouraging intolerance until all of society accepts and acknowledges our new, “ironic/cute” definition.

  18. adam says

    Sorry sir,
    FB absolutely has it correct, these types of words ate offensive. Maybe this is why they are hard to reach? Who wantsto answer to this mentality all day?

  19. darkmoonman says

    The disturbing part is that Facebook allows hundreds of other groups that spew anti-gay hatred to have pages but takes no actions against them.

    As for the f-word, I’m gay and I don’t use it … never have in 55 years … but within gay culture it is similar to the n-word within black culture.

  20. darkmoonman says

    The disturbing part is that Facebook still allows many other groups that promote anti-gay prejudice and hatred but takes no action to remove them.

  21. Darrell says

    Interesting, Has anybody else noticed that if you click on “P Roggerman’s” name (as it’s highlighted) Looks to me It’s an alias like “He got Roggered” (ie fucked). You are linked to the ADL website? Sounds a bit self serving considering his comments.

  22. Corey Haim says

    We castigate people for the use of the word fag, but as a community get pissed because Facebook is essentially supporting us? If you think the use of the word faggot is okay and you use it, you’re a moron.

  23. David Campbell says

    I have to agree with Paul Roggerman. Saying, “Calling someone a fag is not nice.” is not a hate crime for using the word fag. Step down off your soap boxes.

    Also, no one has the right to dictate what word(s) an individual uses in their self-identification. Why do you fear “queer”. Why don’t you like “dyke”. Why dontcha mind your own fucking business? How ’bout trying that?

    For the most part, what I see here is a load of PC reactionary bullshit. I’m angry at FB for not doing their homework and being inflexible. I’m angry at most of those who posted in this thread because you’re hypocrites. And, mostly, I’m angry at myself for letting myself get sucked into this childish banter.

  24. Come On says

    Alright so if the use of that word or other words of that ilk, then throw out all of your Will & Grace DVD’s! They used all of those words and more in the name of comedy.

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