These days we are subjected to all sorts of things in our social media feeds – cat videos, replays of video reviews in football games, Bunnings sausage memes, and sadly, bike riders being abused and endangered.
While many posts are newsworthy or lighthearted, it is the unsociable (and sometimes criminal) ones that deserve the most scrutiny, and it is up to the digital algorithm powers that be to enforce standards.
That’s why we recently reported a video of a driver in a ute smoking out a group of bike riders posted on a Facebook page called ‘Legless - Maloo Burnout Ute’.
It's not clear where or when the video was taken. What is clear, however, is that it is dangerous and risky behaviour.
The caption written by the video owner shows that they had fair intent to make bike riders uncomfortable.
We thought that the video would be taken down by Facebook and the poster warned – Facebook’s Community Standards of course aim to create a ‘safe environment’.
Facebook says: People need to feel safe in order to build community. We are committed to removing content that encourages real-world harm, including (but not limited to) physical, financial and emotional injury.
So we were quite surprised to see that Facebook had no issues with the video that celebrates dangerous driving and the targeting of vulnerable road users.
Facebook do have some disclaimers in their Community Standards policy.
They say that they "err on the side of allowing content, even when some find it objectionable, unless removing that content can prevent a specific harm".
They also say they will leave troubling posts if they are newsworthy or important to the public interest.
We fail to see how Legless - Maloo Burnout Ute’s video passes these tests.
The public don’t become better informed by seeing a video of this driver acting like a clown, however it does immobilise anti-bike people and legitimises and encourages harmful behaviour.
Facebook is a global powerhouse who have a massive influence on the way people behave.
It's shocking that they think this video, and many others like it, are acceptable and they need to change their perceptions of community standards.
What can we do?
We need to make Facebook understand that these kinds of videos are not acceptable and the community does not want to see such behaviour.
Posts like this are of no benefit to society and can only cause harm.
Whenever you see a video of bike riders being targeted and put in danger we urge you to report it to Facebook or the platform it appears on.
Through strength in numbers we can make an impact and show Facebook that these posts are of an unacceptable standard.
While the Facebook page seems to be made up of mostly Australian followers, the ute in this video appears to be driving on the right hand side of the road. It’s also unclear exactly what caused the plumes smoke.
Regardless of whether this incident occurred overseas and what the driver actually did, it has reached a large local audience and is unacceptable.