Saturday, February 23, 2013

Paula C. Durbin-Westby: Autistic People Should... Die, Facebook Suggests

Trigger Warning: Suggestion that Autistic people should die.

This post can originally be found on Paula's blog here.

Facebook "kindly" completed this phrase for me before I could even finish typing the word "should." They'll be hearing from me, but word on the street is that FB employees spend less than one second on each complaint so I don't have high hopes. Facebook has become the social media platform that I use the most in order to: connect with people I know, connect with people from the past, do some of my indexing business work, do some of my musical work, keep connected with people when I am stuck at home working on an indexing deadline, disseminate blog posts, announcements of upcoming events, make plans with friends, find new playdates for my child.

And now Facebook (or their autocomplete feature) suggests that I should DIE? Really? I feel a great deal of unease about the powers-that-be in the Facebook corporation. I won't be leaving Facebook because there are wonderful people that I write to every day. It's just shocking that it came up THAT fast when I was typing to see what I'd get. Well, I got it. I "asked for it," right? 

We Autistics and our allies have a LOT of work to do in this world. 

Autistic People Should Die- Facebook Autocomplete of the phrase "Autistic people shoul"

Here is another, more poignant screen shot, with the International Autism Acceptance Year logo behind "Autistics should die." We have a long way to go before the acceptance of autism and Autistic people is complete. Complete enough that autocomplete won't offer to exterminate us.

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