Facebook Refuses to Remove Group Promoting Anti-Cyclist Violence

bike_hate_1.gifScreenshot from the Facebook group promoting dooring, among other acts that injure cyclists.

number of Streetsblog readers have noticed a particularly loathsome
group that has sprouted up on Facebook and has a legion of fans. As of
this writing, more than 32,000 people are fans of "There’s a perfectly good bike path right next to the road you stupid cyclist,"
a group page with a bunch of anti-cyclist screeds and some pretty nasty
photos of bicycle crashes and car-on-bike violence. Facebook has
concluded that the group does not violate the site’s terms of use and
will not shut it down.

"It’s a stupid and offensive joke and unfortunately there are still
people who don’t see that bicyclists have the same rights as
everyone else," said Marc Caswell, Program Manager at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "It’s a cruel example of the
ignorance of cyclists’ rights. We would encourage people to report it
as offensive."

site is full of the vitriol one has come to expect online and in
anonymous comment sections, but unlike blogs or online forums, all the
fuming leaves a clear path to the users who posted it.

The first user to link the group was from Australia, and several of the references to road rules
are of British provenance or from former British colonies. In the
"About Me" section, it reads: "No matter how far to the left you are,
you’re taking up my road. My car is hard, and i am not slowing down!"

bike_hate_2A photo from a road race on June 3, 2008 in Mexico, when a drunk driver killed one cyclist and injured more than ten others. Posted to the group by Sean Tysoe

In addition to creating a counter group called "HELP REMOVE this HATE GROUP against cyclists!",
a number of cyclists have become fans of the original group and have
posted agitprop in the form of bicycle photos. While there are
disturbing photos of cars creaming cyclists and road signs promoting
violence against cyclists, the photo album is full of pictures of the
kind of bike porn you might expect on Bike Blog or Fixed Gear Gallery. And there are easily as many photos of "Share the Road" signs as the opposite.

Streetsblog asked Facebook whether this group violates their Terms of Use, particularly sections 6 and 7, under

6. You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user.
You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic,
or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.

Simon Axten told us the group has been reviewed and deemed kosher by
the company’s staff. Presumably the reason they are not removing this
group boils down to how one interprets the phrase "actionable threats
of violence." Here’s Axten’s explanation:

take our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities very seriously and
react quickly to remove reported content that violates our policies.
Specifically, we’re sensitive to content that includes hate speech
and/or actionable threats of violence. The goal of these policies is to
strike a very delicate balance between giving Facebook users the
freedom to express their opinions and beliefs, even controversial ones,
and maintaining a safe and trusted environment.

We’ve reviewed
this group and determined that it doesn’t violate our policies.  We
encourage users to report anything they feel does violate these
policies using the report links located throughout the site. Thanks.

law_of_physics.jpgPosted to the group by Chelsea Kerr

Any legal minds care to comment?

H/T Bike Portland.

  • Zeke,

    What about those motorists (certainly not all, or even the majority) who have the attitude “I’m better than you cause I drive”?

    Now don’t get me wrong – I think you have a valid point. There is certainly an attitude issue but it isn’t limited to cyclists. It’s a human trait.

    However in my mind there is a very important difference. Tell me this: how many people were killed by cyclists in the last twelve months?

    Now, how many people were killed by motorists in the same period?

  • jdog

    just so those who are not bikers can be aware, in the majority of states it is illegal for bikers to use the sidewalks. the law says we are supposed to use the road

  • Assault Llama

    So… My customers and clients are expected to adhere to cyclists’ misguided, and often elitist, attitudes? Day in and day out, I encounter delays with all my drivers do in some part to cyclists ignorance of local laws regarding the ‘sharing’ of roads. A couple of examples: In most states, if a cyclist is in a traffic lane they are expected to abide by all applicable laws. Instead I see cyclists’ ride to the front of a line at stop lights, cross traffic when they see fit, ride more then two abreast, attempt to influence traffic simply by riding in locations and at paces that make it impossible to safely pass. I have no problems sharing the road. However, your being on a bicycle does not make you better then the person in the car behind you nor does it give you carte blanche to adhere to traffic laws as you see fit. Perhaps the issue is less about you being on a bike and more about your seeing yourselves as being beyond reproach?

  • Assault Llama, as a cyclist day in and day out I see drivers break laws too. I bet you do as well.

    I see them run red lights, stop on “Keep Clear” markings, park on pavements, overtake stationery traffic on the wrong side of the road, block junctions and a whole manner of other things.

    Cyclists are not saints, but neither are drivers. We’re all HUMAN, with the faults and failings that entails.

  • I think streetsblog should implement a new feature that automatically shuts-down comments whenever SFGate links here. Seriously, the attitude and worn out rhetoric that the SFGate troll brigade brings with their drive-by comments does not lead to productive discussion. It just derails the conversation.

  • Actually, SFResident,
    today the flood of negativity is coming from Fark.com. Who knew getting farked would be so much work?

  • Cathy Colless

    Wondering if you have sought a comment from the Unversity of Western Australia Press Office ?


  • Roadking

    I’ll share the road with you, when you follow the same laws. AKA turn signals, street signs, lights? When you’re grown up enough to do those things, on a bicycle, then we’ll let you on the road. Until then, suck it.

  • Subby

    I’m the FARK submitter. Sorry about the negative comments. I was hoping to bring more attention to this in order to make people more aware of the group, and maybe persuade FB to remove it.

  • =v= A problem with any comments section that encourages anonymity is that it’s easy to babble on in total ignorance and not have to answer to it, and to make cowardly threats. (Those making threats should be aware that their anonymity could be taken away with a subpoena, should they actually commit assault with something other than a keyboard.)

    One good thing about Facebook is that it DISCOURAGES anonymity, so it would be even easier to hold people accountable for their words.

  • flatspokes

    What do you expect from San Francisco? This whole thing is silly. This page is not a “hate” group, and that argument quite honestly detracts from actual racism and bigotry. Just as this blog blathers on about how evil cars are, this Facebook page blathers on about how evil bicyclists are. I use both. We’re all guilty.

  • Tex

    What about promoting illegal activity? Doesn’t Facebook have a ban on groups doing that?

  • anon

    My god… it’s speech we don’t agree with. How will we survive without censoring it?

  • Oblivion

    I’ve been riding bicycles for many years on the streets of Southern California. I have the good sense to stay the hell out of the way of motorized vehicular traffic. I also drive. What frosts my french fries is these asshats that ride 15 and 20 at a time on a 40 MPH street and won’t get the honk out of the way. Even 2 or 3 at time gets problematical. If they’d stay in a single file, off to the right, they wouldn’t have the problems they are encountering. They need to remember that they are “sharing” the road, not “owning” it.

  • Subby,
    Please don’t get me wrong, we’re happy to get farked and happy this issue is getting the attention. No way you can control the negative comments out there.

  • Fred

    Perhaps we should send certified letters to Facebook’s CEO stating that if hit by a car after this group encourages hitting cyclists, we will sue Facebook’s officers and directors for aiding and abetting those who encourage bodily harm to cyclists.

  • =v= It’s remarkable how many flamers seem to think that violence and hate groups are justified based on their misconception that bicyclists break laws more than motorists. Aside from the fact that this makes no sense whatsoever, there’s the additional fact that the overwhelming majority of motorists speed as much as they can (indeed, the percentage of motorists who actually obey speed limits is so small that it’s technically statistically insignificant).

    Of course they have a whole bunch of excuses why it’s okay for them to speed, completely dodging responsibility that speeding is more dangerous than anything else, including DUI. Speed is the #1 correlator with collision, serious injury, and killing.

    But hey, bicycles are in the minority, so it’s easier to point fingers at us rather than take responsibility for your own actions.

  • J. Brock

    Has anyone considered pointing the auto insurance companies at that page? Some of them might have a financial interest in identifying policyholders who’ve publicly announced an inclination towards vehicular homicide.

  • ChaosStar

    Wha wha wha

    You cyclist want people to respect your right to choose what form of transportation you use and how you execute that use but you trample on the rights of others?


    There’s a reason the KKK and other hate groups still exist, and that’s cause we have basic rights here in America, one of which is the right to free speech and to a lesser extent (in this situation) the right to peaceably assemble. Just because someone posts up pictures that you deem unacceptable doesn’t make them so and certainly doesn’t make them threatening. Sorry, quit your whining, no matter how much you wring your hands and sputter at me they are no more threatening than a picture of a deer holding a rifle standing over the corpse of a hunter. It’s called satirical humor, and it’s protected. Thank FSM.
    It’s a private group, no one asked you to visit it or to stay if you got invited on accident, but instead you try to force your ideas of what’s acceptable and what isn’t on a group of people that have nothing to do with you. Drop your elitist attitudes, accept that you’re advocating outdated technology, and deal with the consequences of your avocation.
    When you people start ranting and railing against all the other hate groups that have websites and exist on social sites maybe then more people might take you seriously but it’s not until someone does something against you that you’re up in arms and trying to censor others.

    You people threatening lawsuits are laughable. Really? Seriously? Sit down and shush, adults are talking.

    Subby, cmon man, you’re a Farker.. you REALLY thought posting this to FARK would bring POSITIVE attention? Are you new around here?

  • Dave

    A couple people have pointed out things like the fact that riding on sidewalks is illegal in many cities. One thing I’d like to add for those who say that cyclists pick and choose the rules that they follow is this: You’re right. But, you don’t want them to follow all of the rules any more than they do. Can you imagine sitting at a stop light behind six bicyclists who are trying to get their feet into their clipless pedals?

    I’m one who commutes by car and bikes for pleasure, but I bike quickly, so I can’t go on a typical bike path full of people on hybrid bicycles. It’s just not safe. Do I roll through stop signs. You bet, but not before yielding the right-of-way first, just like many people do in their cars on a daily basis.

    Look, the “rules of the road” were designed to stop people from killing each other with their cars. Bikes weren’t an issue when most laws were created and not enough cities have bothered to update them, even though it would greatly increase safety for all. The laws need to be updated and cyclists need to respect them all or get huge tickets, just like people in cars should.

    And yes, that article is hate speech and threatening on so many levels. Maybe everyone who believes so should submit it as such to FB.

    Me, I just try to be nice on the road, no matter what I use on it, but it’s hard, right, because everyone is such a worse driver/rider than I am . . .

  • Steve

    Perhaps if cyclists murdered 40,000 Americans annually = Murdered? keep in mind that this probably opened up alot of new jobs.

    Or maybe if we caused a hundred thousand other injury accidents? = this damn sure was a boost to the economy especially those in the medical field and pharmaceuticals, automobile industry and parts distributers.

    Chose to knowingly pollute the water, air and soil and warm the planet
    warm the planet????? Waht are you smoking?
    while growing progressively more obese and
    diabetic = more medical jobs

  • Jamesonian

    CTD’s comment (above) is very insightful. If a driver realizes that she’s about to strike a bicyclist, she might as well kill him since the penalty would be about the same. Thanks, CTD. Cars treat bicyclist on the road the same way that bicyclists treat pedestrians on a bike path, and with similar results. Just Google “cyclist kills pedestrian” and you’ll find dozens of examples. Just because you have a right to do something doesn’t mean that it would be smart to do so.

  • singlespeed samurai

    so, roadking got me thinking…

    i’m 36 years old and pedal year-round in minneapolis, minnesota. i stop for stop lights. i signal for turns. i have three tail lights, two head lights, and i wear a helmet. in spite of all this, i’ve been threatened, sworn at, been run off the road, had beer bottles chucked at my head, and been hospitalized by inconsiderate drivers. i try to think of this as the cost of doing business, like a grown up, and stuff. but i gotta ask, when does your alleged “road sharing” begin? do i need to fill out any paperwork? are there club meetings i should attend?

    the fact of the matter is, i see just as many idiots on bicycles as i do driving cars, and they irritate me just as much (although, someone on a bike is significantly less likely to actually kill me). i feel that both sides could stand to show a little more personal responsibility and tolerance.

    which is why every time i clip into my pedals i know that i am taking responsibility for 200+ lbs of me and bicycle. do you acknowledge, “roadking”, every time you start your vehicle, that you are responsible for what happens with 2000+ lbs of plastic and steel?

    if you can, well, thanks. keep up the good work.

    as for the topic at hand, i think that living in a free society means sometimes people are going to say and do shit that you’re going to think is pretty stupid. these guys? with their facebook page? they’re the cost of doing business.

  • Well said Singlespeed Samurai.

  • brad

    Cyclists do not obey the rules of the road. They run stop signs constantly. I am joining this group.

  • Midnight

    I ride a bike to and from work to save money etc… My view on this is plain and simple. I do not like it but I am an American, We Do Not Have The Right To Censor Anyones Views. It is already happening and I have seen our great country going down a whole do to the Censorship of our own people.

  • Jen

    You know, I keep seeing everyone complaining that no cyclists ever follow the rules. FYI: I stop at stop signs. I signal for turns. I follow all road laws. Yes, there are some cyclists that don’t, and there are some car drivers that don’t, and they frustrate me, too, whether I’m driving or riding. But to just assume that ALL cyclists don’t follow the law is just rude. And riding on the road does happen to be lawful (as long as cyclists obey the laws). What I could wish is that there was more enforcement (via ticketing) against cyclists. I still see far more cars pulled over than bikes. But in the end, whether I’m in a car or on a bike, I don’t encourage violence toward those stupid people (also in either cars or bikes). I wouldn’t have any problems with this group on Facebook if they didn’t imply violence toward cyclists. If they would just remove the hints at violence and just have it stay as a complaint, then I could see the group remaining as free speech. But if they keep their tag line and suggest violence, then it is, clearly, a hate group. And if hate groups are allowed on Facebook, then that’s one thing, but as far as I can tell, they are supposedly not allowed.

  • 0U812IC

    I always love it when I see people from the left coast of the US (the haven of free speach) trying to censor a group. That aside, the fact is that bicyles are a danger to society. As a matter of fact, I contend that bicyclists (the kind that extol the moral righteousness of riding a bicycle instead of driving a car) are the REAL hate group.

    What do they hate? Well, everyone NOT on a bike. They show up on random streets at random times and slowly siphon off the valuable and precious time that us neanderthal-like car drivers have on this earth. They STEAL OUR TIME. Why, oh why, do you hate us Mr./Ms. Bicylist? There are streets with lanes created for you. I just want to get to the doctor or to work or to pick up my dying grandmother from the hospital. You, however, deem it to be morally righteous to steal my time. There is NOTHING that can replace the time taken from us vehicluarists. It is the ultimate act of hate.

  • Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (Section 3; Par. 6 and 7) give Facebook the right to take down any site it deems to bully, intimidate, or harass or posts content that is hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence. However, Facebook is not obligated to do anything unless the content on the Fan page somehow infringes a third party’s intellectual property. Then Facebook is potentially contributorily liable and will act to protect itself.

    Facebook is quick to take down porn. That’s because it generally is regarded as offensive and it’s easy to tell when you see it. C’mon, we all know what it is. : ) However, when it comes to things like threats, hate, harassment, etc… it’s much more subjective. As the blog post notes, this particular hate site is followed by many folks who support cycling and cyclists’ rights. They are not shy on voicing their opinions and disdain for the opinions of those who hate cyclists. So….there is a discourse. And that discourse implicates the First Amendment (at least in the US) and free speach rights in other countries where they are recognized.

    As a cyclist (road, mountain, commuter) and founder of the International Cycling Law Association, it saddens me to read outrageous and nonsensical comments from folks who would purposefully injure cyclists. But then there are guys like Dr. Thomson in Los Angeles who last Friday finally got his due and is now going to spend the next five years in the slammer for using his car as a weapon. My thinking is that anyone who is pro cycling should join the hate sites and post pictures of flowers, doves, cool shots of bikes and pro cycling comments. When we’re on the road we often feel like it’s the cars vs. cyclists and the cars overwhelm us in numbers and speed. But the truth is when it comes to people who really hate cyclists, they are a small minority of the general population. We can crush them with positive messages about the joys of bicyle riding. My two cents.

  • brad

    When you have a group of cyclist acting like they are in the frikin tour de france, thats who i have a problem with!! These people are not riding bikes to protect the enviroment or save money. They want to race!! They are the ones driving their SUV with the bike rack on it to get to their road race courses. I hate these arseholes who think they are Lance Armstrong.

  • Bob

    where is the group against joggers in the road when there is a perfectly good sidewalk?

  • SquirrelCutter

    I too am a bicycle commuter, here in the Dallas area. I quit being the arrogant ass a lot of you have seen riding on the streets of every city. I figured that if you do stupid things to the people in cars they may not get you, but the next cyclist they meet might not fare so well.

    When I find myself behind some training pack I just go slow and wait for a chance to pass them. It’s really no big deal. Only somebody filled with an over-inflated sense of their own importance and ownership of the road will really get all wound up. That goes for people with two wheels and four. To me the key is you should not be in a big hurry when you drive a car because that just leads to an accident. If you have to rush, you should have left a few minutes earlier.

    Cyclists, don’t creep past the cars at a light by riding against the curb and forcing them to pass you again before the next traffic light. No good will come from that. Ride like you mean it, but there is no sense in trying to piss the automorons off, they will always win.

  • 0U812IC

    wait – this blog isn’t a hate site? Let’s do a quick rundown from the proponents of bicylcing and uh, not hating have to say. According to what I have read here people that drive cars and have voiced their opinions over the habits of some bicyclists are comprised of the following characteristics:

    rageful monsters
    kindergarten drop-outs.

    Great job all. The first step to ensuring your self-righteousness is to differentiate yourself from the other group. Only then can you truly go about hating them.

  • peternatural

    Just a point of clarification: peer-reviewed studies have proven that the inability to grasp the concept of sharing occurs at significantly higher rates among those who flunked out of kindergarten compared to the general population 😉

  • Zeke

    Are you people seriously trying to compare death by a thousand pound automobile to accidents involving a ten pound bicycle? I may be off on the actual weights but seriously? Could you BE any more biased?

    I agree, it’s bad when cars break the law and act selfish and elitist. But that doesn’t mean that you, as cyclist, should do the same thing. Here’s a hint: be BETTER than those you are opposed to, don’t sink to their level.

    Nobody takes you seriously when you pull stupid shit like that.

  • My basic rule-of-thumb while cycling is “watch out for everyone.” I know that most car drivers have a level of hostility for cyclists, so I don’t give them much of an opportunity to act on their anger. I always assume they are going to do the stupidest thing possible, and that is how I’ve stayed (major) accident free for the past four years while using a bicycle as my main mode of transportation.

    As for the hostility toward cyclists, if anything, cyclists have MORE of a right to the road than cars. It is rare to find a choice that is objectively better, but clearly, cycling is better in almost every way than driving.

    /unfortunately, cyclists are douchy about this fact: http://www.urinalgum.com/?p=226

  • John

    “cycling is better in almost every way than driving.”

    You know, if I didn’t work an hour away from my home, I might agree. Actually, if I didn’t live within say a ten mile radius of my home, I might agree. Anything more and it’s just not feasible to justify the added time it takes to commute.

  • Hilwadd

    Lawsuit waiting to happen. Facebook, shame on you!

  • wow….

    its facebook does anyone even really care about that site anymore….oh and the name of the group could not be more true,if there is a bike path USE IT…another thing to for all cyclists getting in a huff over this, FOLLOW THE SAME RULES OF THE ROAD AS THE PEOPLE DRIVING CARS DO THEY MIGHT LIKE YOU MORE.

    Thank you…someone who bikes 200km to and from work every week during the summer months in montreal, and HATES cyclists weaving in and out of traffic, and riding on the road when half of it has already been changed into a DEDICATED BIKE PATH!

  • There’s a new spinoff FB fan page that represents the cyclists POV, which you can support. Check it out here:


  • It is so sad to see so many thoughtless, unconscious, self righteous people in one place. As though giving all people the right to a safe road was something to get violent about. As though just not allowing conditions that kill and maim to exist when they can be easily remedied is something to be insulting and mean about.


  • Gary D

    There are two sides to every argument or debate, and both cyclists and drivers have to learn to co-exist. The only way this will be made possible is through education. If you don’t educate new drivers that there are unmotorized vehicles legally on the road, they will think that they do not belong there in the first place. As far as the facebook page, perhaps it is an expression of free speech, but when it begins to advocate violence against cyclists, the buck stops there. What if I started a FB group that advocated violent acts against african americans? Think that would last long?

  • Paula Product

    Eric #77 – Your comments are emintently reasonable and thoughtful. Therefore, we can only assume you are a troll sent here by the violent legions of the car-o-centric to sabotage our efforts at vitriol. Don’t think we’ll fall for it!

  • Chris

    who cares.. lets forget they have a right to hate.

  • Sorry, I’m a bike commuter and am no fan of the motorists who daily menace me (either through malice or inattention), but requesting the removal of this group is a little bit crazy. It’s very obvious that this is just a bunch of juvenile humor that idiots will enjoy, but that doesn’t make it significantly different from most of the other links on the front page of Fark right now. Welcome to the internet, where people think things are funny which are not! It’s very clear that this is not meant as a call to arms, so why not let the meatheads identify themselves by joining this group?

  • Nick

    I’ve closed my Facebook account.

  • RobVSF

    10:30PM pacific time, Facebook officially cancelled the group “There’s a perfectly good bike path right next to the road you stupid cyclist.”

  • jojo

    woot! its gone

  • Brian

    I fail to understand why cyclists don’t see the danger they pose to themselves and to others on the road. Bike riders cannot do the speed limit, are often hard to see, many times do not follow traffic signs and signals. They are a hazard.

    Across the U.S. there are hundreds of breathtaking parks, nature trails and out of the way places to ride. So why do you insist upon riding down the middle of a busy street, forcing people to swerve around you or down some widing road where drivers cannot see you?

    If a motorsist drove their cars on the sidewalk, they would be arrested. Why is this not the other way around? People on rollerblades aren’t allowed to skate down the middle of a busy street. Why do you feel that cyclists deserve some sort of special exception?

  • RobVSF

    Wow, Brian. Really?

    Besides the fact that your comment #99 really does not address the issue at hand, there is something wrong with almost every sentence in your three paragraph comment. Let me explain:

    “I fail to understand…” — Yes, I agree.

    “I fail to understand why cyclists don’t see the danger they pose to themselves and to others on the road.” — In the case of motorized vehicles vs. bicycle vs. pedestrian vs. inanimate objects, the ultimate goal is to strike a harmonic balance between all players. To imply it’s all the cyclists’ fault is a very ignorant statement.

    “Bike riders cannot do the speed limit…” — Depending on the street, bicycle and rider, actually they can. For example, on Valencia street, with a middle- to high-end road bike, an average commuting rider in good physical shape can hit 25-28mph with moderate effort. Of course, many riders cannot hit the speed limit, but I still do not see your point with this one.

    “[Bike riders] are often hard to see…” — Yes, I agree.

    “[Bike riders] many times do not follow traffic signs and signals” – Yes, I agree. Neither do motorists or pedestrians or sometimes inanimate objects. And your point is?

    “[Bike riders] are a hazard.” — As are motorists on cell phones, motorists who do not check their blind spots before turning or changing lanes, pedestrians who do not look both ways before jaywalking, the F-line tracks on Market St, blind corners, etc. I still do not see your point.

    “Across the U.S. there are hundreds of breathtaking parks, nature trails and out of the way places to ride.” — Yes, I agree. But *your* comment is not about riding nature trails, its about sharing the road. Please stay on topic.

    “So why do you insist upon riding down the middle of a busy street, forcing people to swerve around you or down some widing road where drivers cannot see you?” — Insist? It’s the law. Here, this video from the SFBC and San Francisco Police Dept. will help explain: http://www.sfbike.org/?bikelaw_sfpd_video

    “If a motorsist drove their cars on the sidewalk, they would be arrested.” — Yes, I agree

    “Why is this not the other way around?” — Are you asking that if sidewalks drove on cars, would they be arrested? Well, I suppose so. There aren’t exactly laws against it though.

    “People on rollerblades aren’t allowed to skate down the middle of a busy street.” — Actually they are, provided they are following the guidelines/rules in Section 7.2.13 of the Municiple Code regarding Non-Motorized User Propelled Vehicles (NUV).

    “Why do you feel that cyclists deserve some sort of special exception?” — Exception to what exactly? Do you even know what you are talking about?

    I feel like I’m either talking to Derek Zoolander or I’m on crazy pills.

    My first point in short, and this applies to many comments on this article, stick to the issue at hand please. (Yes, I know I’m being hypocritical on this point since my comment is not on issue, but I felt someone had to respond to comment #99).

    My second point in short, if you are not a cyclist and/or at least somewhat familiar with the rules of the road as they pertain to bicycles on the streets, then don’t comment at all until you do.