Trigger Warning: Facebook

"Adverts for their products appeared next to a group captioned “I like her for her brains” below a woman lying with a pool of blood around her head, and another titled “Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs”."

 -Pinterest: nudity welcome, Matt Warman

Ok, I just for kicked off Facebook for 24 hours. You know why? Because I just got scolded for my second warning. Oh no, you say! What did I do? It must've been REALLY AWFUL if pages and images like the above *are allowed to stay up forever because they're just bad taste, right*.

The first time, I was booted because I posted an image on Instagram which posted to Facebook where you could see my nipple. Gasp! Horror! I mean, in this day and age! A nipple! Which is interesting, because while they are anti-women's breasts, they are apparently cool with baby penises.

This time, it was for posting a link to a trailer for a Queer Porn TV piece I did with my porno soulmate Betty Blac and filmed by femme fatale Courtney Trouble. Because sex isn't ok on Facebook, right. And, you know, fair enough- it's porn. Though actually, on contemplation, it's a link to porn, which is actually ok according to their standards, and on looking at it further? It's because when I shared it, this is the image that automatically came up when I shared the post via FB's sharing button on my mobile (the original post, mind, is still up), and it showed... yep, that's right. A nipple. HORROR. And I couldn't elect to remove an image, cause FB doesn't let you do that on your mobile.

Anyway I guess I got confused, because Facebook has been ok with so many other things lately that I didn't think some loving sex would be an issue. Silly me.

Because, of course, had it been a video of a 12 year old girl being violently raped, that'd be ok. Not an isolated incident, mind- it happens often enough that it's becoming a trend. Cause porn is bad, mmk, but videos of young girls and women being raped, that's just bad taste entertainment! Never mind that the subsequent humiliation is further abuse that can continue long after the sexual assault. One piece I read believes that's more of the point- the public shaming of a young woman as a group bonding activity. Thanks, Facebook, for fostering that but making sure that dirty porn stays far, far away!

Granted, you know, it's also totally ok to use Facebook as a humiliation tactic. In one Youtube video that I won't link to, a mother yelling at her 14 year old daughter (who she's dressed up presumably as a "slut" for her public shaming) references that some boys posted photos of this girl engaging in sex acts to her Facebook page (which presumably didn't get deleted immediately as Mum found it, despite being both nonconsensually shared*and child porn*). This mother also threatens that she's going to beat her daughter, film it, and post that on Facebook as a lesson for the boys she sleeps with- cause, you know, that'll show them!

She's not the only parent to think of filming the beating of her child and then sharing it on the internet to further punish her kid, though. But maybe she hasn't heard that those videos are being used as evidence of, well, child abuse. That said, even in those cases, the videos are allowed to be shared over, and over, and over again, furthering the humiliation which was the point of putting them online in the first place. Are we that addicted to human suffering?

Well, according to Facebook, the answer is yes. If you look at what they filter for their standards says things like it's not ok to bully someone for their status as a sexual assault victim- yet they allow pages that actively encourage violence against sex workers, because that's just funny, right? I can't be a porn star on Facebook, but I can be a dead hooker! Hahahaha....oh.

I think I'll just close with this, cause it pretty much sums up my disgust:

"The specific clause in Facebook's statement of rights and responsibilitiesthat's supposed to protect groups against violence and hate speech instructs the user: "You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence." However, Facebook has now defended the numerous pages that clearly violate these terms by claiming: "Groups that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs – even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some – do not by themselves violate our policies." Which is strange, because if a page entitled "Roses are red, violets are blue, I've got a knife, get in the van" isn't hateful, threatening or gratuitously violent, I don't for the life of me know what is.

It was back in August that feminists first began to notice the proliferation of pro-rape pages on the popular social networking site. Two months later over 176,000 people have signed a US-based petition calling on Facebook to take them down, and nearly 4,000 people have signed aUK-based petition calling for the same. The Facebook pages, such as the one cited above and others that include "You know she's playing hard to get when your [sic] chasing her down an alleyway" still remain.

Facebook's initial response to the public outcry was to suggest that promoting violence against women was equivalent to telling a rude joke down the pub: "It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining" went the bizarre rape apologia. "Just as telling a rude joke won't get you thrown out of your local pub, it won't get you thrown off Facebook."

And in some ways they're right: telling a rude joke probably wouldn't get you thrown out of your local pub. I'd suggest, however, that propping up your local bar while inciting others to rape your mate's girlfriend "to see if she can put up a fight" would not only get you thrown out, it would in all likelihood get you arrested as well. Still, at least you could log on once you got home and post your offensive comments on Facebook instead, safe in the knowledge that they wouldn't do anything about it.

What Facebook and others who defend this pernicious hate speech don't seem to get is that rapists don't rape because they're somehow evil or perverted or in any way particularly different from than the average man in the street: rapists rape because they can. Rapists rape because they know the odds are stacked in their favour, because they know the chances are they'll get away with it."

-Facebook is fine with hate speech, as long as it's directed at women, Cath Elliott

Feel free to tweet Facebook (or complain on FB) and tell them what you think about all this. You could also comment here but it'll probably get lost in the noise.

Categories: activism, censorship, fuck you facebook, hypocrisy, rape culture, Uncategorized

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