Yesterday Women, Action and the Media launched a campaign to prompt action from Facebook.
The gist of it is, they take down photos of women who’ve had double mastectomies and thus survived cancer, and they take down photos of women breastfeeding, both not-sexual in nature. But they allow groups that promote or joke about domestic violence and rape.
Over 9,000 tweets were tweeted, and over 900 emails were sent, to companies whose adverts end up on such pages as Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus and Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a Sandwich. Audible are deleting critical comments from their Facebook page, Vistaprint are leaving their ads up, and American Express and Zipcar have said that they’re looking into it and it’s against their policies. (More here.)
Facebook’s response is the most interesting though. They told ThinkProgress that even though they have a clear policy on hate speech, “we do require that any such page be clearly marked — so users are aware that the content may be in poor taste.” My main objection to this is that they appear to enforce their No Hate Speech rules with groups that are (for example) violently racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic, but they fail to enforce their No Hate Speech rules with groups that are violently sexist and abusive towards women. They take down non-sexual photographs of women while leaving up pornography, and they crack down on groups joking about racial violence while leaving up groups joking about sexual violence.
The fact that they see glorification of abuse (link trigger warning: violent images) as “in poor taste” says a lot about Facebook, doesn’t it?
As members of Facebook we often forget that we are not the customer; we are the product. I was willing to overlook that in order to provide a page on a social network for people to connect with other PiP readers, though I did remove the FB “like” button. I no longer want to enable such violence. It started out as a website for rating the attractiveness of women, for crying out loud, and it seems to me that not much has changed.
I’ve deleted my personal account (I had about 4 friends; I only had it for the PiP page), and I don’t know if that also deletes the Poly in Pictures page of which I was the only admin. Is anyone who still has a FB account able to tell me whether the Poly in Pictures Facebook page is still up? (Link to the top left of this page.)
All your opinions for and against my decision are very welcome and of interest to me; please do leave comments.