Facebook Update

Remember the effort to get Facebook to stop ignoring content containing misogynistic hate speech?  Well, after seeing some disappointing reports about their progress, I reached out to WAM!, the organization working with Facebook to implement the necessary changes. They’ve provided an update which I found valuable, and I think you might too.

Onward and upward! 

North Carolina & Facebook – Fighting the Good Fight

First, I want to salute friend and reader Alicia, who is at the North Carolina capitol today. She’s part of the protest against the last-minute attachment of anti-choice provisions to an already-insane anti-Sharia-law bill. The provisions will make it all but impossible to get a legal abortion in North Carolina.

Alicia, we’re all there with you. Thank you for raising your voice.

Now I have a bit of exclusive Vagina News for you, from my first foray into investigative journalism. 

Remember the fight to get Facebook to effectively moderate content that advocates violence against women? Remember how the thing that finally worked was showing advertisers that their ads were appearing next to this content, prompting them to pull ad money from Facebook? Well this week, Facebook announced a decision…

To pull ads from pages that advocate violence against women.

A lot of people, myself included, thought that SUCKED. But before reacting, I decided to find out if there was more to it. So I reached out via Twitter to Women, Action, & Media – the organization partnering with Facebook on this issue – to get the scoop. 

Here’s what they said.

Kickstarter Apologizes

Kickstarter has apologized, explained their thinking, pledged to change some policies, and is donating $25k to RAINN.

The core of their defense-with-apology is that they’ve never acted quickly to remove a project so close to funding. But the question they don’t answer is what it would take to get them to do so. I suspect if the project was revealed to advocate violence against people of a particular religion, race, or sexual orientation, they would have taken it down; But we’ll never know.

As with Facebook, only time will tell whether this indicates substantive or superficial change. The larger point is that institutional sexism isn’t getting a cultural pass anymore, and if you get caught, you’re not getting out of it.

Facebook has a big problem. Misogyny.

That word gets thrown around a lot, so I looked it up to make sure I’m using it right. It means hatred of women or girls. A serious accusation. So why do I aim it at Facebook?

They take down photos of breastfeeding because they violate company policy on content containing nudity.

They do not take down pages or profiles with the following
names, despite their policy against content that is threatening, hateful, or
that incites violence:

– [Satire] Kicking a slut in the vagina and losing your foot
inside

– [Humor] Roses are red, violets are blue… I’ve got a knife,
get in the van

– I kill bitches

– Seeing a Pregnant Woman and Wanting to Punch Her In the
Face

Defending that, while refusing to tolerate images of women
using their bodies to love and nurture another, sounds like the very definition
of hatred to me.

To learn more and help make your voice heard, Google
‘Facebook misogyny petition’.

As of this posting, this petition only needs 43 more
e-signatures. I’d love for Vagina News to get it
there. Click and sign.

http://www.change.org/petitions/facebook-ban-misogynistic-pages-even-those-labeled-controversial-humor