HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Gender & Orientation » History of Feminism (Group) » Does Facebook have a prob...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:35 PM

Does Facebook have a problem with women?

Trigger warning.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/feb/19/facebook-images-rape-domestic-violence?CMP=twt_gu

Does Facebook have a problem with women? The question has been around since 2011 when Eve Ensler and Ms Magazine drew attention to the social networking site's failure to remove misogynistic images that seemed to glorify rape and domestic violence.

Then the issue came back again with users taking to Twitter in recent weeks to express their anger at Facebook's refusal to remove images that tried to make a joke of rape. Two in particular were widely circulated. One showed a woman bound and gagged on a sofa and a caption that read: "It's not rape. If she really didn't want to, she'd have said something." The second showed a condom, beneath the words "Plan A"; an emergency contraceptive pill, "Plan B"; and then "Plan C", a man pushing a woman with a bloodied face down the stairs.

The site's community standards state: "Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech." What is not clear, in spite of several high-profile campaigns and a Change.org petition that garnered more than 200,000 signatures, is how it makes that distinction. Over the past few years, women say they have been banned from the site and seen their pages removed for posting images of cupcakes iced like labia, pictures of breastfeeding mothers and photographs of women post-mastectomy.

...

When I asked if the banned cupcake images could have been removed in error by an automated image scanner, the spokesperson said it was very unlikely. So it was a human decision to ban the image of a cupcake. Just as it is a human decision to allow pages such as "Teen SLUT pics" to continue to publish images of very young-looking girls, with no evidence they gave consent for their photographs to be used.

...


It is galling that the largest social networking site is committed to removing images of feminine sexuality unless they pander to the male gaze (pornified/caricature type images and 'creepshots' type stuff is fine with facebook), but treats violence against women as if it is a joke.

36 replies, 3329 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Does Facebook have a problem with women? (Original post)
redqueen Feb 2013 OP
librechik Feb 2013 #1
malthaussen Feb 2013 #2
redqueen Feb 2013 #3
noiretextatique Feb 2013 #4
redqueen Feb 2013 #5
MynameisBlarney Feb 2013 #19
sheshe2 Feb 2013 #6
redqueen Feb 2013 #7
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #8
redqueen Feb 2013 #9
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #12
CitizenPatriot Feb 2013 #18
smirkymonkey Mar 2013 #36
seaglass Feb 2013 #10
redqueen Feb 2013 #15
seaglass Feb 2013 #16
redqueen Feb 2013 #17
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #11
Squinch Feb 2013 #13
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #22
redqueen Feb 2013 #14
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #21
redqueen Feb 2013 #24
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #25
redqueen Feb 2013 #26
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #27
redqueen Feb 2013 #28
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #30
KamaAina Feb 2013 #20
JustJoe Feb 2013 #23
ismnotwasm Feb 2013 #29
redqueen Feb 2013 #31
gollygee Feb 2013 #32
redqueen Feb 2013 #33
seabeyond Feb 2013 #35
seabeyond Feb 2013 #34

Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:41 PM

1. amen! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:56 PM

2. Facebook's pretty well known for being Lowest Common Denominator

And that LCD is pretty low.

-- Mal

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malthaussen (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:58 PM

3. It is far from the lowest common denominator as far as hatred of women is concerned.

That would be found on porn sites.

Facebook has an amazing array of activist groups. It's a tremendous networking resource.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:00 PM

4. same with racist pages

they stay up forever. i posted about a particularly offensive, racist facebook page on Mark Zuckerberg's page.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to noiretextatique (Reply #4)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:02 PM

5. It makes you wonder about who is reviewing these reports

and what the process is exactly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #5)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:56 PM

19. I wonder if there's any review process at all

for anything that doesn't involve advertiser money.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:03 PM

6. Kick this to the greatest!

I am shaking so hard after I read the link that it is hard to type! That there are people out there that think rape and Violence against women is a joke, they are beneath contempt! Facebook is an enabler!

This made me cry, redqueen, but I thank you for posting it!
Kick & Rec!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to sheshe2 (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:18 PM

7. I'm sorry, I know it's horrible...

but as we all see by now, ignoring it only allows these things to fester. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:22 PM

8. Why do women still use Facebook?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:30 PM

9. Since it is the most popular and arguably the most robust networking tool

it has become a resource for various groups of activists around the world to communicate online. There are international feminist groups which link other groups from various countries to audiences around the world.

Ceding territory is no way to win a war.

That said, there are efforts to start independent networking sites but as you might imagine these are slow to get going and don't offer anywhere near the same robustness, at least not yet. Who knows though, in the coming years there might be more viable options.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:17 PM

12. No strategic retreat huh?

I hope a viable alternative does arise...I find much of what appears on FB contemptible and spend almost no time there at all. 5 minutes a month at most.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:45 PM

18. Also, if we left every social media where women are treated like crap

there would be none left, at least not the big ones that are an important part of advocacy.

They all cater to the lowest common denominator and that lcd can't resist pornifying/glorifying violence against women. We just have to keep fighting. Some days it makes me sick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CitizenPatriot (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 3, 2013, 05:45 PM

36. Same here.

They all make me sick. I am so disgusted by the hatred toward women that I see on social network sites. I simply will not patronize them anymore. What the fuck is wrong with men?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)


Response to seaglass (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:36 PM

15. The good thing about twitter is there aren't any page owners to block you...

Hopefully that one will get hijacked like this one did.
http://jezebel.com/ineedmasculismbecause/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #15)


Response to seaglass (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:41 PM

17. Yeah. Idiocracy.

It's well underway, but not irreversible.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:17 PM

11. Facebook has over ONE BILLION user accounts

 

They add about 20 million new user accounts every month.

Many are no doubt offensive to someone and a violation of whatever rules Facebook happens to have, and someone is no doubt reporting all of them -- as well as alerting on people and pictures and comments, etc. With over a billion accounts the number of alerts send daily must be absolutely staggering.

Facebook has just under 5000 employees in total. They are likely kept busy simply chasing down and deleting the most vile and offensive material, hunting for predators and viruses, that sort of thing. I doubt they have a lot of time to spare for anything else.


http://finance.yahoo.com/news/number-active-users-facebook-over-years-214600186--finance.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook
http://newsroom.fb.com/content/default.aspx?NewsAreaId=22

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:28 PM

13. Yet they were able to catch those offensive cupcakes PDQ. Thise cupcakes are clearly what they

regard as vile and offensive.

Not so much the bloodied woman at the bottom of the stairs, or the bound and gagged and raped woman.

Those posts are not "no doubt offensive to someone." Those posts are offensive to even the most primitive sense of decency.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Squinch (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:50 PM

22. I guess you missed my point

 

Facebook has almost a million new accounts created every day, and over 200 MILLION new images uploaded daily.

Do you REALLY think Facebook spends their time running around looking for offensive cupcakes? Better, do you think they really give a damn about images that are INSENSITIVE? If every single employee did nothing but check images, and they wanted to check 'em all to make sure no one was offended, each employee would be tasked with inspecting 40 THOUSAND images every day -- or about one image every half second.

I understand and agree that a lot of this stuff is offensive and disturbing. But blame the people posting it and their friends for not calling them on it. Blaming Facebook (which I hate by the way) just weakens your case.



http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/the-number-of-photos-on-facebook-is-exploding-infographic/
http://www.quora.com/How-many-photos-are-uploaded-to-Facebook-each-day

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:32 PM

14. Yeah, no. If you read about the vastly differebt way they deal with breastfeeding pics, mastectomy

pics, creepshots, porn, violent images, rape "jokes", etc. you will find that such excuses fall far short of being in any way believable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #14)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:36 PM

21. Why do you suppose that is?

 

Which of the following do you believe more likely:

1) Like pretty much every non-porn site on the internet, Facebook has a policy of essentially instantly banning nudity and/or racist content -- a policy that does not apply to content considered by feminists to be sexist or insensitive

or...

2) Facebook, with over 1 Billion user accounts and aproximately 500 Million female users, secretly has a problem with women (or even gives a damn about the issue at all).

or...

3) Facebook, the largest social networking site on the planet, with over a billion users, really doesn't care one way or the other, they have no agenda, and their employees spend most of their time running around putting out fires more or less at random.

I learn towards option three. You don't have to. I have a facebook account for my business that I visit once every few months. I think it's a garbage program, I have never really been able to figure out what the hell it's doing, and I have no interest in finding out. But that's my opinion, and it seems a billion people disagree with me. They apparently like the software and like whatever it is that they see posted on the site. So I guess Facebook must be doing something right.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #21)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 05:01 PM

24. Why would you think your three ideas are the only possibilities?

I suspect it isn't any one reason. I think one major contributing factor is the widespread acceptance of misogyny.

As for your statement that women on Facebook "like what they see posted" ... I don't even know what to say. Just because women remain active users of facebook does not indicate that they're completely happy with everything posted on it, or the enforcement of community standards.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:30 PM

25. Okay then... (cont)

 

First, let me say upfront that I have nothing but respect for your intelligence and understanding of these issues. You are one of only a few people here who's posts I ALWAYS take the time to read as you always have something interesting to say. With that out of the way... (Your comments quoted in BOLD)

"I suspect it isn't any one reason. I think one major contributing factor is the widespread acceptance of misogyny."

I agree 100%. It is self evident. Where we disagree is whether or not the tolerance of these posts is an indicator of misogyny at this corporation, or indifference to something they are powerless to address.

"As for your statement that women on Facebook "like what they see posted" ... I don't even know what to say. Just because women remain active users of facebook does not indicate that they're completely happy with everything posted on it, or the enforcement of community standards."

That was poorly stated on my part. Women obviously do not dislike the garbage enough to stop using Facebook. A half-billion women have accounts. I suspect -- and this harkens back to the first point -- that women are so used to an openly aggressively anti-female internet culture that they tolerate it at facebook (and everywhere else).

(This openly hostile internet culture is worth thinking about -- I have some thoughts on that myself but I am more interested in hearing yours.)

My objection here is aiming the criticisms at Facebook. All of the numbers I provided in previous posts are supported by the links I provided. The really do have about three-quarters of a million new accounts created every day, and 200 MILLION new images added daily as well. I believe that blaming Facebook is simply unreasonable. You are not asking them to better police something objective -- like nudity or racial profanity -- but something subjective. There is no possible way to do it -- we have a hard time even managing that HERE on DU -- and I doubt they have any interest in trying.

For a company like Facebook it's an impossible task, and in my opinion getting angry at this company for failing to do the impossible (particularly when they clearly have no financial incentive to bother) draws the wrong kind of attention to this issue. I don't know the answer, and in this particular case I am not convinced you do either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 06:48 PM

26. Thanks for your thoughtful reply, and your nice compliments.



I think it is unfair to blame the entire company, because the issue is really a cultural one. The company is made up of many individuals, and these people are tasked with determining whether something is "humorous" or "harmful". At this point, they apparently only consider direct, physiological harm as being worthy of consideration, but these toxic, misogynist ideas are harmful, on a very fundamental level.

I think part of the solution is better training for these employees, but first management needs to understand that our culture is changing. Rape jokes aren't acceptable anymore. Domestic violence isn't a 'personal matter' anymore, its a serious problem. Stalking women and girls is considered a crime in many places, and purient photos taken without permission should be taken down.

But we are just now beginning to see the resurgence of the women's liberation movement which sadly stalled not long after MacKinnon managed to get sexual harassment at the workplace defined as a crime. So the entire world has a lot of catching up to do (with Nordic / Scandinavian countries so ably leading the way), and facebook can he dragged kicking and screaming or they can decide based on events around the world and the feedback they're getting to take a more proactive approach. I can promise you feminists aren't holding their collective breath and hoping for the best. As so many women around the world have so aptly demonstrated in recent months, we are taking the bull by the horns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #26)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:14 PM

27. Nice post (cont)

 

I think this corporate issue, and by this I mean Facebook failing to police this stuff, is attacking the wrong target.

The question in my mind is not "Why does Facebook allow this"? I think I have provided good enough reasons for that already, but there is a better one still. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, these seem to me to be nothing more than a sort of alternate and twisted version of offline culture. These social sites do not control this culture and I doubt they could even curb it, at best they simply allow us to see it.

So the question is not, why does Facebook allow this, but rather, why does Teen Tiffany allow this from the people on her friend's list?

I say this with the acknowledgment that it is the person posting it who is responsible -- not Tiffany. However, in this case Tiffany and her friends have the power to instantly eliminate this kind of nonsense instantly. Tiffany doesn't need Facebook to do anything, she has all the power she needs to do this herself. And if enough people do that the jerks will quickly find themselves alone.

In my opinion, I would love to see a public awareness campaign similar to the "It Get's Better" gay rights / anti-bullying campaign, but directed at young ladies. Because it seems to me that's really what this is -- it's BULLYING, and girls need to know that they can stand up for themselves, they can say no, and if they do others will have their back. Imagine Michelle Obama, Ellen, Oprah, Hillary, female athletes and entertainers, P!nk would be all over that. And even men as well, perhaps Brad Pitt talking about how he likes strong confident women. I don't know. Anyway, that's just something I am thinking might help. I am sure it's been thought of a million times before.





Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:21 PM

28. An 'it gets better' campaign aimed at young women would be a cruel lie.

Unless we specified that they could expect the improvement to happen sometime in their 50's/60's.

Many young women have experienced the bind personally... being told they're free to own their sexuality, then being bullied and harassed by their exes and their peers if they do.

Employers didn't get a "that's how it is" exemption regarding sexual harassment. They were rightly instructed to enforce standards of behavior on the job. The same has to happen online. Not all over the net at once (some workplaces are still rife with sexual harassment despite the law), but the change has to start somewhere, and a site frequented by as many women and girls as men and boys is turning out to be one of the first places that women are seeking to end this tolerance for this second-class treatment.

Street harassment is still legal in most places. In those few countries which are the most progressive on women's rights, guess what? It isn't. The day will come when that is the case more places than it isn't. We can't wait for society to change. Imagine if we'e taken that tack with civil rights for any other group.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:01 PM

30. As always, something to think about n/t

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:58 PM

20. FB has a problem with hate speech in general

There is, for instance, a group that describes people with Asperger syndrome as "Ass-Pies". Despite repeated alerts, it's still there.

Then again, ever alert on sexist, homophobic or ableist crap here at DU? Dollars to doughnuts the jury will vote to LEAVE IT.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KamaAina (Reply #20)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 04:02 PM

23. DU has over a billion user accounts

and adds a million new user accounts every . . .

Oh, wait.

Never mind.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:45 PM

29. Did you see this?



Photo of a Breast Cancer Survivorís Chest Tattoo Goes Viral After Facebook Tries to Remove It

Facebook photos go viral everyday ó but how many of them go viral because of Facebook's efforts to prevent them from being seen?



According to the official Facebook page of Ontario-based ink design collective Custom Tattoo Design, a photo on their feed of a breast cancer survivor with an all-over chest tattoo has been repeatedly removed by Facebook, ostensibly due to a violation of its infamously opaque terms of service concerning nudity.

To protest Facebook's actions, Custom Tattoo Design has been reposting the photo every time it's removed, and says it will continue to do so in honor of the woman's bravery and strength.



http://gawker.com/5985361/photo-of-a-breast-cancer-survivors-chest-tattoo-goes-viral-after-facebook-tries-to-remove-it

I don't do Facebook, but I keep thinking I should.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #29)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:10 AM

31. Oh yes.

That picture is one of the most population examples of the double standard Facebook employs.

Barely covered patriarchy-pleasing pornified boobs? YES!
Tattooed chest with no boobs at all? NO!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:32 AM

32. They can't be bothered to take down a rape joke

but they are johnny on the spot when they see a photo of a mom breastfeeding her baby. All of a sudden they discover the word "obscene." And misapply it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to gollygee (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 09:40 AM

33. It's a sign of the times. Breasts used for natural purpose = disgusting and obscene.

Last edited Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:19 AM - Edit history (1)

Pornified breasts used to appeal to the male gaze = acceptable.

They used to claim it was because part of the nipple was visible in breastfeeding pics, but feminists documented dozens of porny pics showing partial nipples and (of course) these were not removed despite many feminists reporting due to this double standard.

This type of treatment is just one of the many reasons more and more women are becoming radical feminists. Every day that light bulb goes off for more women.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redqueen (Reply #33)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:05 AM

35. pornified. yes. you and i are right there, lol. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to gollygee (Reply #32)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 10:03 AM

34. breast are for male entertainment, not feeding babies, dontcha know. we act surpised at this. but...

it is something i recognized happening a couple decades ago, or less.

back in the 60's and 70's breast were for feeding. i was talking to my father about this the other day. ( i find this fascinating, really). he was back in the 40's and 50's and remembered it the same.

then, breasts were exposed for feeding. NO ONE thought twice about it. it is what women did to feed the baby, take care of their babies, be a mom.

then along comes the breast for male entertainment. and all of a sudden it was appalling to see the breast used as feeding a baby.

so there reality here, as people point the finger at the prude, it was not the "prude" that said no to breast feeding, it is the men that are raised to believe that the breast is ALL about THEM.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread