UPDATE: FACEBOOK AGREES TO MAKE CHANGES!
From the official WAM statement:
Last Tuesday, Women, Action & the Media, the Everyday Sexism Project and author/activist Soraya Chemaly launched a campaign to call on Facebook to take concrete, effective action to end gender-based hate speech on its site. Since then, participants sent over 60,000 tweets and 5000 emails, and our coalition has grown to over 100 women’s movement and social justice organizations.
Today, we are pleased to announce that Facebook has responded with a important commitment to refine its approach to hate speech. Facebook has admirably done more than most other companies to address this topic in regards to content policy. In a statement released today, Facebook addressed our concerns and committed to evaluating and updating its policies, guidelines and practices relating to hate speech, improving training for its content moderators and increasing accountability for creators of misogynist content.
Facebook has also invited Women, Action & the Media, The Everyday Sexism Project and members of our coalition to contribute to these efforts and be part of an ongoing conversation. As part of these efforts, we will work closely with Facebook on the issue of how Community Standards around hate speech are evaluated and to ensure best practices represent the interests of our coalition.
For details regarding Facebook’s response, please visit here.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped. Let’s all get involved in this conversation and keep them honest, shall we?
Read the New York Times editorial.
NOTE: Trigger warnings for rape, abuse, racism, and corporate assholery. Also, this post is updated regularly with news, FAQ, and new action items. See large headers throughout the article.
It’s gone on far too long. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Facebook’s wacky double-standard (triple? quadruple?) that says this is not ok:
But then, this happens:
The woman behind Rapebook did her best, but eventually had to give up the fight because she’d been targeted with rape and death threats and she has a family to think about.
Now Women, Action, and the Media has teamed up with The Everyday Sexism Project and writer/activist Soraya Chemaly to launch the #FBrape campaign to hold Facebook’s feet to the fire by targeting their advertisers (and in turn, holding their feet to the fire). Make Me a Sammich signed on to the Open Letter to Facebook, and I’ve been tweeting about this all week (along with thousands of others), and some companies have responded. Some have pulled their ads. Others have made excuses.
Today I received a letter from WAM founder and activist dynamo Jaclyn Friedman alerting signatories that today is especially important:
We’re writing because today is a KEY day in our campaign. We can tell you that we’re currently in conversation with Facebook, and they’re considering their response. We also know that several of the companies we’re targeting are in “crisis mode” from all the backlash they’ve received, and are putting enormous pressure on Facebook to end this soon. We believe that if we make today our biggest day yet, we could have a real win on our hands.
Loyal readers and friends, I need you to join me in making today count. Take action on the action page, thank advertisers who opted to do the right thing by women and pressure the ones who did not on the follow-up page. Share this post with your networks. Share my Facebook post. Retweet Jenn Pozner’s tweet.
This is a golden opportunity to make some real, positive change. I’m not going to kid myself that if we lose this battle, we’re all giving up Facebook. That doesn’t work for at least two reasons: 1) We all rely on the communities we have built on Facebook and I, for one, won’t abandon mine; 2) This fight, as Soraya Chemaly pointed out on Twitter recently, is partly about public spaces and the fact that women shouldn’t have to remove themselves from such spaces to feel safe.
But I’m in this to win. I hope you’ll join me.
Wait, what? I haven’t seen any of these “rape pages” and I don’t believe Facebook would EVER allow the sort of thing you’re describing!
Here are some VERY GRAPHIC examples of the pages and images Facebook has deemed acceptable.
Here is an example of a VERY GRAPHIC page a user reported, and the response they received from Facebook. This is the standard response those of us who report these images receive from Facbook. That’s why we’re making all this noise.
Why are you targeting advertisers? Facebook needs to change. Target them!
This fight has been ongoing for several years, and Facebook claims that they are doing everything they can. And yet, reporting pages depicting violence against women results in this statement again and again:
But advertisers can’t choose which pages their ads appear on, can they?
No, they can’t. So the only way to make Facebook take this seriously is for those companies to take violence against women seriously enough to pull their ads if Facebook won’t fix this.
Read WAM’s FAQ with lots more information.
UPDATE: 3/27: Dear Zappos – You Get an F
Yesterday I sent this tweet to @ZapposStyle [TW]:
Today I got this response:
Seriously, Zappos? That’s still your response after all these days?
Ok, just for starters? If we weren’t at the start of this campaign (which most of us were), we’re all very well aware now of how Facebook ads work because companies like yours keep using the Facebook ad system as an excuse for the fact that you are sponsoring rape and abuse pages. Secondly, if it wasn’t clear from the previous sentence: you ARE sponsoring hate and abuse pages by continuing to give Facebook your ad dollars. It’s just not that complicated.
Look, before this campaign started, I was a customer and a fan. I bought my last pair of shoes from a Facebook ad for Zappos. But you are seriously blowing my entire image of you right now (with apologies to John Bender, but I know he’d understand). You are pouring so much money into Facebook that I can’t I refresh one of these rape pages twice without seeing at least one–sometimes two–your ads. You ARE sponsoring rape and abuse pages. You just are.
“We recommend clicking X to delete the ad.”
I dont even know where to start. How about here:
The sentence in bold type above assumes that I’m hanging out on these pages for fun, and the offensive thing is that HOLY SHIT, THERE’S A ZAPPPOS AD! QUICK, HIT THE LITTLE EX AND MAKE IT GO AWAY!!!!
Zappos, this response is so full of fail, I’m surprised you fit it into two tweets.
PS: Readers, here’s a sample tweet you can copy and send to Zappos to let them know what you think of this response:
Ok, Facebook is fighting back. Today they pulled advertising from pages like [TRIGGER WARNING] this one and this one and this one, so now advertisers don’t have to worry that their ads might appear next to rapey images. Will advertisers be happy? Certainly. Am I? Not even a little bit. This move is a direct attack on our ability to pressure Facebook via its advertisers–it appears to me to be a statement from Facebook that they’ve heard our cries, but have no intention of changing their internal policies.
Earlier in this post I said I would not abandon my community on Facebook. But their reaction to this so far makes it impossible for me to promise to stand by that. Interestingly, I received a request to fill out a Facebook survey today. Here’s what I told them in the comments section at the end:
Of course, “minorities” is probably the wrong word these days, but I think they’ll get my drift.
Today I receive this tweet from a new account claiming to be an official Facebook policy Twitter.
Naturally, I was skeptical, both about the authenticity of the account and about the statement they linked me to:
FYI: Here’s a note I received from Trista Hendren, creator of Rapebook:
“I have been talking to FB for over 6 months – directly. I have all the emails. They are very much aware of what is on their site.”
Having just received private message to my Facebook page containing a link from a reader to a nasty-ass rape page I could see with my very own eyes, I responded:
Nothing. I took a screenshot of one of the images on that page and tweeted it as further evidence. Then I refreshed and the page was gone. And so was “Offensive Humor at its Best,” one of the pages many (but not nearly all) examples have come from. (The @FacebookUO account tweeted that statement exactly six times, then went silent. I’m assuming it was created as some kind of damage control attempt, and that they abandoned it when they realized their statement was a major fail. Then again, maybe someone created an account to defend FB–but that seems less likely. I’m going with Occam on this one.)
Is this victory? I’m sorry, but I don’t think so. Not yet. I mean, the way that page disappeared without a word impressed me at first, but it ultimately felt more like they were trying to support their statement that this problem doesn’t really exist rather than actually doing something to solve the very real problem we’re fighting. And just reread that statement. Here, let me interpret it for you:
“We took care of this a long time ago using our existing system that works very well, but some malcontents on Twitter have been resharing the images as though they’re still online. No fair!”
Sorry, Facebook, but no. You don’t get to claim that your system works. And you don’t get to claim that you’ve made some sort of instaprestochange and this is all fixed. Know why? Because right before this all happened I reported this image:
…and got this in response:
When your moderators don’t recognize a KKK robe as a hate symbol, your system is broken. When your moderators don’t recognize jokes about beating and raping and killing women as hate speech, your system is broken. Facebook: YOUR SYSTEM IS BROKEN.
This isn’t over. I’ve asked @FacebookUO if they’ll clarify the policy changes, and I’ve forwarded this image to them. I’m also looking forward to hearing from the leaders of this campaign regarding what official word they might have received. I’ll let you know as soon as I know anything.
Oh, also? These still exist (trigger warnings) [UPDATE: A number of these have been removed. I’m weeding them out and adding new ones as I find them.]:
Tweet the Media:
Please contact media folks and ask them to get up to speed on the campaign and cover us on this week:
Media Matters for America
Tweet to @mmfa
Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)
Tweet to @maddow
Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC)
Tweet to @MHarrisPerry
Ann Curry (MSNBC)
Tweet to @AnnCurry
Tamron Hall (MSNBC)
Tweet to @TamronHall
Nicholas Kristof (NYT)
Tweet to @NickKristof
Martha Raddatz (ABC)
Tweet to @MarthaRaddatz
Whoopi Goldberg (The View)
Tweet to @WhoopiGoldberg
Joy Behar (Say Anything)
Tweet to @JoyVBehar
Sara Gilbert (The Talk on CBS)
Tweet to @THEsaragilbert
Julie Chen (The Talk)
Tweet to @JulieChen
Sharon Osbourne (The Talk)
Tweet to @MrsSOsbourne
Aisha Tyler (The Talk)
Tweet to @aishatyler
Sheryl Underwood (The Talk)
Tweet to @SherylUnderwood
The Talk on CBS
Tweet to @TheTalk_CBS
Melissa Block (All Things Considered on NPR)
Tweet to @NPRmelissablock
Audie Cornish (All Things Considered)
Tweet to @nprAudie
Fresh Air (NPR)
Tweet to @NPRFreshAir
Xeni Jardin (BoingBoing)
Tweet to @xeni
Stephanie Miller (Stephanie Miller Show)
Tweet to @smshow
Here are some tweets for companies not yet on the action list at WAM. You can copy (more impact coming from individuals) or retweet these to help put pressure on these companies to respond to the campaign:
- Facebook’s hate speech problem (salon.com)
- Facebook’s big misogyny problem | Soraya Chemaly (guardian.co.uk)
- 10 Pictures you are NOT Seeing on #FBrape ***Trigger Warning (Feminist Admins Support)
- Facebook’s violently sexist pages are an opportunity for feminists | Emer O’Toole (guardian.co.uk)
- How much intolerance does it take? (deliberatedonkey.wordpress.com)
- I’m confused Facebook… (Trigger warning) (amazingsusansblog.wordpress.com)
Respectful discussion is welcome and encouraged. When in doubt, see the Comment Policy.
May 24, 2013 | Categories: Dark Places, Equality, Rape Culture, Women | Tags: "women action and the media", Advertising, Everyday Sexism, Facebook, FBrape, Jaclyn Friedman, media, Open letter, rape, Social media, Soraya Chemaly, twitter, Violence against women, women | 45 Comments