Over 180,000 of you have petitioned Facebook asking for the removal of pages advocating sexual violence and violence against women, signing your name to a campaign launched by Florida activist John Raines. You’ve pointed out that Facebook’s own Terms of Service ban content that is “hateful, threatening,” or contains “graphic or gratuitous violence.” But Facebook has refused to take action, writing these hateful pages off as humor: “what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining – just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.”
Today, you can join a Twitter Day of Action to tell Facebook that you don’t find pages like “Riding You Girlfriend Softly So She Doesn’t Wake Up” funny. Facebooks knows these pages exist, but has made a decision to permit pages like this one advocating sexual violence — pages like this one, where the admin engages in further hilarity about drugging women and threatening critics with assault — so reporting them isn’t enough. The Change.org campaign includes supporters who will be taking action from all around the world, and similar campaigns are being run out of Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, where Women’s View on News (WVoN) has been leading and compiling resources.
Facebook has previously been criticized for being quick to delete inoffensive pictures of same-sex couples kissing and regularly taking down breastfeeding photos/groups. Yet when it comes to hate speech and advocating violence against women, suddenly Facebook is ready to shrug their shoulders and say it’s all in good fun, nothing for them to do about it.