Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Facebook...apparently a safe harbor for misogyny

A few days ago I wrote about quitting Facebook.  Here's the thing...

I'm not going to quit Facebook.

I'll be honest, there are a couple of selfish reasons why I'm going to continue to utilize a company whose morals  threaten to make Ted Nugent sound like a good guy.  I like staying in contact with friends and family who I don't get to see regularly (yes - I could do this via another social networking service - but until THEY all move over too, well...) and a lot of my blog readers connect to my posts via Facebook.  I'm no Dooce - I need every reader I can get.

But selfish reasons aside, there's a more compelling reason that I'm not quitting Facebook: I think Facebook sucks.

I also think that Facebook is not going away any time soon.

So I can take a stand, pack up my principals, and leave (which, to be honest, is exactly what Facebook probably wants from its less-than-cooperative users - after all, they kick people off for swimming upstream, and with 400,000,000 users, they certainly don't need me), or I can take a stand, gather my principals around me, and stay.

I don't plan to stay quietly.

I plan to regularly, methodically, and insistently expose Facebook's misogyny and lackluster corporate responsibility.  I plan to blog, Tweet, and yes, use Facebook, to reach as many people as possible to work together to ask them to change.

Facebook has no reason to care if non-users think they suck.  But if Facebookers start complaining, start suggesting, start reporting content that spreads hate and perpetuates inequality, then maybe, just maybe, Facebook will start to have reason to care.

That said, today I'm focusing on the Facebook fan page titled "Misogyny."  Since misogyny is defined as hatred of women, I would have expected that when I and several of my Facebook friends reported this page, it would have been removed.  After all, Facebook explains in their Terms of Use that:

We remove content that harasses an individual or group. Facebook also must honor requests to remove content that draws unwanted attention to specific people. To prevent this from happening in the future, please be careful to review the content of any group you administer.
Facebook thoroughly reviews every report we receive to determine whether or not the content violates our Terms of Use. Any content that is considered sexually explicit, violent, malicious or otherwise offensive will be removed. If you received a warning about an item that was taken down, then we have established that it violated these terms.
I would consider a fan page dedicated to the hatred of women as containing content that "harasses an individual or group."  And as a woman, I also have to say that the type of attention drawn to woman from such a group is "unwanted."  They claim to "thoroughly review every report" they receive to determine if there's been a violation.  I wonder how they could review this page, multiple times, and NOT conclude that it is "violent, malicious, or otherwise offensive."

And so I have to ask, why is it that Facebook is knowingly allowing a group dedicated to the hatred of women?


Click here to visit the Facebook misogyny page - on the left hand side near the bottom is the link to report the know what to do.


Paul Rapoport said...

You're being reasonable and logical, just and fair, but since Facebook never is and is solely interested in selling your data and lining its own pockets as unscrupulously and immorally as possible, your points will be lost on it.

You knew that anyhow. But you're right to stay and fight partly from within. I'm glad you made that choice.

Becky said...

I found your blog through another twin mom. I have 10 month old boys. When I went to this FB link I think I realized something- they are making pages for content listed on people's pages. For example, I listed the school where I work and it became a hot link. When I clicked on the link, I went to another site called a "community page" similar to the one you posted. It had wiki content as well. So this leads me to believe that someone is not actively making that group. If you read the comments, many are complaining about negative comments they have received and not women bashing. It doesn't explain why so many people "like" misogyny... Hmmm. And you're right- people post some damn offensive stuff, whereas your tandem nursing your babies is quite the opposite. At any rate, I did click report. But because I had seen similar pages I wanted to pass that along. I think that you can even change and redo the content that is seen, like you could on wiki...