Facebook is very clear in its terms of service; in section 3.7, it says “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”
Unless it’s a “joke” page about rape.
In an incredible act of hypocrisy and frat boy mentality remember, Facebook is the site that bans photos of women breastfeeding Facebook has decided in the face of a petition signed by over 176,000 people that removing the pro-rape pages from their site is unnecessary.
Some of these pages have rather terrifying names: “Roses are red, violets are blue, I’ve got a knife so get in the van” and “Define Statutory” and “You know shes playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alley” [sic].
Again: Yes, really.
I didn’t learn about this from the usual suspects I read regularly, such as Mashable, TechCrunch, or any other site that dedicates itself to news of the web (although at least Jezebel covered the story back in 2009). Nope, this info came from a piece in the Guardian in the UK. In Sydney, they’ve covered the story of the “Define Statutory” extensively two years ago, since the site was set up by a local university.
According to the Guardian article, Facebook has refused to take down the pages. Why? Here’s a quote from the article.
Facebook has refused to take the offending pages down, insisting they are intended to be “a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views”.
“Direct statements of hate against particular communities violate our statement of rights and responsibilities and are removed when reported to us,” Facebook said. “However, groups that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some do not by themselves violate our policies.”
It gets worse. According to this article, Facebook said the following about the rape pages.
“It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining” went the bizarre rape apologia. “Just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.”
Yes, really. Pro-rape pages on Facebook are JUST like a “rude joke.” I know if someone said to me, “I’ve got a knife, get in the van” my response would be LAUGHTER.
This is unacceptable, don’t you think?
To head off an old argument about censorship… No one is saying they don’t have to right to say these horrible, violent, and sexist things. I’m saying that it violates Facebook’s own TOS to do so, and that Facebook should apply their own rules in this particular case.
What do you think?