End Gender-Based Violence on Facebook

CMCarterSS-Flickr-End-Rape-Culture-March

Target: Facebook.com Management Team

Goal: Urge Facebook to take action against pages that advocate violence against women

In an open letter to Facebook signed by dozens of gender equality advocacy groups and individuals, Women, Action, and the Media urged advertisers to pull out of Facebook.  The reason was the website’s tacit encouragement of pages devoted to violence against women. Support their efforts and ask Facebook to treat gender-based violence as hate speech and remove the content immediately.

According to the letter, targets include pages such as “Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus, Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a Sandwich, Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs, Raping your Girlfriend and many, many more. Images appearing on Facebook include photographs of women beaten, bruised, tied up, drugged, and bleeding, with captions such as ‘This bitch didn’t know when to shut up’ and ‘Next time don’t get pregnant.’”

The group urges Facebook to contact advertisers whose ads appear next to these pages to alert them to the fact that their brands are helping promote hate speech and gender-based violence.

The letter also addresses Facebook’s current practice of routinely removing images of women’s bodies, including images of breastfeeding, mastectomies and artistic representations as against its policies, labeling them as pornography, while still allowing gender-based violence to exist under “humor” sections of the site.

According the “Say No” United Nations campaign to end violence against women, up to 70 per cent of women “experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime,” and in the U.S., “83 per cent of girls aged 12 to 16 experienced some form of sexual harassment in public schools.” This is a global phenomenon, and these groups, by popularizing images of violence against women, exacerbate it. By allowing groups like this to exist, Facebook is tacitly involved in promoting a culture of sexual violence. Sign the petition below to let Facebook know that gender-based hate speech and the promotion of violence against women is unacceptable.

PETITION TEXT:

Dear Facebook,

Pages appearing on your site that routinely advocate gender-based violence should be categorized as hate speech and should be removed. We support the efforts of Women, Action, and the Media and urge you to contact advertisers to let them know that their brands are being used to promote hate speech and violence against women.

Pages such as “Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus, Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won’t make you a Sandwich, Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs, and Raping your Girlfriend” are not only distasteful: by allowing these pages and pages like them to exist as “humor” and by routinely removing other images of women’s bodies—including images of breastfeeding—by citing them as pornography, your company helps promote a culture of sexual violence against women and girls.

Violence against women is a global problem. According the the “Say No” United Nations campaign to end violence against women, up to 70 per cent of women “experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime.”  Change your policy to recognize these groups as hate speech and ban them from your site.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: CMCarterSS via Flickr

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2 Comments

  1. Vanessa Solis Vanessa Solis says:

    You can also help change Facebook’s policies by taking action with WAM’s campaign here:

    http://www.womenactionmedia.org/facebookaction/

    Facebook has removed some of the examples of offending pages in response to media attention, but it still has not changed its policy to recognize gender-based violence as a removable offense. Content promoting or trivializing violence against women will continue to persist as long as Facebook maintains its current policies and practices.

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137 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
  • Hermann Kastner
  • James Thrailkill
  • Muhammad Kamal
  • sheila childs
  • Mal Gaff
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • Terrie Phenicie
  • jeff hopkins
  • Nancy Petersen
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