Warning for rape descriptions quoted in this post and found at links.
Jane Osmond asked for a signal boost in the open thread, and thus I’m popping the Facebook treats rape page as â€˜pub jokeâ€™ media release up:
Facebook treats rape page as â€˜pub jokeâ€™
Over 3000 people have signed a UK petition asking Facebook to delete a page that contains â€˜jokeâ€™ posts about rape against women.
The page â€“ â€˜You know sheâ€™s playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleywayâ€™ (sic) â€“ contains posts such as â€˜I have raped many womenâ€¦.no lieâ€™ and â€˜I rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesomeâ€™.
The petition was launched on Aug 19 by student Orlagh Ni LÃ©id after Facebook issued a statement likening the page to a pub joke, despite thousands of people protesting against it through the Facebook report mechanism:
â€œIt is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining â€“ just as telling a rude joke wonâ€™t get you thrown out of your local pub, it wonâ€™t get you thrown off Facebook.â€ (Facebook statement 17.8.11)
â€œI stumbled across this page and was shocked to see not only rape â€˜jokesâ€™, but outright advocacy and even apparent confessions.
I started the petition when I found out that Facebook refused to take the page down and the UK mainstream press proved unresponsive to a letter from Rape Crisis England and Wales.
To date, thanks to articles on sites like â€˜Womenâ€™s Views on Newsâ€™, the petition has drawn strong support from around the globe and is building on a US petition against similar pages that has attracted over 170,000 signatures.
Facebook is an influential social force and in a world where 1 in 5 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape, these pages are more than a â€˜pub joke. Surely Facebook should not be perpetuating rape culture?â€
Further, Facebook appears selective about how it applies its rules â€“ for instance, a policy against breastfeeding pictures is upheld, indicating that breasts are offensive, but that rape is not.
In doing so, Facebook have made it clear that it does not consider groups which condone rape to be in violation of their own hate speech rules such as â€˜You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.â€™ (Section 3, Point 7)
The petition can be signed here.
See also Bidisha in the Guardian, The rape shame of social media:
Despite their capacity for good, Facebook and Twitter still provide outlets for the worst kind of misogyny.