Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Facebook: Breastfeeding Bad, Sex Trafficking Good

Earlier today, a friend made me aware of a Facebook page for Songachi, which is the red light district in Kolkata, India. She just returned from a trip there and was working on a post for her own blog when she came across the page -- which, by the way, has about 3,000 likes. She explained that many of the women who are sex workers in the district are minors, and most are there against their will. Essentially, this page and those who like it are supporting sex trafficking.

In addition to the trafficking element, the page contains many explicit photos, including women masturbating and performing oral sex. There is really nothing about the page that doesn't violate Facebook's TOS.

So I and many of my friends reported it. I believe most of us chose to call it sexually explicit. I would think that, in light of Facebook's recent announcement that it would take pages encouraging violence against women seriously, it would be a no-brainer and the page would be removed.

So imagine my rage when I got the following reply.


Thanks for your recent report of a potential violation on Facebook. After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

Learn more about what we do and don't allow by reviewing the Facebook Community Standards: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards.


Give us feedback to let us know how we are doing: https://www.facebook.com/survey/take.php?survey_id=242477152482072&cid=258497640937891
I don't know who Viki is, but she's not very good at her job. In fact, I've reported it twice and gotten the same reply. Maybe Viki is actually a robot.

Let's get this straight: Facebook takes down images of women breastfeeding, images of cancer survivors showing off their scars and tattoos, and body-positive images because there is a nipple distant in the background. However, Facebook leaves up pages that talk about raping women, calling them sluts, and this one, which promotes the sexual exploitation of minors AND blatantly displays graphic sexual images.

This is unacceptable and disgusting. Facebook's recent promise to take threats of violence against women seriously (which they should have been doing all along) indicates that this page has no business being on the site. Leaving it up, especially when positive non-explicit images are removed, just shows that in Facebook's eyes, women are unimportant. They are openly supporting hate, violence, and exploitation, and we need to stand against it.

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