28 May 2013

The Day is Looking Up

This was initially going to be a ranty post.   I have a migraine.  Like, the level of migraine where if my happiness and rainbow spewing unicorn walked through my door tight now, I would probably hit him with a frying pan.  Not my "best self" at all.  Also, my housemates are kind of jerks.  Just your garden variety "OMFG you are a goddamn nuclear physicist, why the hell can you not put away the fricking tupperware in a manner where it doesn't crash down on my face every time I open the cabinet?" jerks, but still.  When every single thing you do in a day takes 2-3 times as long just because the other people in your house are inconsiderate and/or incompentent?  Again, hard to be my "best self."

But then this happened: Facebook Agreement Regarding #FBrape Campaign.  It only took a full week,the pulling of 15 advertising  accounts, thousands of e-mails, tens of  thousands of tweets and general public shaming, but Facebook finally agreed to recognize content encouraging rape and violence against women (VAW) as hate-speech.  Seems like a no-brainer, but I guess the accountants must have been slow in calculating the revenue changes that Facebook would endure if this continued.   Does that sound bitter?  Good. That is just what I was aiming for. None the less, this is good news.

To make it clear what will be happening, The #FBrape Campaign merely asked that Facebook apply its current rules about hate-speech and violence to rape and VAW.  Facebook routinely moderates content that violates community guidelines pertaining to racism, homophobia and so on.  Facebook it not actually, by any stretch of the imagination, a free-speech zone.  The campaign just wants the promise to protect women as a victimized group.  Facebook doesn't even need to change it rules, it merely needs to apply them as if, and this may be a mind-bender, rape and VAW is not, in fact, just humor.  The corollary to this is that the standards be applied uniformly with actual consideration to the content.  No more removing pictures of breastfeeding moms or breast cancer education campaigns featuring pictures of (le gasp) a breast not be used as men's sexual playthings while simultaneously allowing endless photos of women sprawled on car hoods wearing naught but heels and a smile.   The (hopefully) inadvertent misogyny/male-hetero-normative standards of how the social media empire regulates "offensive" content will hopefully change as well.

So hey, even on a bad day, all hope is not lost.