Facebook; the frontline of misogyny.
July 5, 2015
This word is purported to mean something important – as it should – but this word can only exude power when it is reinforced and supported by an unshakable standard that drives it. Unfortunately, the reality is that we are not in Kansas anymore. The time has come where we must detach ourselves from suckling at the 1984-style illusion that our standards are deeply rooted in the righteous and good, and realise that our pervasive bystander attitude has contributed to allowing those who hold malice in their hearts to systematically disintegrate the standards of yore, using the various social platforms of today to send us careering to a place where we will soon find it hard to recognise ourselves.
What’s more disheartening is that not only are more people absolutely crossing the line of decency and lawful behaviour, they are simply not being held accountable; in fact, online, the opposite is happening more often; where the victims are the ones being put under the microscope and worse, punished for being said victim. In the past, it was all about attaining proof of wrongdoing – but now, in this age of technology which affords us an abundance of evidence, we still find ourselves questioning what it is that’s exactly needed for those committing crimes to be held responsible for having wronged another human being – especially when it comes to misogyny.
A year ago, I wrote that Facebook is evil and this has never been more apparent than today. One only needs to wade through their handling of serious breeches of their ‘Community Standards’ *cough* to see they
deliberately have no control; the crux being that the actions of males that clearly cross standards are excused by Facebook, whilst the actions of females (or simply just the names they use) are penalised. The following is just a snapshot of what’s happened in my bubble of existence of late – and it’s only just a snippet of what’s really going on out there.
In recent weeks, some awareness of this issue came to the public light when writer Clementine Ford staged a protest against Sunrise – which started a Facebook debate (since removed) asking the question: ‘What’s it going to take for women to get the message about taking and sending nude photos?’ Incensed at having the searing spotlight of blame be turned toward those who were wronged – AGAIN – instead of towards those who have committed the violation and CRIME, Ford sent a photo with a message to Sunrise.
This brought an onslaught of horrific attack which is sadly becoming the norm when (especially) women call out against the victim-blaming that permeates all discourse in matters of misogyny. I too have been a victim of violent comments.
Well, the misogyny was strong and rife; arrows of hate seeking to target and maim Ford for her audacity. Some messages were so violently threatening, that she screenshot private messages and posted them on Facebook. Ones like this:
But this was the moment Clementine Ford found herself being punished for publishing the hateful and violent threats being made against her:
So one can be threatened on Facebook AND produce evidence but still be punished for it? Nothing screams ‘Community’ more than that.
What a safe haven, Facebook. It’s great to know you have our backs.
Suffice it to say that due to a big backlash, Facebook quickly reinstated Ford’s page but this is a rare privilege.
Let’s explore some more.
On the Facebook Triple J Hack page a few weeks ago, the revisited debate as to whether females should be able to buy GST free sanitary pads / tampons etc. was going strong. A friend of mine, going my the Facebook name, She Said, engaged in the conversation and was soon reading the following:
Charming; especially when the profile shot reveals the young age of the boy who said it:
When She Said informed him that she was reporting his comments to Facebook, he responded to her with:
Cunt, Slut, Bitch, Whore, Rape, Gang Rape…the vocabulary used through the discourse of angry, males online – some very young. Seriously, it’s never been like this before.
As we are dealing with Facebook, it came as no surprise that the boy’s comments were deemed NOT to have breached their ‘Community Standards’ and were only gone when the administrators of the Triple J page blocked him from further comment but her page was taken down by Facebook and would not be reinstalled unless she proved her name was legitimate. She had to change her name.
As I’m writing this – for no reason whatsoever – Facebook is doing the same to dynamic, feminist comedian Kirsty Mac:
Kirsty is livid at the fact Facebook is dictating that her name is not her name. Who wouldn’t be?
Lily Munroe created REAL for Women, and with the help of Kate Drury and Pip Douglas provide a site that engages with research, articles and statistics that can help tackle the pervasive problem that is male violence; as well as provide a safe space for women to talk through anything regarding their experiences as females, if they so wish. On a Facebook post with an image of a headstone with the words, RIP Beauty Standards, the male response went as follows:
He later apologised on the page, saying he was drunk.
But Facebook closed her page down when Anthony reported the comment because…he was told to look in the mirror? No calling him a Cunt or threatening him with violence – no just a, ‘Fuck off and take a good look at yourself’.
COMMUNITY STANDARDS BREACH ! Wooooop! Whoooop! All Facebook accounts frozen.
The thing I find profoundly bewildering is that many friends and myself have had a long battle with Facebook – getting horrid pages and images removed – to find ourselves continually told that what we were complaining about were fine and dandy. It took quite a while to get this page removed – including THIS photo:
In both instances, I was met with Facebook responses that approved of their staying up. My response to them is at the bottom of the next screenshot, as I could not fathom how this page was actually reviewed and deemed appropriate.
After much complaining – it was ultimately removed.
A video that proved to be profoundly disturbing, showing a man shoot his girlfriend in the head at pointblank range then sit and continue watching TV was enormously difficult to have removed. Many, many complaints were made, but it took weeks to have it finally taken down. I have a screenshot of the ‘after’ moment – but I still think it’s too disturbing an image to put up, even though you can’t see the top part of her body.
If this isn’t Graphic Violence – what the hell is?
To go down the Facebook porn rabbit-hole is futile. It’s rampant, degrades females and looks to titillate the seemingly insatiable heterosexual male mind and penis, with an immeasurable amount of material to masturbate over. Reported images showing nudity and sexual acts will be taken down, only to be instantly replaced by others. Images I recently reported have the video symbol on them but once clicked, takes you to a dull article about accountancy or Cloud memory – one was for a nice hotel. It’s predatory and it’s feeding on the masses – US – our male minds and female bodies. And we’re allowing it. That’s the tragic part. These sites also have sex being recorded with women participants that look uncomfortable and forced, to say the least. Facebook will NOT take these pages down.
So here we are – full circle. A teeny snapshot. Facebook proudly champions their misogyny by allowing an endless sea of pornified and degrading images of women through to violent ideologies against them. And yet, when a woman stands up and raises the red flag to a serious online threat?
Facebook’s response is, Sorry – your name is what?
I just have one question (#229): WHAT Community Standards?
The essential ingredient needed with this issue – any important issue – is critical thinking + reflection; when one steps out of the emotion of a situation and looks at solutions through logic. Considering we’ve ironically labelled ourselves the most ‘intelligent’ species on this deteriorating planet (thanks to our parasitic and destructive consuming and wasteful ways) we now seem to be finding solace either in self-destructive behaviour or turning the proverbial blind eye, ultimately hammering the nails into our community coffins…
OR we can take some charge.
Who’s up for a little Facebook boycott? If we all go offline – deactivate – at the same time for a few days or a week or a month – noone will be on either, so you won’t miss out on anything! 🙂
Facebook may pay attention. Or maybe not. But anything’s better than standing and watching a few take the reigns because ‘someone’s gotta do it’. Let that someone be you, even if it be in a small way.
Remember:The Standard We Walk Past is the Standard We Accept.
Shall we? Yes?
Facebook does not have our back.