Make Facebook accountable for perpetuating sexism, and follow through on your site’s community standards and policy statements regarding pornographic, harassing, and dehumanizing pages.
The media is a powerful societal tool that expresses expectations about how men and women should look. As a result, over the past several years, women have shown an increase in body dissatisfaction. Some cases report that up to 80% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies. Studies have shown that women tend to post pictures that comply with current beauty standards. Current beauty standards are dictated by social construction and pressed upon women from all types of media. Our concern is that these images are ones in which women are reduced to nothing but body parts.
Facebook’s policy includes statements such as, “You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user”, “You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence”, and “You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory” (as stated in the public policy). The problem is that although Facebook’s policy explicitly states these things, rarely anything is done when hateful, pornographic, and discriminatory pages are reported.
On multiple occasions Facebook users have attempted to report these issues, and their efforts have been rejected. Pages such as “SWAG”, “Cutest Teen of 2013”, “Drunk Chicks”, etc. are all instances where women and young girls are not only exposing themselves, but also receiving derogatory remarks, or in some cases, death threats. We want you to step up your involvement against sexism, and to stop Facebook from allowing these pornographic, harassing, and dehumanizing pages. There are women being wrongfully exposed, receiving threats, and the pages are simply perpetuating the objectification of women.
On November 12th, 2013 CTVNews.ca reported that “A Facebook page called ‘cutest teens 2013’…was taken down after CTV News brought the page to the company’s attention”, and claimed that “There are many similar ‘cutest teens’ pages still online, but Facebook said they will be looking into them”. Yet, there has been no action noteworthy of said further investigation of Facebook pages taking place. In fact, CTV News reported just eleven days later that the “Cutest Teen” page is back up because it now has “a warning reminding people not to post nude or inappropriate photos and not to bully others on the site” (CTVNews.ca). This action is comparable to a simple slap on the wrist. When will the limits be pushed far enough for Facebook to take real steps towards removing these pages?
We want Facebook to be accountable for perpetuating sexism. But, not only do we want that, we primarily want Facebook to follow through on the site’s community standards and policy statements. If you truly do not want pornographic images, harassment, threats, discrimination, etc. on your social networking site, then make the move to stop it. Remove current pages that allow these things, and prevent similar pages from being created in the future.
We want you to help our voices be heard. Women are being objectified and oppressed on all sorts of social media. Making a change on Facebook, the world’s largest online social network, would be a giant step forward for women everywhere. Help us overcome a challenge, and support both young and old women alike in their pursuit of success by stopping these dehumanizing pages from continuing.
We thank you for your valued time and support.
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