Petition Facebook To Recognise Photos That Celebrate Centuries-Old African Images

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Please help us petition Mark Zuckerberg to recognise and appreciate that organized platforms on Facebook that are manifestly educational, and which post old photos of semi naked (African) men and women, do not necessarily constitute moral distastefulness.

We run a Facebook handle, Historia ya Wakenya, which also has a Group and Page going by the name HistoryKE. The handle has the maximum 5,000 followers allowed, and both the Group and Page boast tens of thousands of followers/members.

This is a page run by volunteers who are self sustaining, and earn nothing but pleasure in doing what they do. Essentially, it’s an online museum.

The handle and its associated forums were designed to immortalize, celebrate and share stories and photos on the rich history of Kenya, and that of her constituent tribes and racial groups, for posterity.

Our posts include many photos that are more than a century old. Some of these photos have been flagged before as inappropriate by Facebook and recently - yesterday, in fact, the social media company blocked its handler from having full access to the handle, its Group and Page.

Facebook splashed a warning that held that one of our published photos, a 1910 pic of semi-naked female members of the Bagisu tribe, contravened their “Community Standards”.

We fully understand that Facebook intends to maintain decency in content found within the social media platform, and that that is reasonably noble of them. Ours, however, is an educational and celebrational endeavor, certainly NOT a platform peddling indecency or, if you like, porn.

Africans in centuries and decades gone by proudly walked naked in public. Nay, they were not naked since nudity is/was a state of mind.

Historia ya Wakenya is a mouthpiece of Kenya’s history. It has a massive (optional!) following. This is a community on Facebook largely - but by no means exclusively, made up of Kenyans. Indeed, on our platforms, undignified reactions and use of insults are explicitly discouraged, with ban consequences to offending persons.

This is a petition to urge Facebook to consider that its “Community Standards” are not inclusive. Africans, who from interactions on our pages are proud of their heritage, are also a Community. And they’re on Facebook.

We hold that a page or handle on Facebook that, from its circumstances and content, and by its own merit, genuinely celebrates the history and culture of a community or communities, should not be lumped in the same category as porn, or indecency.

This is a petition to rally support from history enthusiasts in general, and Kenyans in particular, to ask Facebook to be sensitive in their application of “Community Standards” to well meaning endeavors.

Historia Ya Wakenya and HistoryKe group and page, and similar groups on Facebook, should be adjudged on their own merit.

Through this petition, we kindly ask Facebook to consider reviewing their terms of service and “Community Standards” in the context of the foregoing.