Equal Facebook standards applied to LGBTQI community
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There’s been a growing trend with social media giant Facebook in the past years to filter out content that it believes is harmful to both its brand, the community, and its users. We have no problem with this. It makes sound business and ethical sense and with the ongoing government demands for industry leaders like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to step up their game and protect people, country and lives, we applaud any initiative to do just that.
What we have a problem with is the double standards we believe it applies to some of its policies and decisions. Nowhere is this more prevalent or evident to those of us than in the LGBTQI community.
While we're specifically talking about the book publishing world here, where authors, publishers and bloggers use Facebook as a social and promotional tool, this applies everywhere. We’re talking a world where men love men, men kiss men and men have sex with men, where the use of erotic and sexy pictures are used to promote or tease readers with relationship stories and love and romance tales of men falling in love. About covers meant to entice the readers with their sexy bare-chested men and their racy look. However, no respectable publisher will publish a cover that’s pornographic. And we all have respectable publishers. Even when it’s ourselves as a self-published author.
Even posting in secret or private groups isn’t sacred. Either someone reports a picture based on the fact they are simply trolling to make trouble, or Facebook bots find a picture and take it down. We were under the impression private and secret groups were ‘safe spaces’. This is not said with any element of naivety. We understand that pornographic pictures can’t be posted in groups as well, that pictures still need to meet community standards. We completely agree with this. Again, our concern is this appears to be one set of rules for one and another for the LGBTQ community. This group posts naked women with bare butts, nipples, and women together in sensual and erotic poses, yet when we do the same with men, we are targeted and banned.
Until the rules are the same for everyone you’ll forgive us that we cannot take the Facebook Community Standards seriously, and until we are all judged on the same content, ditto. Double standards abound.
You can read the full post that Susan Mac Nicol, author of gay romantic fiction, wrote here on her website.
THIS is what this petition is about. We want people to sign up who support the LGBTQI publishing and author community, or simply believe that there is an element within the Facebook standards that appears to target LGBTQI posts. We’d like Facebook to take a good, hard look at its policies and tell us they are fair and that they are listening to our concerns. We’d like some reassurance that we AREN’T being targeted and some solid proof to back it up. We’d like some common sense applied to the algorithms and reviewers who are unbiased and fair.
We aren’t asking for any separate rules to be applied or any concessions. We’re asking to be treated the same as anyone else, with clearer guidelines and less perceived discrimination.
Thank you for listening. Please support the petition if you feel the same way. Share, tweet, blog, get the word out. The only way we’ll ever be heard is together. One lone voice creates a sound; many create a choir.
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