Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Facebook Double (D) Standard on Obscenity

I blog frequently about sexism, censorship, and nudity in advertising, and I am aware that some readers find my concerns to border on inappropriate. But my sister just sent me this note from a FOAF on Facebook to remind me why there is so much controversy and confusion about sex, nudity, health and motherhood:

 [One image not posted - it was too sick even for this blog!]











Now, you don't have to point out to me that Facebook is a private company that can do what it wants (within discrimination, libel and other laws). But at the same time, Facebook's brand is completely in the hands of its half-billion users.

Those users are from all over the world, but Facebook's rules about nudity are purely American. This is a country that can't decide if it loves or hates the boobies. But either way, the sexual obsession causes all kinds of bizarre double standards.

Basically, even partially exposed breasts are considered "nudity" and therefore in violation of the Terms of Use which state: "You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence". However, because the community is basically self-policing, the moderators usually act when another user has brought something "offensive" to their attention.

And there you have the hypocrisy. Younger female Facebook users are known for posting questionable "cleavage" shots of themselves. Nobody complains. Men post semi-pornographic images in the lad's groups, and keep them to themselves.

But for some reason, breastfeeding seems to be targeted. I can't imagine what anti-breastfeeding people are doing in groups, pages and photo albums that are clearly intended for people who want to share — and advocate for — the natural feeding of babies. Who on earth is complaining about these pictures?

You also have to wonder if Facebook has some automated feature to search our suspected breastfeeders —like their alt-killing bot that automatically deleted the accounts of thousands of real female users because their user names seemed fake. Are they consciously persecuting these women?

Yes, it is a private business. But so is a restaurant or a mall. And in civilized societies, nursing women have legal protection from discrimination, harassment and exclusion when they choose to feed their babies the way nature intended. How long until these protections spread into social media?

For the time being, though, I'm just passing on the outrage from a FOAFOAF. I left her name in there because she asked people to share. Please do.

27 comments:

  1. Same story for YouTube. I made some Americans very angry before with my statement that it is also part of arrogance/imperialism and world leadership.

    And it is even worse. Facebook refused these ads about disablities because of the tagline
    http://osocio.org/message/full_in_life_but_not_on_facebook/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for allowing her post to live on! Facebook already took it down.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's all kinds of weirdness going on at FB over this. At first I couldn't access my account, then about a month of posts disappeared, then they came back minus the note.

    At least they're paying attention...

    ReplyDelete
  4. thanks for reposting this. With the original note gone, we can link to this and keep spreading the word.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have always said FB has double standard. I've even flagged pics I've seen as inappropriate because it was lewd. I have posted pics of me nursing my baby for a group I joined but to my knowledge they didn't flag me, but others have been. Sometimes I just want to tell them "bite me!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Trina,

      This has nothing to do with this blog i have been searching for you. I think you saw my brothers accident on 95 in May. Can you please contact me via email at yncpooh@yahoo.com

      Delete
  6. Facebook main office resides in California, a state that has laws against the persecution of breastfeeding mothers. The are violating the state laws of all 50 states. people need to contact the California State AG office and file formal complaints.
    I searched to word boob and found full blown nudity on FB and yet those pages are still up.

    They are on the warpath against breast feeding mothers and not the whores that have full nude photos of themselves while spread eagle on the floor.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I just sent a letter to the ACLU about this. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you so much for sharing, I have always heard the rumours but never experienced FB deleting these "lewd" images. I am definitely passing this along far and wide.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think I'll go flag all the NON breastfeeding boob pics now!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This speaks to several facets of people's personal and social perceptions, and definitely needs action.

    Great post, I'm sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am not offended by breasts, or the female body so long as both a respected and not objectified. I do NOT beleive that breast feeding is innapropriate.

    ReplyDelete
  12. keep up the good fight ladies.we fought long and hard so mothers could breast feed in public in south australia and we are winning.It makes me wonder what goes through the mind of these people.I have never seen a breastfeeding mother flash herself but have found them to be very decorous at all time.This is petty evilmindedness going too far

    ReplyDelete
  13. 'they're -aka the breastfeeding pix- taken down b/c they ARE offensive in that they remind people that sex has consequences, and that distracts/makes it difficult to ogle the nudie/boobie pix the next page over without being bothered by their pesky conscience'

    ReplyDelete
  14. So I decided to do a search on facebook when I came across this photo http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sex/123987624297553#!/photo.php?fbid=103122513094132&set=o.123987624297553(and some others with erect penises) and decided to make a point on my own facebook wall. I shared all the photos I found. Some were reported and taken down while others like this one http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sex/123987624297553#!/photo.php?fbid=102964909776622&set=o.123987624297553 were not.


    My account was deactivated.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Christopher, please don't call women whores.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi its really very nice blog,very useful information..Mobiles

    ReplyDelete
  17. Very constructive post. thank you. People ARE strange. I just can't understand the motive.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Marc - complaining about U.S. "imperialism" is so passe. In case you haven't read any commerce-related news in the past few years, there are other countries to "worry" about if you so choose. I wouldn't call it "worrying" though. By the way, did you know one of the U.S.'s largest news & media organizations is owned by an Aussie? And Bollywood is bigger than Hollywood? Globalization is good. Just because you were born in a small country doesn't mean you need to have a chip on your shoulder.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I suspect that a society that wants to think of sex, but not reproduction, will have a tough time seeing babies breastfed. I can imagine what Freud might say (one of the rare instances I'd pull him into a discussion). Any women out there think breastfeeding pix are offensive?

    ReplyDelete
  20. So sad. It's a problem in our country as a whole--facebook just brings it out in the open to more people. I am very modest' but I discreetly breastfed in public. People are offended just to know you are DOING IT!!! Even with the "hooter hiders". I was actually told "It's not like we don't know what you are doing". Wow. I replied that I was fairly certain she DID know. I wasn't ashamed to be feeding my child. I just was keeping my body private.I was proud to be a mom who was breastfeeding!

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is an excellent blog! Well done to the blogger. I dont think the problem of socities having "issues" with the sight of women breastfeeding is just an American thing. It raises its ugly head here in New Zealand from time to time too. The good news is, it generally gets shot down pretty quickly.

    I remember years ago when a certain cafe in the Bay of Plenty had a run in with mothers breastfeeding there so a bunch of parents (some men participated as best they could too!) went on down there day in and day out and breastfed their children all over the place lol. Then the cafe owner (who incidentally *cough* was also the owner of a massage parlour) tried to ban children completely from his cafe! Well efven though he got a bit of support for that,he lifted the ban after a time because business was not doing so good, but it didn't do him any good, he closed up shop a few months later!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I came across this profile quite by accident and was trying to figure out how to report it when I found this blog. The double standard is ridiculous especially when you see stuff like this!
    **WARNING** Completely exposed women
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=100000053547983&aid=29481

    Now you tell me how this can be allowed and a picture of a mother feeding her child is not!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Facebook Advertising not only gives you and your business wonderful results, but with it, you can only advertise to people who are interested and willing to buy your products. Additionally, you can also target the gender, age, and location of your clients or customers.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I like how FEMEN apparently "bullied" Mark Zuckerberg, who is obviously a weenie, into letting them put back up their profile. Unbelievable. I have seen male FB members devote entire FB pages to porn hotties that are vulgar, tasteless and much more naked. I HATE the people behind FB, I wish i could like them, but I hate them. I still use it. Wish I could buy it and turn it into something less......less.....selfish?

    ReplyDelete