With thanks to ThinkProgress
Last week, activists (or as I prefer to call them, civilised people with a conscience) launched a campaign that urged companies to boycott Facebook advertising because the social media network allows users to post images of domestic violence against women, while banning advertisements about women’s health.
More than a dozen companies have pulled their advertising as a result, including online bank Nationwide UK, Nissan UK, and J Street.
But many larger companies – including some who should definitely know better – have been slower to respond, including two companies that market brands specifically to women.
Dove, a Unilever brand that is running a “self-esteem” ad campaign for women, is facing pressure on Twitter, while Procter & Gamble’s response was, “We can’t control what content they [our advertising] pops up next to. Obviously it’s a shame that our ad happened to pop up next to it.”
Pathetically, Zappos replied that users who are upset by an ad appearing next to a date rape image “click the X to delete the ad.”
Equally wimpishly, Zipcar has not stopped advertising but “expressed to Facebook the critical need to block this content from appearing.” Who-hoo.
And Audible.com has responded that it will not take down advertising, because it “takes pride in and respects the rules that govern our Facebook community.” Blah, blah, blah.
Facebook’s rules, however, appear to be enforced unevenly.
A Facebook spokesperson told ThinkProgress that content featuring battered women, rape, and violence falls under “poor taste” or “crude attempts at humor” and does not violate its policies.
And while Facebook screens anti-Semitic, Islamaphobic, and homophobic hate speech, the same standards do not apply to images of violence against women.
But at the same time, the astonishingly conservative and out-of-touch Facebook rejected an ad about breast cancer because it showed a woman’s breast. Presumably because, you know, breasts are “dirty”.
At Wellthisiswhatithink we have a simple message for Zuckerberg and his cronies. This is not humour. This is incitement to violence. It should be illegal – it sure as hell should not be on Facebook. Fix it.
And if you agree, you might like to post a link to this article somewhere. Like Facebook, for example.