What’s Got 800 Million Users and Loves Rape Jokes?

| 11/4/2011 1:49:38 PM

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg“Whats 10 inches and gets girls to have sex with me? my knife.”

“You know she’s playing hard to get when she trys to break out of your van.”

These sayings exist as fan pages on Facebook, with 60 people liking the former and 921 liking the latter. They’re just two among many rape jokes on the social networking site. When asked to remove the offensive content, reports Ms. Magazine, Mark Zuckerberg maintained that the pages will stay put on Facebook and issued this statement:

It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining, just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.

Apparently freedom of speech reigns supreme on Facebook…except that the site has an explicit statement of user responsibilities that dictates: “(3.7) You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” And “(5.2) We can remove any content or information you post on Facebook if we believe that it violates this Statement.”

If Facebook were an unpoliced free-for-all, I would shrug my shoulders defeatedly at the stupid rape joke and move on. But it’s a policed community. Facebook regularly monitors and removes content it deems inappropriate to a public forum, including anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, and even I hate my teacher pages. The site is particularly vigilant in removing any promotion of cutting, eating disorders, or drug use. Facebook even yanks photos of breastfeeding mothers.

Furthermore, on its safety center help page, Facebook says: “If you see something that is inappropriate or makes you uncomfortable, speak up and let us know. We take reports from our community very seriously, and work hard to respond quickly.” Yet more than 180,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding Facebook remove pages that promote sexual violence—and Zuckerberg has done nothing.

Tina Fong
12/9/2011 8:47:13 PM

Roses are red, violets are blue, I have a gun, get in the van.

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