Saturday, September 28, 2013

How Facebook May Secretly Foil Your Activist Plans

A fascinating read!


"With little explanation, Facebook has been disabling pages related to activism. In some cases, administrators who set up the pages are no longer able to add updates. In others, the pages are being deleted entirely. Understandably, activists are frustrated when a network of 10,000 like-minded individuals is suddenly erased, leaving no way to reconnect with the group.

Realistically, that’s the downside of relying on a hundred billion dollar company. Facebook is a pro-business enterprise with countless partnerships that undoubtedly pressure the site to limit the types of socializing progressives may engage in, particularly activities that might harm advertisers’ profits.

For example, this year’s March Against Monsanto events have been popular with people across the globe, but not Facebook. An upcoming invitation for a rally in St. Louis, Missouri where Monsanto is headquartered was wiped clean from the social networking site. The administrator of the event received a very unspecific notice that the event “violated Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” yet it is not clear how the event would have violated any terms. What is clear, however, is that Monsanto advertises on Facebook and may have had some influence on the matter.

When the “Boycott Target Until They Cease Funding Anti-Gay Politics” group became extremely popular, employees at Facebook didn’t erase the page, but effectively shut it down anyway by putting severe restrictions on it. Not only was the page’s creator unable to edit or update the page, followers of the page could no longer start new discussions or post links and videos. A similar page that called for a boycott on BP was also rendered similarly useless after receiving the same posting constraints.

As civil rights activist Audre Lorde wrote, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Perhaps we’ve been na├»ve to believe that using a platform created by a corporate entity would help activists to break free from corporate oppression. While moving away from Facebook seems inevitable for some activists, it’ll certainly have some consequences for at least the short term. Because Facebook is so ubiquitous and its members tend to check in multiple times a day, it makes reaching a wide audience fairly simple.

That said, having proven its value in mobilizing people, social media will continue being a pivotal strategy for activists, with or without Facebook. As Facebook continues to align more firmly with sponsors rather than users, you can expect to see more revolutionaries to join alternative internet communities to promote their causes. In the future, sites like [blatant self-promotion alert!] [and Films For Action] will be even more crucial in achieving positive social change."
Read full article at

This article on porn on Facebook went viral overnight

"In the playground, I interviewed a brave group of seven bright boys and girls aged 14-15 to ascertain in more detail what online porn they had witnessed.

One boy calmly recalled watching a scene too graphic to describe in a family newspaper, but which had involved an animal.

'You're watching bestiality?' I asked. 'That's illegal. Where are you getting this stuff from?'

'Facebook,' the boy said. 'It just pops up whether you want it or not, sometimes via advertisements. You don't have any control over it.'

A girl added, 'On Facebook, you just scroll down and it's there. If any of your friends like it, it comes up on your home page.'

Excerpt from "Experiment that convinced me online porn is the most pernicious threat facing children today" By ex-lads' mag editor MARTIN DAUBNEY

The Social Network Show: Cyberbullying, teen suicide, breastfeeding bans and child porn

Trista, Jim, and Dr. J discussed new reports of teen suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among people 10-24 years of age. Suicide due to bullying/cyberbullying is being reported in the news, but no one knows the real number of attempted suicides. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number is 800-273-TALK (8255); the website is Dr. J tested this number and learned that because of the network of call centers, if you call, you will never get a busy signal and will always get a live person on the line.

Trista shared an article written by Rehtaeh Parson’s mother. Rehtaeh is a 17 year old girl who committed suicide after cyberbullying following a sexual assault. In the article, Rehtaeh’s mother poses the question, What is in place to help kids who are cyberbullied and who is helping the bullies, who also need help?  She also asked for full cooperation from the social network sites.

Trista pointed out an interesting situation on Facebook–in spite of a stated policy of allowing pages to show breastfeeding, a woman whose site supports nursing mothers has been banned for 30 days for doing so.  At the same time a very large number of pages that show pornography and child pornography are allowed to remain.  Trista and Dr. J speculated as to what could logically account for the contradictory actions.

Trista will continue to be featured on The Social Network Show in “The Trista Hendren Series.”  Please check out the blog post titled, “Women and Girls Speak on Social Networks: The Good, The Bad and the Horrifying.

Listen to the lively discussion on

Friday, September 27, 2013

More "Free Speech" on Facebook

A couple of days ago I saw the picture posted below pop up on my Facebook news feed. Understandably I was repulsed by this and immediately reported it as hate speech via the report function that Facebook provides. I was convinced that after reading numerous articles over the summer concerning Facebook's commitment to take rape culture and gender based hate speech more seriously the image would be removed. Unfortunately, it was not. Their suggestion was that I unlike the source where this picture came from or hide their posts in my news feed. 

I let the response team know that their reaction was entirely underwhelming and inappropriate. Here is what I said:

"I have read several articles concerning your new stance on being more proactive regarding gender based hate, etc. In fact, here is a direct quote from your safety team defining inappropriate content: “content that targets women with images and content that threatens or incites gender-based violence or hate". How is a meme about raping a woman not threatening or violent towards women? I will be sharing the outcome of the reporting incident with different media outlets in an effort to raise awareness of the intolerable level of acceptance for rape culture on Facebook. As well as Facebook's unwillingness to take such disrespectful and harmful media down".

Signed, Kesley, a concerned Facebook user

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another breastfeeding ban on Facebook

Occupy Menstruation has received a 30-day Facebook block for posting a breastfeeding picture! 

But not to worry, Facebook still has Hot Teen Girls 18 New Desi BoobsTeen.Boobs,
Hot Girls Big Boobs Tits...too many to type....and plenty of porn sites where the girls look waaaay under 18! 

Occupy Menstruation  is a wonderful reference page for women and girls all over the world, providing critical information about our bodies.  The same admin also runs Journey Of Young Women and Boys Mentorship Collaborative. Since she was personally given a 30 day ban, those sites are also effectively out of commission.

 In solidarity please share as much as you can from here pages in the coming weeks.

You can also share this meme, which is posted here for your convenience:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Women and Girls Speak on Social Networks: The Good, The Bad, and the Horrifying

I am thrilled to announce today that I am joining Trista Hendren, author, innovator, and tireless advocate for women’s and girl’s rights worldwide. Together we are launching Women and Girls Speak on Social Networks: the good, the bad, and the horrifying.

This is a forum and safe place for women and girls to write about their experiences on social networks and a place where they may find the support, help, and insight to deal with these experiences.
Social networks can be a curse and/or a blessing. Their impact on the daily lives of women and girls worldwide is of the utmost concern.

We are interested in how you have used Social Networks to advance causes for women and girls, human rights and other social justice issues. We are also interested in finding solutions for the growing harassment of women and girls online as well as the proliferation of child pornography and other images that demean women and children.

Trista and I will be writing this column weekly and we invite your feedback. You are invited to write to us so your voices are heard, your words understood, and your ideas taken seriously.

With this forum you can impact the lives of women and girls worldwide. The Social Network Show will be able to raise your ideas, and your concerns into topics with our anchor/host Dr. J.

~ Jim Nico

Friday, September 20, 2013

Facebook Apologizes for Dating Ad Featuring Photo of Rehtaeh Parsons

Until yesterday morning, Facebook was running two ads for a Canadian dating site, both of which featured photos of Rehtaeh Parsons, a 17-year-old who committed suicide after she was allegedly gang raped by four boys who then circulated photos of the assault online. "Find Love in Canada!" read each ad, over a photograph of the deceased teenager's face — photos that were distributed at vigils following her tragic death.

After seeing the Tweets, Rehtaeh's father Glen Canning wrote a blog post entitled "Possibly the Worst Facebook Ad Ever":

Perhaps it’s not the worst ad ever but certainly it’s the worst ad I will ever see. It’s bad enough my daughter Rehtaeh died following months of torment and that her sexual assault was immortalized with a photograph, but to see an ad on Facebook using her image is beyond words. What a sickening thing to do! ... There she was, smiling, and being used yet again.

At first I thought it could be a simple mistake but what would the chances of that be, given two images were used? Once maybe, twice has to be intentional. I quickly thought of the marketing some pop stars do before they release a new song and how it’s believed even bad press is good press — so do something outrageous. Would someone do something like this for hits on a web site? Sure they would. It happens all the time.

Whether using the image of a sexual assault victim was intentional or not, the publicity backfired hugely: Facebook promptly removed the advertisements. In a statement, a Facebook spokesman wrote, "This is an extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image from the internet and using it in their ad campaign. This is a gross violation of our ad policies and we have removed the ad and permanently deleted the advertiser's account. We apologise for any harm this caused."

I would say that this displays an abysmal amount of (quite possibly accidental) bad taste, but I don't want to minimize the offense by even associating it with decency. As Jamie Peck points out at the Gloss, it's likely that the ad arose from "a bot programmed to comb the internet for words like “girl,” “Canada,” and “sex,” then post whatever photos resulted." However, regardless of intent, the harm is still significant: at best, these dating ads are a reminder of the ghastly exploitation of a teenage girl who was traumatized because of photographs that were circulated without her permission or consent. At worst, they're a reification of it.

Read full article

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Social Network Show features Rapebook

"Trista Hendren, Co-Founder of Rapebook and Senthil Srinivasan, Founder of Two brave pioneers bring the spirit of safety, justice, and courage to The Social Network Show with anchor and host, Dr. J.

Trista Hendren had the courage to take on those that defile women and girls on social networks and courageously set up Rapebook on Facebook, in spite of hundreds of abusive links, and messages by her attackers, including rape and death threats."

Listen to the interview here: