Friday, June 28, 2013

Facebook’s New Policy Erases the Ads, Not the Hate, Critics Say

Facebook is changing its review process to protect brands from having their advertising placed next to violent, sexual, or otherwise objectionable content, but critics say that the policy does not go far enough to remove the content altogether.

Starting Monday, Facebook will implement a new review policy for deciding which Pages and groups will be eligible to have advertising appear on the right side of the page next to their content, which the company outlined in a newsroom post earlier today. “In order to be thorough, this review process will be manual at first, but in the coming weeks, we will build a more scalable, automated way to prevent and/or remove ads appearing next to controversial content,” the post explained.

I think they are still missing the point entirely,” said Trista Hendren, author of The Girl God, in an email. “There are still a lot of pages that just should not be up on Facebook whatsoever. This statement may make advertisers feel a bit better, but I wouldn’t spend a dime on Facebook knowing that they are a leading platform for human trafficking - which primarily consists of children. Whether or not an advertisement appears next to these pages does not mean that the violence against women and girls on Facebook has been addressed adequately. It does not diminish what their advertising dollars are still paying for.”

Hendren had tried using a Facebook Page, ”Rapebook,” to report content on the site that mocked and even glorified abuse toward women and children when she found that complaining to Facebook was not enough. But mob mentality ruled, and Hendren eventually had to remove her personal profile after receiving threats of violence from her critics, some of whom went so far as to publicly post personal information about the writer and her family.

Read full article on

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bra-Busters page removed by Facebook

The Bra-Busters page has been removed from Facebook.This is particularly distressing after their AWESOME theme day on HERSTORY yesterday.  

I believe this was the offending post:

Please protest & support their new page!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Call for Feminist Programmers!!!

If you are interested in working on building an alternative social media site without misogyny, please send an email to:

Especially needed are programmers. A few women have already written in, but more are welcome. If you have any skills you think would be useful in developing a social media platform, send in an email with details. Mention who you are and what skills you have.

Elephant Journal Blocked for Posting Hafiz

Facebook took down Elephant Journal's Page because they posted this:

What do sad people have in common?
It seems they have all built a shrine to the past
And often go there and do a strange wail and worship.
What is the beginning of happiness?
It is to stop being so religious
Like That.

~ Hafiz

Scary stuff, eh?  So happy to see Facebook is tackling the hard stuff, while the incest pages stay up.


Good news! Upon examination (and after 18 hours and dozens of emails) Facebook just admitted they’d flubbed and restored all access for elephant. (We’re waiting for most of our admins to be granted access once again to their own profiles, pages, friends.) We’re exhausted and just spent a day paying to work on well, nothing productive.

Losing our access to our Facebook pages? No big deal–just sets me and elephant back three years, block the accounts of 20 volunteer admins who didn’t do anything wrong, result in losing 60% of our readers and revenues, forcing layoffs and probably foreclosure, again–unless I get assurance this won’t happen again (unless we actually violate their guidelines), which we would never want to do, well, Facebook effectively holds the keys to our business and our mission. ~ ed.

See post on Elephant Journal

Monday, June 10, 2013

Kids raped, sodomized on Facebook pages

Just came across this article yesterday. It is from May 2012, but it's still relevant.  The sad thing, nothing has changed.

Bombshell! America's favorite social network is a child-predator playground

HUGE TRIGGER WARNING - the pictures are blurred for the most part but disturbing.  This is part one of a series.

I looked up a few incest pages to see if they're still there - and then I just had to stop.

Incest family 47,000+ likes

Interest: Incest 132,000+ likes

Incest with Sister 19,000+ likes

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Internet companies summoned by UK govt for June 17 meeting to ban rape and child porn

LONDON: Internet companies like Google and Facebook have been summoned by British prime minister David Cameron for a "council of war" meeting to find ways of battling child and rape porn.

Cameron said it sickens him to see the internet full of child abuse images and rape pornography which is perverting people watching them to carry out the acts in real life.

Cameron on the June 17 meeting will exert pressure on the companies to do more in order to clean up the internet.

Research by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) has suggested that more than half of those who view child abuse images end up committing abuse themselves.

Recent research found that, of the top 50 accessible 'rape porn' sites found through a Google search, 78% advertise content depicting simulated rape of under 18 year olds (eg "schoolgirl rape").

Of the top 10 Google search results for 'free porn' half the websites host free rape pornography. Sites include terms like 'brutal rape', 'real rape' and 'savage rape' in their web addresses.

UK last month saw the arrest and conviction of Mark Bridger for the murder of five-year-old April Jones. Police investigating the crime recovered 65 criminal abuse images from his computer.

Cameron said "I am sickened by the proliferation of child pornography. It pollutes the internet, twists minds and is quite simply a danger to children. Internet companies and search engines make their living by trawling and categorising the web. So I call on them to use their extraordinary technical abilities to do more to root out these disgusting images". He added "That is why the government is convening a roundtable of the major internet companies, and demanding that more is done. The time for excuses and blame is over - we must all work together. The safety of our children is at stake and nothing matters more than that".

Organisation like Rape Crisis South London, supported by Rape Crisis (England and Wales) and 100 others have written to the prime minister Minister urging him to urgently close a loophole in the extreme pornography legislation in UK which permits the possession of pornography depicting rape.

The letter to Cameron draws attention to the fact that the possession of rape pornography is already criminalised in Scotland where law-makers took its harm into account when legislating.

Research conducted by Rape Crisis South London into freely available online 'rape porn' found descriptions including 'young schoolgirls abducted and cruelly raped. Hear her screams'; 'little schoolgirl raped by teacher'; 'tiny girl sleep rape'; and 'girl raped at gunpoint'.

The letter cites the recent report of the Children's Commissioner on young people's, especially boys', exposure to pornography and its links to harmful attitudes and behaviours.

Professor Clare McGlynn of Durham University, an expert in this area of law, said the extreme pornography legislation is in urgent need of reform.

"The current law excludes the vast majority of pornographic images of rape. This is not a simplistic argument about rape pornography causing rape. It is undeniable that the proliferation and tolerance of such images and the messages they convey contributes to a cultural climate where sexual violence is condoned".

Times of India
by Kounteya Sinha, TNN | Jun 9, 2013, 08.00 PM IST

Friday, June 7, 2013

Rapebook: An Interview with Author and Activist Trista Hendren

I first learned of your work because I was concerned about misogyny on Facebook, and read Elizabeth Plank’s article about it. She referenced Rapebook, the page you created to fight rape culture on Facebook. What type of content did Rapebook catalog and flag?

Our primary concern was pictures that depicted young girls and violence against women. As we got into it, there were many things I just wish I had never seen. The prevalence of pornography – including child pornography – on Facebook is just huge. Those are things that we could not of course re-post. So a lot of our work was under the radar.

We were criticized that some of the things we posted were really “not that big of a deal.” I think it’s really important to note that what we felt we could post ethically as opposed to what we actually saw ourselves and tried to deal with amongst ourselves were two very different things. One admin in particular was singled out in a horrible way. They even went after her 12-year-old daughter. That particular admin was really the backbone of the page in the last months, and we all owe her an enormous amount of gratitude.

I’m really glad you asked me about Rapebook because you’ve given me the opportunity to acknowledge all the other people who remain nameless who worked so tirelessly on that page.

When did you begin Rapebook, and how long was the page active?

I had written several articles about Facebook in November of last year with little or no response. We started organizing feminist administrators both on and off Facebook to get ourselves better organized to act on these issues.

I started Rapebook with a collective of women in a fit of frustration later that year. It really was done ever so quickly. In retrospect, we should have used “Stop Rapebook” which is actually how our Facebook web address reads, but it grew so fast we never had time to change it. There was a lot of confusion around the page; I think there still is.

The page was active for 4-5 months and had many different women (and men) working on it at various stages. The work was abusive. I often said it was like agreeing to be punched in the face all day. So women came in and out as they were able to and helped and our male partners really helped tremendously at the end to keep it going.

What response, if any, did you receive from Facebook’s leadership when you confronted them with the racist, sexist, violent, and illegal content on their site?

Facebook was always very responsive and professional – I will give them that. But in terms of action, the word impotent comes to mind. Yes, this is offensive, even horrible – but we can’t stop free speech.

What response, if any, has Facebook leadership given concerning the reasons for removing and blocking content that shows women’s bodies breastfeeding, or female anatomy for educational purposes?

They always said it was a “mistake”. I find that hard to believe since it happens so consistently.

You and the other Rapebook administrators are no longer maintaining the page because you received death and rape threats. What lessons have you learned from this experience, both personally and politically?

We actually stayed on after the death threats, which I am not sure many people know. I wanted to get off then, but it was a collective. The other admins felt strongly that we must keep fighting and not be forced off. In retrospect, I’m glad that we stayed.

The reason that we did log off was that it began to affect all of our health. I was the sickest I have ever been for about 2 weeks. One admin started throwing up all the time. It was really disgusting work. And, we just began to think, why are we devoting all our efforts on a volunteer basis to do work that Facebook – with billions of dollars – should be taking care of?

It was a never-ending shit workload. The harder we worked, the more we found. It was impossible for us to keep up—and we began to question whether we were even making a difference.

We felt we would make more of a statement by posting a final letter and leaving the page up on our own terms.

Although Rapebook is now inactive, you and others continue working for change; for example, a group of concerned activists has started the #FBRape Twitter campaign to inform companies about where their ads appear on Facebook. What do you think is our most effective means of fighting violence against women in social media?

I think #FBrape is the most effective campaign we have seen to-date. We are constantly learning how to do this. I learned a lot through Rapebook and some of that has informed this campaign.

My personal opinion is that I don’t want to be on a site that promotes rape and violence against women. I think there is a lot of bad energy on Facebook and it’s not where I want to spend my time.

I believe the best method would be for women to leave Facebook in masse. However, almost no one is willing to do that.

That said, I am very supportive of all the campaigns going on against Facebook because there are a tremendous amount of young people that are affected by this. What’s on Facebook reflects our society at large and I think we need to come out forcefully and say, NO MORE.

That said, I don’t have strong hopes that Facebook will change after working on this for so long. My kids will never have an account on Facebook. We are probably in the minority – we don’t have a TV either. There are not many things that I am strict with my kids on, but this is one of them. Too many kids are bullied. Too many girls have killed themselves. I have just seen too many awful things on Facebook for me to ever consider letting my babies go on that site.

Excerpt from An Interview with Author and Activist Trista Hendren

Admin Melissa weighs in:

I am the admin with the 12 year old daughter being referred to in the first answer about ‘Rapebook’

”We were criticized that some of the things we posted were really “not that big of a deal.” ”
The acceptable sexism because there is no rape, killing and beating involved in it, vs the not acceptable sexism… One has to wonder how it got so far, that there is in fact sexism which is considered normal and within decency limits. I suppose it was the rape, killing and beating that made women and others prioritize in this way, because it is not worth risking being killed or beaten to object to verbal damage to the female reputation and status. We can have free speech, so long as we keep things that are “not that big of a deal.” to ourselves, otherwise we will receive death and rape threats to warn us that we have been saying things again, which are “not that big of a deal.”. Sometimes, I am tempted to abandon all feminism which does not apply to me directly, because it is not a big deal to so many others, even women. It seems so easy to run my own life, and keep patriarchy somewhat out, but when others get involved, the idea that one can live without patriarchy directly in ones family life causes situations like aggressive arguments and more recently death threats come along to oppose me.

”Those are things that we could not of course re-post. So a lot of our work was under the radar.”

And, there were the things we knew, but could not always prove. And, also facebook thought sometimes that removing some content by certain types of people was the problem solved. We know it wasn’t solved, as the hate mobs and their massive networks of followers were still allowed to remain on facebook, minus one or two memes.

The following is what I wrote, about some of the attacks on us, and the ‘Rapebook’ page, by these mobs. Note, the content of these blog is only some of what happened to us and our page.

Monday, June 3, 2013

How to Report Offensive Content that is still up on Facebook

New from WAM!
We've clarified the new/current procedure for what to do about content that violates FB's ToS that remains up on Facebook. Please take a look, follow the instructions and send on what you've got to the indicated emails. Depending on the volume of reports we get, this may be an ongoing procedure, or it may change in the short term, in which case, we'll be sure to let you know. Thanks!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Global Alliance against Minor Exploitation (G.A.M.E.) Open Letter To Facebook, the international media, NGO's and the general public

I/We the undersigned on this day, 1 June 2013, International Children's Day, declare as follows:

Facebook is rife with child sexual abuse material and child exploitation material as well as the stalking, harassment and bullying of minors, which leads to daily actual physical abuse by online sexual predators and groomers luring minors for meet-ups, suicide by teens due to the cyber-bullying, and further with an explosion of child sexual predators collecting and sharing sexually suggestive images and videos of teens in sexualized poses or in undressed states, and making comments of a lewd and sexual nature towards these images of minors.

Facebook hosts thousands of pages and profiles set up for the exclusive intent of collecting vast albums of images of teens and preteens of a sexual nature and encouraging or promoting further sexualization of the said images through allowing lewd and lascivious comments with the intent of sexual arousal or distributing child sexual exploitation content, providing a platform for online grooming of children and finally constituting a permanent re-victimisation of the depicted child.

Facebook hosts pages and profiles on their servers containing indecent and sexually-provocative images of minors yet refuses to remove them.

Pages and groups with names in various languages, such as "07 to 21 year old gays and bisexuals of Mexico", "Sexy Minors of ...", "Boys nudity", "Sexy Teens 13 to 19 Only", "Sexy Milf's and Teens", "Only for boys 11-15", "Sexy People Pre-teens", an Interest list called "pthc, lolicon, toddlercon", "Pies de niños de 13 a 19 años" ( a teen foot fetish group) and thousands of other similar pages, profiles and groups where predators, groomers and pedophiles operate with impunity.

Comments of a lewd and sexual nature towards minors flood these pages. Requests for XXX kids videos and email addresses offered for sending child pornography can be found all over, adults requesting videocam chat with young teens abound, yet Facebook denies it has a problem with child exploitation.

Comments by adults found on just one of the above pages: "seeking children with passive webcam", "I looking for gay boy. Nice add me ", "my mail is ....... and .... that one last belongs to the skype ok there is we will be able to change photo and boy's videos of more than 12 years ok order me photo or video like that that you neis photo and boy's video of more than 12 years and or I add my group ok", "any one who wants to trade kids videos".

Facebook refuses to acknowledge the existence of these problems and mass reporting fails to remove 99% of such content.
Facebook refuses to address the above issues in a legal, moral or socially-responsible manner.

Facebook refuses to remove the above content in a timely and proactive manner.

Facebook refuses to implement an adequate reporting system for above content.

I/We the undersigned therefore demand Facebook institutes a zero-tolerance policy against any and all minor exploitation content of any nature, child sexual predators and groomers, and child stalkers, bullying and harassment of minors, as well as any and all content and activity leading to abuse, exploitation or victimization of minors.

I/We the undersigned further ask of the international media to fully investigate Facebook's current policies and practices of allowing said content and their inaction in escalating multiple reports by the general public of said content for immediate removal.

I/We the undersigned further request all NGO's, civic groups, activists and community leaders involved in the fight against child abuse or the promotion of child safety to join this campaign to ensure a safe online environment for minors on social networks.

I/We the undersigned lastly require the advertisers using the Facebook network to promote their products and services to demand Facebook reviews current policies and implementation and add a clause to advertising contracts that any and all instances of child exploitation, grooming, harassment and bullying shall be removed immediately on receipt of report, with failure to comply resulting in withdrawal of advertising campaigns.

Facebook shall act accordingly without further delay, and with the following proactive measures:

1. Acknowledge the severity of the child abuse, grooming, exploitation and harassment on their site and respectfully cooperate with all those working hard to stop it.

2. Incorporate a priority child abuse report function either integrated into existing report system or as a standalone page similar to reporting under-age profiles or convicted sex offenders.

3. Set up a dedicated Safety Team, adequately staffed, at Facebook HQ manning report stations 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

4. Immediately remove any and all content reported based on the above, and on receipt of ONE report, eliminating the potential for further sharing.

5. Classify all pages, groups and profiles sharing sexually suggestive content of minors under the age of 18 as child exploitation and their immediate removal.

6. The immediate removal of profiles making sexual or lewd comments towards minors displayed on pages, profiles and groups which collect images of teens in sexual poses or semi dressed or share content of or relating to minors.

7. Accept the policy that a minor is a person under the age of 18 according to UN convention and child pornography does not have to include nudity.

8. Improved training for team members who review reports to fall in line with all legal, social and moral responsibilities.

9. Implement the same policy as for hate pages that requires questionable pages of sexual content to publicly attach the personal accounts of all page managers and content creators.

10. Cooperate with activists and child safety groups who work on identifying exploitation and reporting to Facebook and immediately remove content when made aware of such.

To date, hundreds of thousands of Facebook users and members of the general public have signed several online petitions calling for a socially and morally responsible network which puts its under-aged users above financial concerns. However, Facebook has turned a deaf ear.

It is time that Facebook steps forward and bluntly acknowledges the issue and takes responsibility for the gross failure to keep minors safe on Facebook. There are daily reports all over the world in the media of minors being harassed, bullied to suicide, lured from their homes via Facebook by predators and murdered, and child pornography going viral in many cases.

Facebook encourages, promotes and fosters a culture of disrespect, abuse and exploitation of not only women, but also minors of all ages.

Freedom of Speech is not a universal right. There are exceptions, namely obscenity and child pornography, both of which according to 18 U.S.C. § 2256(2) and the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals' interpretation of which includes "tending to excite lust; lewd; indecent; obscene; sexual impurity; tending to deprave the morals in respect to sexual relations." as far as minors are concerned.

Facebook, it is time to start doing the right thing and protect those who are most vulnerable without any further delay or excuses.

The international community, your subscribers, expect it.

The Global Alliance against Minor Exploitation (G.A.M.E.)