Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Why Is Facebook Pro-RAPE? And What Is Mark Zuckerberg's Defence of Pro-Rape Facebook Pages and Groups?

image of Founder and CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, is from here

My own awareness of this matter was due to the following Facebook page:!/event.php?eid=106807292708162

I want to thank the organiser of that page and all its members for supporting this effort to hold Facebook accountable to its own policies and stated values and practices.

What appears next is a cross post from the blog Jezebel (to link back, please click on the title just below). Following that, are comments from me and others calling for direct action to various Facebook email addresses.

Facebook Allows "Pro-Rape, Anti-Consent" Group To Stay On The Site For Months

A group of students, both past and present, of the all-male St. Paul's College at Sydney University, decided to create a pro-rape Facebook page called "Define Statutory" that reportedly was allowed to stay up on the site for several months.

The site, which went up in August, was shut down recently, but Reverend David Russell, an outgoing master at Wesley College, tells the Sydney Morning Herald that the Facebook page is simply an encapsulation of the rape culture that has pervaded the campus for some time. "This is a story that has to be told," Russell says, "there is no question in my mind, women are seen as meat. That is the awful, ugly truth of it.''

The site has already been condemned by the University, the New South Wales Police sex crimes unit, and the New South Wales Rape Crisis Centre, and New South Wales Minister for Women, Linda Burney, rightly tells ABC Australia that "The idea that a group of young men that are going to become leaders within our community - leaders in the law, leaders in medicine, leaders in business - studying at an elite college, at an elite university, think it's OK to post information like this encouraging rape on a website is absolutely abhorrent.

The question that remains, however, is why Facebook allowed a pro-rape group to exist on the service to begin with. This is a social networking site that refuses to let women post pictures of themselves breastfeeding, mind you, but it's okay to make a "hilarious" pro-rape group in the "Sports and Recreation" category? The group was public, by the way, accessible to anyone and visible to all. Interesting, isn't it, that in the eyes of Facebook, a woman shouldn't be allowed to show her breasts while feeding her child, but it's perfectly acceptable for men to make a highly public "sport" out of rape.

Detective Superintendent John Kerlatec of the New South Wales Police sex crimes squad tells the Herald that "this is the first occasion I have heard of a Facebook site being set up to promote, or publicise ... sexual assault or any other behaviour that is criminal behaviour.'' Something tells me that it won't be the last, unless Facebook starts paying as much attention to the rape culture brewing on the boards as they do to pictures of new mothers just trying to feed their kids.

Pro-Rape Facebook Group Condemned [The Australian Broadcasting Corporation]
Facebook And Sexual Violence, Assault [Sydney Morning Herald]
Facebook's Breastfeeding Ban [LATimes]

My attention was brought to this matter because of this webpage calling for a protest of pro-rape Facebook pages and groups:!/event.php?eid=106807292708162

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I recommend sending letters/emails to Facebook with similar messages as the one below, to the following addresses:

To all Facebook rule and code enforcers, policy setters, and assessors of abuse and threats,

According to your own stated policies, this page and many other active pages on Facebook like it, violate your terms and policies.

This page: It isn't r.a.p.e.... It's SURPRISE SEX. (:!/pages/It-isnt-rape-Its-SURPRISE-SEX-/106823992684587?ref=ts

has been up since March 31, 2010. If that doesn't strike you as pro-rape, how about these comments by users on Facebook?

"i prefer rape with machetes"
"sneak attack rape is the way to go"
"hands up if you like rape".
raping and pillaging
raping bitches
it's not R A P E if you yell "surprise!"
It's not R A P E if you like it ;)
Its not ràpe if you yell surprise!

I am writing to ask you to take these and related pro-rape comments and pages down because they violate the terms of service, and you clearly stated policies.

Rape isn't a joke, it's a trauma, and for all the many survivors on Facebook, it is triggering to see their own trauma joked about in a social community.

You have trail-blazed a new way for people to be in contact, to stay in contact, to disseminate information no matter how banal, brilliant, or brutal.

Fortunately, you have expressed and reinforced a responsibility to maintain a safe and friendly environment that doesn't overtly infringe upon any of the rights of Facebook's staggering five hundred million users.

Within Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, within the Safety sub-category, you have listed three relevant responsibilities or statements:

You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence;

You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory;

You will not facilitate or encourage any violations of this Statement.

Moreover, in order to report a page, group, image or person, etc, it must meet a list of criteria which includes Racist/Hate speech, direct call for violence and/or excessive gore or violent content.

Many community members have borne witness to a series of pages, groups, etc, that are egregiously breaking these policies and in general, promoting reprehensible agendas that are threatening the proposed safe & friendly community that Facebook is supposed to be, including white supremacist groups, pro-racism groups, and pro-misogyny groups.

With particular attention to the Facebook group: It isn't r.a.p.e.... It's SURPRISE SEX. (:  I offer additional information:

Within that group exists a number of comments I will also bring to your attention in order to properly demonstrate the hostile and aggressive content within this group:

"i prefer the term struggle cuddle"

"Is surprise buttsecks in this same category?"

"IT'S SURPRISE SEX TIME! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D", "I actually prefer rape." These comments go on and on.

"Rape" is another group, with the following comments littered throughout the wall, "i prefer rape with machetes", "sneak attack rape is the way to go", "hands up if you like rape".

The following groups or pages should be moved by nature of their titles alone:
raping and pillaging
raping b*tches
it's not R A P E if you
yell "surprise!"
It's not R A P E if you like it ;)
Its not ràpe if
you yell surprise!
it isnt rape, its suprise sex :O.

Among those groups, pages, and public comments are thousands of callous, pro-hostility/sexual aggression Facebook users who find the promotion of rape and violence against women to be a course of humor primarily.

The reality, prevalence, and consequences of rape make it about as funny as genocide and mass starvation.

Here are some numbers and facts that aren't funny:

One in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime in the U.S.

One in THREE Native American women are raped primarily by white men who don't live where they live. White men come onto reservation land, or procure Native American women living on the street in urban areas.

One in four traditional college-age students will be sexually assaulted, with a female student's first year in college being the year she is most

Every three minutes someone in the U.S is sexually assaulted.

At least 80% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.

Only 6% of rapists will ever spend a day in jail, and with our classist and racist judicial system, that means
white wealthy men rarely get time for raping anyone.

Over 80% of women with disabilities will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime.

Assuming you welcome and appreciate these populations of people being part of the Facebook community, why would you wish to support and endorse--by leaving up--Facebook pages which mock their assault and trauma and and create a grossly callous and contemptuous social environment, especially towards women generally?

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I appreciate you attending to this matter.