Fighting Against the Threats of Pornography

Should We Cheer Facebook for Doing Today What Ought to Have Been Done Years Ago?

The headlines on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 read:

“Facebook is cracking down on revenge porn.”

Well, it's about time!  While we are excited that Facebook is taking this baby step, we also call on Facebook to do more and to do it sooner rather than later!

Let's break this down:

  • Facebook is “Cracking down.”  While, the 'flagging' mechanism on Facebook is now the tool to use for this horrific situation, the investigative methods of Facebook have never been entirely transparent and, quite frankly, are not necessarily administered without partiality.  In fact, they can't be.   The “cracking down” piece of this whole thing may not “crack” much at all.
  • Revenge Porn. This type of porn is defined as the non-consensual sharing of photos.  This could literally be any photo shared without prior knowledge.  Is this not already illegal?   Do they mean nude shots?  Do they mean shots of the sex act?  Do they mean photos of an intimate meal together? So, we ask Facebook to put an end to all porn on Facebook, regardless of how one qualifies it!
  • To Build a Safer Community. This, they say, is their goal.  Again, we applaud the sentiment, but if this were truly their goal, then would parameters not have been set in place at the outset of Facebook's meteoric rise?  Indeed, it seems that Facebook's primary goal is profit.  They've shown no real interest in the 'good of the community' in the past, often (with cowardice) hiding behind the protections of the First Amendment.

We ask you, Facebook: “Why are you just now taking action so many years after realizing there is a problem?”  We have laws on the books, in over 30 states, against revenge porn.  And, though the laws are not consistently applied, their presence represents action against this crime.  Yes, it’s a criminal activity.

We further know that somewhere around 2,000 porn sites are dedicated to revenge porn sites.  Studies reveal that 93% of revenge porn victims suffer significant loss in every meaningful area of life: emotional, financial, occupational, etc. 

That’s NINE out of TEN.

All of this data (only the tip of the iceberg) begs a question: Would not ALL porn that's shared on Facebook be considered non-consensual, revenge porn?

After all, porn-for-profit is, by its very nature, non-consensual.  Full consent implies freedom of consent that cannot (ever!) be full when someone profits (gains) off of another's loss.

Let's face it #Facebook, it's taken too long for you to behave in a way that's simply civil.  

That's right.  This action is the least you should have done.  

It's the bare minimum requirement a civil society ought to expect of the institutions that shape and mold its culture.

My final word to all the executives of Facebook: Your money-making machine was built on a system of shame and sexual abuse, and exploitation (just study the history).  As such, you and all the decision-makers are complicit in the destabilization of society we've experience on your watch.  Yet, you can reverse the course.  You can stem the tide.  You can do more.  You must do more.

If you, and businesses like you, don't start to take these problems seriously, then we and others like us will! 

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