I am posting today as part of a global initiative in protest of Facebook’s approach to the violent, misogynistic, and often illegal content that it has allowed to exist on its’ pages for too long. You might have read the open letter that a group of activists recently sent to Facebook asking them to address rape culture on the social networking site; you might also have read that Facebook has acknowledged that they’ve tolerated hate speech toward girls and women, and will take some steps to address it. Despite Facebook’s acknowledgement, this global protest is taking place as planned. Here are the words of Trista Hendren, one of the movement’s leaders, explaining why we are moving forward:
“The issue with Facebook has been going on for years. Had it been a priority, they would have fixed it already. In my dialogue with Facebook over the last 6 months or so, I was told many times that they were ‘working on it.’
There is nothing going on here that they were not already aware of. And as far as I can tell, many of the offensive pages and pictures still remain on their site.
We can’t risk the life of another teenage girl based on Facebook’s promise to do something different.”
For the next three days, May 29-31, we will be changing our Facebook profile pictures to the image above in protest of Facebook’s tolerance of rape culture, as well as writing and tweeting about it. If you don’t know much about this issue, please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with both the content we are protesting and Facebook’s responses to previous protests. The images and messages in support of rape and violence against women and girls that Facebook has allowed to stand (in the name of “humor”) are sickening. They contribute, in a very real and concrete way, to what happened in Steubenville, OH. They promote—even celebrate—a culture in which women and girls are disposable. This, my friends, is a human rights issue of grand proportions.
Here are some resources:
- Trista’s post: Enough is enough
- List of articles detailing problems at Facebook
- Links to Open Letters
I’m asking you to do what you can to spread the word—change your profile picture, share the information on your Facebook page, tweet, and raise awareness. The lives and bodies of women and girls around the globe are at stake.