Facebook has come under great pressure and scrutiny for not banning and removing a page which belittles and, some believe,even advocates the rape of women. The page, called, ”You know she’s playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway“, has been “liked” by 201,584 people. The title of the group itself implies the woman in question is not consenting to the advances being made upon her but the man thinks it’s a game thus implying sexual assault.
Victim support groups of rape victims have described this page, and the fact that Facebook has failed to remove it, as “disgusting” and they are not the only ones who find it outrageous. Companies and businesses whose adverts have been shown on the page have demanded they be removed as they do not want to be associated with such vile groups or be seen to be endorsing them in anyway. Sony, American Express and BlackBerry being some of the companies who refuse to have their adverts put on the page.
Victim support groups and charities for victims of sexual assault do say that this group breaks Facebooks terms and conditions which read as: ”You will not post content that is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence”.
Right To Freedom Of Expression Offers Itself To Offense
Facebook disagrees and say that people have the right to freedom of expression online and taking offense to something is not the same as the rules being broken. In a statement to the BBC, a Facebook spokesman said,
“It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining, just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook,” ~Courtesy of BBC Online
Is Facebook Right To Leave It Up?
Freedom of expression and speech is a core human right and so it should be. The admins of this group have the right to think what they like, they even say on the page, “i d[o] not support rape this group doesnt bbc are obviously made up or a bunch of bored house wifes who like to target this to fill there time”. But Facebook is also a business and the biggest social network in the world and with that comes strict responsibility. For victims of such attacks, this sort of page is hard to accept and cope with and thus does incite violence and hatefulness to them as individuals. And that is the problem. Being offended is subjective and this can result in feeling violated and threatened. Maybe there is no right or wrong and Facebook is stuck between a rock and hard place. Freedom of expression versus morals and socially acceptable behavior. Would be good to hear your thoughts.
~Articles mentioned in this post:
~Image source top left: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mellyjean