Courtesy of xojane‘s Jodi Savitz, the feminist writer has this morning penned an article where she specifically takes Mark Zuckerberg founder of Facebook to task for having recently taken down ‘lesbian photos‘ that she had posted on Facebook.
Tells the author after struggling to understand why the Facebook page had suddenly been taken down (it is not clear how long the page existed for) after some cursory investigation:
Then it popped up: the little screen indicating that you’ve done something clearly unacceptable. “We removed this from Facebook because it violates our Community Standards.”
Savitz begins an investigation as to whether somehow Facebook had made an error, whether there had been an offending nipple (no such image had been posted except that is for two women in lingerie kissing) before deciding that face book’s ‘strict policy’ was something bordering on ‘legal parody.’
From there the author created a notification page in which she directs her rage at Facebook’s decision to bring down the fan book page.
Tells the message: Dear Facebook,
Today you banned and removed this photo of two women in bed kissing. You also threatened to permanently delete our LGBTQ positive fan page. We at Girl on Girl demand to know why!
The photo is not pornographic. It is beautiful. It does not depict nudity. It depicts love.
Our community matters, our 117K fans matter, LGBTQ victims of harassment and bullying matter.
We deserve more from Facebook than homophobic censorship.
Restore this photo and stop threatening our page.
Are you a girl on girl fan?
Please share and tweet this photo using the hashtag below: #EndFacebookHomophobia
Let’s take a pause for a moment kids.
As a publisher and prolific blogger I can attest to having posted dozens of articles on my personal page as well as our site’s Facebook page of scantily clad women and men, and only once have I had Facebook ban me for 24 hours for material that a user on Facebook had complained about.
I have also portrayed images of men on men, women on women and men and women in embrace and yes I have also portrayed images of the nipple. Where I come from (sandy shores of Bondi beach, Sydney, Australia) the nipple is part of life and I don’t believe it ought to carry the loaded sexual innuendo that it does in American culture, but sadly it does.
Which brings me to the next question, how do we as a society feel about women openly displaying affection towards each other? Is that a no no, is that something that ought to emasculate us men, is it something that we as a society grapple with? Why is it that society is willing to embrace images of scantily clad men embracing each other but hesitant when women do the same?
Again let me reiterate I have posted images of all of the above and I have not experienced issues with Facebook per se except when a user complained.
Nevertheless I have experienced issues from female editors when I used to send our newsletter out who complained to our advertising partner (hurt us where it counts right?) that our articles were too ‘misogynistic‘ and offensive.
So much for freedom of thought or expression. If a woman can challenge a man’s world a man ought to be able to challenge double standards as he sees them in wider culture as well.
But let’s get back to Jodi Savitz’ dilemma. Why had her Facebook page that she had carefully rendered been taken down?
Was it an instance of facebook moderators taking exception to females embracing whilst paying scant regard when heterosexuals in flimsy repose embrace?
Could it be that easy? It is tempting to think so given our society’s tendency to judge female’s open display of affection of other females in public.
But is that what really happened here?
To find out for herself, Jodi Savitz conducts an experiment where she takes an image of two very nubile women (see directly above) making out from poker millionaire and general idiot playboy, Dan Bilzerian’s facebook page and posts the same image on the girls on girl’s Facebook page after having taken down the original image posted.
Not surprisingly Facebook doesn’t call her on it which leads to the author legitimately wondering if the display of women on women action on hetero pages is permissible where as the same on female same sex sites is a no no?
Which leads me to wonder, what about all them boy on boy fan pages, are moderators forcing risqué images off those fan pages? Probably not….
Reflects the author: ‘At worst, this inconsistency in censorship by Facebook’s monitors is consciously homophobic and discriminatory. At best, it is arbitrary.’
‘Arbitrary is not excusable. Facebook’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of their content removal bias is undeniably problematic and needs to be seriously addressed by the powers that be.’
And that Jodi Savitz is the crux of the matter, social media is in of and itself arbitrary, what will go viral or be a crowd favorite can never really be understood, although there are plenty of websites that employ algorithms to test for that.
So what do you think kids, is society ready to embrace same sex affection within social media or is social media only replicating and reflecting our disoriented and disenfranchised opinion about certain issues, which is naturally forever changing.
My advice Jodi, give it a week and try putting up the original image up again, I bet it stays up this time…