On November 2, feminist activists organized together to protest Facebook’s refusal to remove pages that contained jokes about rape and violence against women from their site. Facebook’s Terms of Service bans language that is “hateful, threatening,” or contains “graphic or gratuitous violence” — which you will quickly find out if you make a “joke” about, say, dragging a black man behind a pickup truck. And if you post pics of yourself breastfeeding or anything just “too sexy,” like Courtney Stodden did, you’re in trouble. But Facebook rationalizes that their Terms of Service doesn’t include “jokes” of hate, threats, or gratuitous violence against women — because those are joke-jokes, right, bro?
The progressive web site Change.org collected 188,000 signatures asking Facebook to ban rape jokes and jokes about violence against women. Throughout the day on November 2, activists tweeted the names of offensive pages like “We’re gonna have sex tonight” “Why?” “Because im stronger than you are” to the @Facebook handle on Twitter. And finally — finally! — Facebook listened and responded.
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