A ranty, funny, dead-serious intersectional feminist blog.

#FBrape: We’re Holding Facebook Accountable. Join Us.



From the official WAM statement:

Last Tuesday, Women, Action & the Media, the Everyday Sexism Project and author/activist Soraya Chemaly launched a campaign to call on Facebook to take concrete, effective action to end gender-based hate speech on its site. Since then, participants sent over 60,000 tweets and 5000 emails, and our coalition has grown to over 100 women’s movement and social justice organizations.

Today, we are pleased to announce that Facebook has responded with a important commitment to refine its approach to hate speech. Facebook has admirably done more than most other companies to address this topic in regards to content policy. In a statement released today, Facebook addressed our concerns and committed to evaluating and updating its policies, guidelines and practices relating to hate speech, improving training for its content moderators and increasing accountability for creators of misogynist content.

Facebook has also invited Women, Action & the Media, The Everyday Sexism Project and members of our coalition to contribute to these efforts and be part of an ongoing conversation. As part of these efforts, we will work closely with Facebook on the issue of how Community Standards around hate speech are evaluated and to ensure best practices represent the interests of our coalition.

For details regarding Facebook’s response, please visit here.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped. Let’s all get involved in this conversation and keep them honest, shall we?

Read the New York Times editorial.

NOTE: Trigger warnings for rape, abuse, racism, and corporate assholery. Also, this post is updated regularly with news, FAQ, and new action items. See large headers throughout the article.

It’s gone on far too long. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Facebook’s wacky double-standard (triple? quadruple?) that says this is not ok:

But then, this happens:

Trigger warning: violence against women.

Trigger warning: violence against women.

The woman behind Rapebook did her best, but eventually had to give up the fight because she’d been targeted with rape and death threats and she has a family to think about.

Now Women, Action, and the Media has teamed up with The Everyday Sexism Project and writer/activist Soraya Chemaly to launch the #FBrape campaign to hold Facebook’s feet to the fire by targeting their advertisers (and in turn, holding their feet to the fire). Make Me a Sammich signed on to the Open Letter to Facebook, and I’ve been tweeting about this all week (along with thousands of others), and some companies have responded. Some have pulled their ads. Others have made excuses.

Today I received a letter from WAM founder and activist dynamo Jaclyn Friedman alerting signatories that today is especially important:

We’re writing because today is a KEY day in our campaign. We can tell you that we’re currently in conversation with Facebook, and they’re considering their response. We also know that several of the companies we’re targeting are in “crisis mode” from all the backlash they’ve received, and are putting enormous pressure on Facebook to end this soon. We believe that if we make today our biggest day yet, we could have a real win on our hands.

Loyal readers and friends, I need you to join me in making today count. Take action on the action page, thank advertisers who opted to do the right thing by women and pressure the ones who did not on the follow-up page. Share this post with your networks. Share my Facebook post. Retweet Jenn Pozner’s tweet.

This is a golden opportunity to make some real, positive change. I’m not going to kid myself that if we lose this battle, we’re all giving up Facebook. That doesn’t work for at least two reasons: 1) We all rely on the communities we have built on Facebook and I, for one, won’t abandon mine; 2) This fight, as Soraya Chemaly pointed out on Twitter recently, is partly about public spaces and the fact that women shouldn’t have to remove themselves from such spaces to feel safe.

But I’m in this to win. I hope you’ll join me.


Wait, what? I haven’t seen any of these “rape pages”  and  I don’t believe Facebook would EVER allow the sort of thing you’re describing!

Here are some VERY GRAPHIC examples of the pages and images Facebook has deemed acceptable.

Here is an example of a VERY GRAPHIC page a user reported, and the response they received from Facebook. This is the standard response those of us who report these images receive from Facbook. That’s why we’re making all this noise.

Why are you targeting advertisers? Facebook needs to change. Target them!

This fight has been ongoing for several years, and Facebook claims that they are doing everything they can. And yet, reporting pages depicting violence against women results in this statement again and again:

But advertisers can’t choose which pages their ads appear on, can they?

No, they can’t. So the only way to make Facebook take this seriously is for those companies to take violence against women seriously enough to pull their ads if Facebook won’t fix this.

Read WAM’s FAQ with lots more information.

UPDATE: 3/27: Dear Zappos – You Get an F

Yesterday I sent this tweet to @ZapposStyle [TW]:

Screen shot 2013-05-27 at 7.52.04 AM

Today I got this response:

Screen shot 2013-05-27 at 7.55.47 AM

Screen shot 2013-05-27 at 7.57.43 AM

Seriously, Zappos? That’s still your response after all these days?

Ok, just for starters? If we weren’t at the start of this campaign (which most of us were), we’re all very well aware now of how Facebook ads work because companies like yours keep using the Facebook ad system as an excuse for the fact that you are sponsoring rape and abuse pages. Secondly, if it wasn’t clear from the previous sentence: you ARE sponsoring hate and abuse pages by continuing to give Facebook your ad dollars. It’s just not that complicated.

Look, before this campaign started, I was a customer and a fan. I bought my last pair of shoes from a Facebook ad for Zappos. But you are seriously blowing my entire image of you right now (with apologies to John Bender, but I know he’d understand). You are pouring so much money into Facebook that I can’t I refresh one of these rape pages twice without seeing at least one–sometimes two–your ads. You ARE sponsoring rape and abuse pages. You just are.

“We recommend clicking X to delete the ad.”

I dont even know where to start. How about here:

The sentence in bold type above assumes that I’m hanging out on these pages for fun, and the offensive thing is that HOLY SHIT, THERE’S A ZAPPPOS AD! QUICK, HIT THE LITTLE EX AND MAKE IT GO AWAY!!!!

Zappos, this response is so full of fail, I’m surprised you fit it into two tweets.



PS: Readers, here’s a sample tweet you can copy and send to Zappos to let them know what you think of this response:

Hey @ZapposStyle: You ARE sponsoring rape and abuse pages by pouring ad $$$ into FB. When will you step up and help end #FBrape?

UPDATE: 3/36

Ok, Facebook is fighting back. Today they pulled advertising from pages like [TRIGGER WARNING] this one and this one and this one, so now advertisers don’t have to worry that their ads might appear next to rapey images. Will advertisers be happy? Certainly. Am I? Not even a little bit. This move is a direct attack on our ability to pressure Facebook via its advertisers–it appears to me to be a statement from Facebook that they’ve heard our cries, but have no intention of changing their internal policies.

Earlier in this post I said I would not abandon my community on Facebook. But their reaction to this so far makes it impossible for me to promise to stand by that. Interestingly, I received a request to fill out a Facebook survey today. Here’s what I told them in the comments section at the end:

Screen shot 2013-05-26 at 1.08.45 PM

Of course, “minorities” is probably the wrong word these days, but I think they’ll get my drift.

UPDATE 3/25:

Today I receive this tweet from a new account claiming to be an official Facebook policy Twitter.

Screen shot 2013-05-25 at 2.50.40 PM

Naturally, I was skeptical, both about the authenticity of the account and about the statement they linked me to:

Screen shot 2013-05-25 at 2.53.53 PM

FYI: Here’s a note I received from Trista Hendren, creator of Rapebook:

“I have been talking to FB for over 6 months – directly.  I have all the emails.  They are very much aware of what is on their site.”

Having just received private message to my Facebook page containing a link from a reader to a nasty-ass rape page I could see with my very own eyes, I responded:

Screen shot 2013-05-25 at 2.56.09 PM

Nothing. I took a screenshot of one of the images on that page and tweeted it as further evidence. Then I refreshed and the page was gone. And so was “Offensive Humor at its Best,” one of the pages many (but not nearly all) examples have come from. (The @FacebookUO account tweeted that statement exactly six times, then went silent. I’m assuming it was created as some kind of damage control attempt, and that they abandoned it when they realized their statement was a major fail. Then again, maybe someone created an account to defend FB–but that seems less likely. I’m going with Occam on this one.)

Is this victory? I’m sorry, but I don’t think so. Not yet. I mean, the way that page disappeared without a word impressed me at first, but it ultimately felt more like they were trying to support their statement that this problem doesn’t really exist rather than actually doing something to solve the very real problem we’re fighting. And just reread that statement. Here, let me interpret it for you:

“We took care of this a long time ago using our existing system that works very well, but some malcontents on Twitter have been resharing the images as though they’re still online. No fair!”

Sorry, Facebook, but no. You don’t get to claim that your system works. And you don’t get to claim that you’ve made some sort of instaprestochange and this is all fixed. Know why? Because right before this all happened I reported this image:


…and got this in response:

Screen shot 2013-05-25 at 3.03.14 PM

When your moderators don’t recognize a KKK robe as a hate symbol, your system is broken. When your moderators don’t recognize jokes about beating and raping and killing women as hate speech, your system is broken. Facebook: YOUR SYSTEM IS BROKEN.

This isn’t over. I’ve asked @FacebookUO if they’ll clarify the policy changes, and I’ve forwarded this image to them. I’m also looking forward to hearing from the leaders of this campaign regarding what official word they might have received. I’ll let you know as soon as I know anything.

Oh, also? These still exist (trigger warnings) [UPDATE: A number of these have been removed. I’m weeding them out and adding new ones as I find them.]:























Tweet the Media:

Please contact media folks and ask them to get up to speed on the campaign and cover us on this week:

Media Matters for America

Rachel Maddow (MSNBC)

Melissa Harris-Perry (MSNBC)

Ann Curry (MSNBC)

Tamron Hall (MSNBC)

Nicholas Kristof (NYT)

Martha Raddatz (ABC)

Whoopi Goldberg (The View)

Joy Behar (Say Anything)

Sara Gilbert (The Talk on CBS)

Julie Chen (The Talk)

Sharon Osbourne (The Talk)

Aisha Tyler (The Talk)

Sheryl Underwood (The Talk)

The Talk on CBS

Melissa Block (All Things Considered on NPR)

Audie Cornish (All Things Considered)

Fresh Air (NPR)

Xeni Jardin (BoingBoing)

Stephanie Miller (Stephanie Miller Show)

Pressure Advertisers:

Here are some tweets for companies not yet on the action list at WAM. You can copy (more impact coming from individuals) or retweet these to help put pressure on these companies to respond to the campaign:










Respectful discussion is welcome and encouraged. When in doubt, see the Comment Policy.

45 responses

  1. Pingback: So far, it’s a Two-thirds Solution | This Is My Corn

  2. Pingback: The Day Facebook Cried Uncle | The Outlier Collective

  3. amazing! congratulations on really making a difference.
    Finally the problem is Facebook isn’t democratic, so what if rapist culture idiots
    and macho morons started ”demanding their rights”. Maybe they already have, this could be an endless battle but well worth the fight!

    June 4, 2013 at 1:09 am

  4. Pingback: On MRAs; or, I’m Pretty Sure They Just Hate Women | Curiouser and Curiouser (an inquisitve woman)

  5. Rohan 7 Things

    Wow, amazingly well put together post!

    I wish the campaign all the best and will do a little tweeting and fbooking as well.

    Thanks for sharing!


    May 30, 2013 at 6:46 am

    • Thank you! Facebook has agreed to make changes, so let’s keep them honest!

      May 30, 2013 at 6:56 am

  6. Pingback: Opinion Is King | A Clown On Fire

  7. Pingback: Social action to change the media, Facebook version. Here’s how it can be done. – Marketing, Media and Childhood

    • Thanks. I’ll take it down.

      May 29, 2013 at 8:45 am

  8. druidwinter

    <3! :)

    May 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

  9. Pingback: Glen Canning and Facebook’s Moral Compass | FEMBORG

  10. Pingback: Signal Boost: Glen Canning and Facebook’s Moral Compass | Julie Gillis

  11. Pingback: Really, Facebook? | Julie Gillis

  12. Pingback: Words by Nicole Froio.

  13. Include Stephanie Miller in your media links. She has a morning show on current (and on LA radio) and this is the type of thing she’d Love to cover. I know her twitter is @smshow

    May 27, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    • Right away! Thank you!

      May 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    • Done! Now how do I get people to use these buttons? :P

      May 27, 2013 at 5:46 pm

  14. A-freaking men. I’m so tired of Facebook getting a free pass for things that other organizations are slammed for. And Zuckerberg is a little turd who needs to be held accountable.

    May 27, 2013 at 4:54 pm

  15. Those pictures were so disturbing I literally could throw up. So disturbing that I won’t be able to think of anything else and those images will own me for several days. Sometimes I just want to be an ostrich, but then I see all of this work you do. Good work. I know I need to fight too. I’m just so disheartened. I cannot fathom humans treating humans to the extent of those photographs. I often ask my best friend whom worked at a Rape Treatment facility for 10 years (she was the first person the rape victim worked with) how does she not own what she sees? How does she not internalize those images? She was taught techniques in her Masters and Doctorate programs. I don’t have that knowledge. Is this how you disassociate yourself? By fighting?

    May 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

    • I know, the images are awful. So sorry.

      I don’t know that you disassociate, so much as you feel empowered rather than helpless against it all. (At least, for now, that’s how I feel. I’m also exhausted.)

      May 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      • Well, for what it’s worth, thank you for all you do. I can be strong learning from your strength.

        May 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm

  16. Pingback: Some down. A long way to go. (Trigger warning) | Life Out of a Box

  17. Pingback: #FBRape – a Clarification of the Campaign to Change Facebook’s Policy on Hate Speech Removal | Girls Can't Resist

  18. Pingback: Breathing Through the Brain | A Clown On Fire

  19. Facebook has finally removed a number of those images – let’s keep up the pressure!

    May 26, 2013 at 8:01 am

    • Yes, they seem to be feeling the pressure. Exciting news coming soon!

      May 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm

  20. P.S. I love the tattooed woman at the top: beautiful <3

    May 25, 2013 at 7:19 pm

  21. Thanks for adding my post to your list of links and for the overall awesomeness of this post and your updates – woot! Brava chica ;)

    May 25, 2013 at 7:18 pm

  22. I’m so glad that I don’t use “social networking”.

    May 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm

  23. Pingback: Abandoning a Facebook Page is Like Sticking Your Head in the Sand

  24. Pingback: I’m confused Facebook… (Trigger warning) | Life Out of a Box

  25. Reblogged this on FEMBORG.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:58 pm

  26. Melanie

    You inspired a post from me. I hope Facebook becomes an advocate against abuse, rather than remain a vehicle of acceptance.

    May 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    • Loved your post. Shared and linked here. <3

      May 27, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      • Melanie

        I saw that. Thank you. I’m glad to have a voice to add.

        May 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

  27. Pingback: How much intolerance does it take? | Deliberate Donkey

  28. Reblogged this on So Much Palaver and commented:
    This is important. Facebook is not trivial. That a tool we all use to keep connected with our friends and loved ones is also used as a tool to implement and expand the range of ways in which women are oppressed by men in unacceptable on both a practical and a philosophical level. Please participate in this campaign: http://www.womenactionmedia.org/facebookaction/
    #VAW #DestroytheJoint #FBrape

    May 24, 2013 at 3:26 pm

  29. Have a question about this campaign? Post it here.

    May 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm

  30. Pingback: Friday Link Round-Up | Julie Gillis

  31. Reblogged this on Note To Self and commented:
    Reblogging for a signal boost!

    May 24, 2013 at 11:21 am

  32. People shouldn’t have to fight to ensure Facebook implement THEIR OWN rules regarding explicit violence and hate speech. Let’s hope the crisis talks at some larger companies (Ahem, DOVE!) involve taking a moral stand and pulling advertising.

    May 24, 2013 at 10:22 am

    • Exactly. Facebook’s response so far has been “we’re on this 24/7.” They’re full of it.

      May 24, 2013 at 12:53 pm

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