Trigger Warning: violent and graphic images
Facebook's guidelines for acceptable content have been under fire for some time now, but the company has continued using its flawed rules. Just this week, the social network took down an ad that debunked the myth that abortion is linked to breast cancer, citing it as "pornographic" material.
For the past few months, activists have been demanding that Facebook revise its policies for acceptable content as they often do not distinguish between non-sexual images of women and pornographic ones. For example, pictures of mothers breastfeeding have been flagged as pornography and the users of profiles that upload such pictures have been warned that they could be frozen.
At the same time, though Facebook zealously blocks all racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic content, pages that encourage rape and gendered violence are protected under Facebook's guidelines because they fall under the "Humor" category. These pages include ones entitled "Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs," "This is why Indian girls are raped," and "Punching your girlfriend in the face cuz you're Chris Brown."
And this week, to add fuel to the fire, an ad posted by Women's Media Center in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute website that assured women that "having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase" the risk of breast cancer was deleted. Facebook apparently found the accompanying image to be "pornographic." Just take a look at the actual ad:
And then compare it to images that Facebook finds humorous:
It's ridiculous that Facebook is making no effort to change their blatantly misogynistic policies. Pictures of women's bodies do not need to be policed as offensive by virtue of being female, and violence against women (considering that 70% of women around the world have been victimized by it) is not a laughing matter. There is absolutely no reason for Facebook to ignore this glaring flaw in their community guidelines, as they have done for weeks now.