The Everyday Sexism Project, No More Page 3 and Social Media Week are amongst dozens who have signed an open letter to Facebook which demands ‘swift, comprehensive and effective action addressing the representation of rape and domestic violence on Facebook’.
The letter, published on the Huffington Post, demands that Facebook learns to recognise speech that trivialises or glorifies violence against girls and women; that moderators are taught to recognise hate speech and are trained to understand how online harassment differently affects women and men.
It makes specific mention to groups, pages or images that condone or encourage domestic abuse and rape, citing Facebook pages including Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus; Kicking your Girlfriend in the Fanny because she won't make you a Sandwich; and Violently Raping Your Friend Just for Laughs.
The letter ends: “In a world in which hundreds of thousands of women are assaulted daily and where intimate partner violence remains one of the leading causes of death for women around the world, it is not possible to sit on the fence.
“We call on Facebook to make the only responsible decision and take swift, clear action on this issue, to bring your policy on rape and domestic violence into line with your own moderation goals and guidelines.”
In April, Everyday Sexism raised awareness of certain groups on Facebook, including This Is Why Indian Girls Get Raped: a page which has now been removed.
At the time, Facebook said: “There is no place on Facebook for content that is hateful, threatening, or incites violence, and we will not tolerate material deemed to be genuinely or directly harmful.
“We react quickly to remove reported language or images that violate our terms and we encourage people to report questionable content using links located throughout the site.”
Updated: The Drum has been informed that none of the pages mentioned in the letter are still available on Facebook.