The FBrape campaign, which launched a week ago demanding ‘swift, comprehensive and effective action addressing the representation of rape and domestic violence on Facebook’ has now received over 50,000 Twitter mentions.
Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism, one of the organisations involved in the campaign, told The Drum: "We're absolutely thrilled at the enormous success of the campaign and delighted that over 100 women's and human rights organisations from around the world have added their support to our open letter.
“This just goes to show the sheer strength of public feeling about this issue - it matters deeply to both men and women and it's time for Facebook and its advertisers to sit up and start listening to them."
The campaign has contacted brands whose ads are appearing next to groups, pages or images that condone or encourage domestic abuse and rape, and urges them to stop advertising on Facebook.
So far, over a dozen brands, including Nissan UK and Nationwide, have suspended advertising.
@jovanderbank Hi Jo - FB ads are targeted at the user - not the page viewed. We have though spoke to FB who are reviewing pages. ^DP
— NissanUK (@NissanUK) May 22, 2013
@yrotitna Our ads target a user’s profile based on location, not pages. We’ll suspend our ads. Sorry for any upset this has caused. ^PB
— Nationwide UK (@AskNationwide) May 26, 2013
Dove has faced flak for its original response but has now said it is working ‘aggressively’ with Facebook.
@sullencrescent We're aggressively working with Facebook to resolve this issue.
— Dove (@Dove) May 24, 2013
The company said in a statement: “Dove takes this issue very seriously and does not condone any activity that intentionally insults any audience. We are working with Facebook to prevent our ads from appearing on these pages. As Facebook advertising targets people, not pages, we cannot select which pages our adverts appear on.
"Ads are served to people based on their interests. In the future, we will be refining our targeting to reduce the chance of any ads appearing on similar pages. We heard your concern and are committed to creating a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. We assure you that we will continue to carefully review and revisit our advertising and marketing decisions.”
In response to the campaign, Facebook told The Drum at launch that none of the pages mentioned in the open letter were still available.