Facebook Agrees to Block Sexual Assault “Humour”

Facebook is now changing their policies regarding sexual assault towards women. Examples of online sexual assault are posts or images referring to violence or rape. As disgusting as this seems, it happens everyday on the powerful social network site.


Marne Levine, Vice President of Global Public Policy issued a statement that outlined how Facebook was going to react to this problem. Facebook says it will process more complaints and train its staff of reviewers using guidance from women’s groups and legal experts.

This isn’t the first time a group has faced discrimination on a social network site. Many individuals from the Jewish, Muslim, and LGBT communities have reached out to offer support and insight on the threatening nature of this content. Cyber-bullying is an example of violence and abuse on social network sites,  but Facebook does offer a bullying help page as well as tools for addressing abuse. These pages aim to teach children & teenagers the negative effects of bullying and to also reach out to parents if their children are being bullied or abused.

Facebook has launched anti-bullying campaigns in the past (See Facebook group here) but it is impossible to stop it in it’s entirety. There have been many cases and attempts of suicide due to cyber-bulling, and this needs to stop!

We need to treat everyone equal, regardless of race, sex, religion, or orientation.

On May 21st, 2013, Women, Action & The Media group published a letter explaining that Facebook was not doing enough to remove abusive or violent posts about females. And also to advertisers that posted ads beside or near abusive & offensive content. Facebook listened, and Marne Levine replied: “We have been working over the past several months to improve our systems to respond to reports of violations, but the guidelines used by these systems have failed to capture all the content that violates our standards. We need to do better – and we will.”

This is definitely a step in the right direction for Facebook and the ongoing war against cyber-bulling and abuse. Facebook preaches their social network platform as a place where users can share and surface content, messages and ideas freely while still respecting the rights of others. But how can this be said when there are insufficient means in monitoring violence and abuse against groups on Facebook? They want to make the world more open and connected – then they should fight for the people who use their site instead of letting complaints fall into a black-hole because of inadequate evidence of abuse.