Facebook has been receiving a growing amount of criticism for some time now for continuing to allow pages promoting sexism, misogyny, and violence against women on their website. These pages exist despite Facebook’s terms stating, “You will not bully, intimidate, or harass any user” and “You will not post content that: is hate speech, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” While different types of pages that violate these policies are regularly taken down, pro-rape, pro-violence against women, and other misogynistic pages have been allowed to stay. Occasionally these pages are flagged as “[Controversial Humor],” but many of them have no such designation. Such pages have sparked an ongoing debate over what counts as offensive and harmful, and who makes that decision.
Last week the Everyday Sexism Project began contacting companies and organizations as diverse as Dove Cosmetics, Audible, McDonalds, and FinnAir to bring to light the fact that their advertisements have been appearing on pages, such as “Drop kicking sluts in the teeth,” “Dumping your girlfriend via Punching Her In The Face,” “This is Why Indian Girls are RAPED,” and “Rape is a harsh word I like to call it surprise sex.” Some of these companies and others have been in contact with Facebook to express their displeasure over their ads and logos being displayed next to images of battered and violated women. Other companies have pulled their advertising from Facebook altogether. Perhaps as more and more companies and organizations that advertise on Facebook contact them after being notified by the Everyday Sexism Project, Facebook will begin to reconsider the actions (or lack of) that they have been taking in regards to the slew of misogynistic pages on their website.