Social networking is, whether we like it or not, a part of life.
The fact that things come up on the interwebs that are just morally repugnant … well, I’ve always written it off as kind of a necessary evil, a sort of “let’s laugh at the ignorant” kind of thing.
There’s a contingency on Tweeter, however, that seems to be taking matters into their own hands.
Thousands of people across the globe are joining a Twitter campaign asking Facebook to remove pages that promote rape and sexual assault, Change.org said in a Nov 3 press statement. The social media action is part of an ongoing campaign on Change.org with more than 180,000 supporters. People are locating offensive Facebook pages and tweeting them with the hashtag #notfunnyfacebook to pressure Facebook to remove pages that violate the company’s terms of service. One such page title reads, “What’s 10 inches and gets girls to have sex with me? My knife.”
While I have a kneejerk reaction to jump on this bandwagon (after all, I can see myself contemplating joining a group called, say, “Herman Cain is a Sexual Predator” or something), I have some obvious reservations.
The most significant concern this raises for me is, ironically, the Constitutional right to express your beliefs, an argument more commonly espoused by the radical right as it fits their needs.
Do you sound like a freaking moron if you, as a much-maligned high school principal did last year, join a Facebook group entitled “Dear Lord, This Year You Took My Favorite Actor, Patrick Swazie (sic). You Took My Favorite Actress Farah (sic) Fawcett. You Took My Favorite Singer, Michael Jackson. I Just Wanted to Let You Know, My Favorite President is Barack Obama. Amen”?
Does the First Amendment allow you the legal freedom to show your ignorance, bigotry, and blatant disrespect?
Um … yes.
The fact is, there are Facebook pages that promote all sorts of horrible things, from pedophilia to violence against women to trash-talking the size of your ex’s penis (I wish I was joking on that one, and no, I’m not a member) to how to set up a casual hook-up.
I’m clearly a loser … Facebook pages I belong to are generally based in literature or Star Wars. (And, to be completely upfront, I have a Twitter, too, which I love as it offers far more anonymity than Facebook)
That being said, the nature of my profession necessitates that I hold much of my personal life back in the social networking world. Even if I—as Katie Loud the human being, not the schoolteacher currently teaching your kids allegory through George Orwell’s Animal Farm—wanted to join an anti-Herman Cain Facebook page, I wouldn’t.
It’s a matter of respect.
So while I find a lot of these pages pretty hard to take, I pretty much keep myself to myself in terms of the me that exists on Facebook. Even if I were not in a profession held to a higher standard than most, I would make a moral, personal choice to not be mean … that’s just not who I am.
Others certainly have the right to feel differently, and I’m glad that the Twitterphiles are speaking out about their concerns. I even agree with the moral bottom line of their argument.
I am bothered by their choice to focus on sexual assault pages on Facebook to spearhead their attack. I am very vocal on my feelings about sexual assault, but I’m also bothered when it’s used as a rallying cry to make a point that I’m not sure I agree with.
What are your thoughts on this one?