Why Facebook’s Ban on Boobs but Big Up for Beheading Sucks!

November 23, 2013 12:01 pm

facebook allows beheadingsHeads or tails? Either, according to Facebook, just as long as it’s not tits. On Monday 21st October, and so just in time for Halloween, Facebook decided to lift its ban on beheading (well, images and footage of people being beheaded) but not its ban on exposed breasts. Cue: footage of a woman being beheaded by a masked man in Mexico, on the world’s most sociable website. “Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences,’’ the company explained, “particularly when they’re connected to controversial events on the ground, such as human rights abuses, acts of terrorism and other violent events.” Because we all ‘like’ sharing our favourite pics of terrorism, right?

So, beheading is back, but tits are still out in the land of Facebook. That’s right, folks, it’s ok for you to lose your head but please don’t lose control of your breasts. “Photos that show a fully exposed breast where the child is not actively engaged in nursing do violate the Facebook terms”. Or, rather, violence is ok, especially that against women (it is a woman losing her head and not a man, after all) but a woman baring her big bad breasts in one of motherhood’s most natural, nurturing acts – and one that every Facebook user has been on the receiving end of – isn’t. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

First of all, letting kids as young as 13, the minimum age you can be to own a Facebook account, watch and put up material relating to terrorism is just another means of popularising acts of violence. Cue kids with toy guns, kids getting shot down by police for carrying toy guns, and kids killing each other with real guns. Even with Facebook’s condition that users are only allowed to upload material of people losing their heads in order to ‘’condemn’’ them, by engraining images of violence into the minds of the unsuspecting Facebook user, the act of violence becomes normalised, and is, therefore, seen as ‘’ok’’. Furthermore, what constitutes as condemnation, a hashtag followed by ‘’this is bad’’? And what happens when people start to ‘like’ these images?

beheading-video-womenSecondly, what is so wrong about an exposed breast, if there’s a baby nearby about to have a go on it? Banning pictures of exposed breasts (those in totally natural, non-pornographic contexts) while pictures of topless men roam free, is just another means of discriminating against women. On top of this, these images are being banned while images/footage of people (women) having their heads chopped off are seen as being perfectly fine to share with the millions of people on Facebook, which is totally absurd. In the interest of all those with vaginas, this kind of arbitrary discrimination should not be tolerated.

Despite pretending to be democratic and all ‘freedom of speech’, Facebook is fundamentally still controlling what people can and cannot see. And, in doing so, it is participating in the discrimination against women and the promotion of violence, whether consciously or not. After receiving massive complaints (probably from disgruntled parents who’ve just caught little Lucy and young Greg playing a game of ‘beheading’ in the back garden) Facebook has once again imposed its ban on violent images. But, has the damage already been done?

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