Facebook says pro-rape pages are just like a “pub joke”

Petitions to remove the pages have attracted 180,000 signatures but social network unmoved thus far
Kerry Butters

October 4, 2011

Facebook pages which promote rape and violence against woman have attracted 180,000 signatures in the US and UK, in separate petitions asking the social media site to take them down.

Facebook have defended their decision to leave the pages in place, as they say it doesn’t violate their terms and conditions if someone makes a page that ‘some’ may find offensive.

However, pages such as “You know shes playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway”, “I know a silly little bitch that needs a good slap” and “raping your mates girlfriend to see if she can put up a fight” are clearly more than slightly offensive to some.

These are some of the cleaner examples of the pages, others are even more direct in their violent content and anyone with a brain would be offended by them.

Clearly the creators of the pages don’t have much upstairs (and possibly downstairs) as can be gleaned from the standard of the grammar.

Facebook’s policies do tell their users that they should: “Not post content that is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”

Feminist groups noticed the problem back in August and it seems they immediately brought the social media site to task for it, but Facebook seems to think that it’s unnecessary to take any action.

They responded by pointing out: “Just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.”

Campaigners who are doing their best to get these pages taken down disagree, they say that the pages are indeed “hateful” and “threatening”.

And possibly may incite violence, although finding such dross funny seems to be the main motivation from the 200,000 fans one page has.

Further to this, fans are encouraged to make further tasteless jokes on the subject of rape on these pages.

Or perhaps the fan “Matty” really meant it when he posted “I have raped many women… no lie!”

Many of these pages have been reported to Facebook by an awful lot of people, yet they still remain.

The creator of the campaign, a protestor known as Orlagh said: “I stumbled across this page and was shocked to see not only rape ‘jokes’, but outright advocacy and even apparent confessions.”

“I started the petition when I found out that Facebook refused to take the page down and the UK mainstream press proved unresponsive to a letter from Rape Crisis England and Wales.”

“Facebook is an influential social force and in a world where 1 in 5 women is a victim of rape or attempted rape, these pages are more than a ‘pub joke’. Surely Facebook should not be perpetuating rape culture?”

The social networking site’s response so far has been pretty shocking, not only with the pub analogy but also their comment that “what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining.”

The media release for Women’s Views on News also points out: “Further, Facebook appears selective about how it applies its rules – for instance, a policy against breastfeeding pictures is upheld, indicating that breasts are offensive, but that rape is not.”

The UK petition to have the pages taken down can be found here.


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