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Social Media Continuing to Expose Rape Culture

Posted by Stephanie on May 29, 2013

The United States embodies an alarmingly well-tolerated notion of rape culture that has been recently further exposed as a result of growing social media practices. With incidences such as the Steubenville rape case, the nation is coming to realize what is deemed normal or acceptable regarding gender violence certainly is not. This is an opportunity for social media giants (such as Facebook and Twitter) to take a stand on a pressing national issue in order to influence younger generations and change the way people view an issue that merits more pressing attention.

WAM! (Women Action and the Media) recently posted complaints to Facebook claiming the site tolerates pages and offensive content posted by users involving rape and violence against women. When WAM! went public with their complaint, 15 companies pulled their ads from the Facebook site, and a petition was circulated. While this got Facebook’s attention, they originally indicated that the complaints against this rape rhetoric did not fit in with their current policies, which included the removal of any anti-Semitic, homophobic or Islamophoic wording or images. As of Tuesday, Facebook has revoked this statement and issued a new statement vowing to review and improve their guidelines for removing hateful gender based content.

Much like corporate social responsibly, Internet advocacy should be used to foster community involvement to rally around an issue that is detrimental to society. WAM! executive director Jaclyn Friedman said “we are reaching an international tipping point in attitudes towards rape and violence against women,” and I truly believe social media is playing a large role in this. 

Facebook has established itself as one of the leaders in the social media world. With this comes the responsibility to be at the forefront of the movement for reducing rape culture and minimizing and eliminating hateful messaging by blocking harmful gender based content. There is a fine line between freedom of speech and monitoring damaging content, and Facebook should now use its platform as the leader of social media to set a standard for their company and values, and hopefully other new media companies and outlets will follow suit. 

 -Stephanie Saulsbury



One Response to “Social Media Continuing to Expose Rape Culture”

  1. Hello there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post
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