I feel like we’ve had this chat before.
Perhaps it was when we spoke about all those mothers whose accounts you suspended for posting photos of themselves breastfeeding. Or maybe when we discussed that photo of Tess Holliday, which you removed because it promoted “unhealthy ideals”. Or was it when you banned Clementine Ford for her timely protest against Sunrise’s victim-blaming narratives. (Censoring women protesting censorship? You kind of missed the point of that one, Facebook).
Apparently, all those things – those ordinary, everyday things – violated your “community standards”.
Now, there’s a new uproar over a new violation.
Australian comedian Catherine Deveny has been banned from Facebook for thirty days for posting the following status update:
Feminist writer Clementine Ford shared the story on her own Facebook page today, highlighting the hypocrisy of a system where Deveny's post is removed but jokes about rape and beating women are allowed through Facebook's filters on a daily basis.
The crazy thing is - just like breastfeeding, or being plus sized - Deveny's post isn't offensive. It's an accurate reflection of the world we live in, where (*GASP*) women feed their babies to give them life and (*SHOCK*) some people are overweight and (*HORROR*) men are, in fact, not just the top ten causes of violence but also pretty much all the causes of violence worldwide today.
It seems Facebook's "community standards" are promoting not just a community, but an old-school patriarchy, where prioritising the voices of men over women, censoring women's bodies and punishing women for speaking their minds is the norm.
For an online space that's meant to connect people, Facebook's divisive content monitoring seems to be doing the opposite.
Watch Amy Schumer's hilarious attempts to avoid getting censored at the Critics' Choice Awards.