One of the two main reasons why I started blogging in 2008 (one was to practice my writing) was to get rid of the hypocritical censorship that was being inflicted on me in the chat rooms. The website in question, Topix.net, would often selectively enforce its own T.o.S. when it came to "offensive" postings, so that if two people wrote a similar comment about something, one would get punished and one would not.
So at the suggestion of a cyber friend, I moved myself to the blog world, where I didn't have to deal with any censorship issues. That lasted until I decided to practice the art of self-censorship, in which I would pop a short paragraph warning people about the content of a particular post. I also applied my self-censorship to two of my blogs (one active, one not) so that people would have a choice on whether or not they wanted to visit the blog.
I bring this up because I'm now seeing firsthand the hypocritical/insidious practice of selectively censoring images/content on Facebook, and I thought it would be a good idea to share a little of my FB world with my readers.
Apparently, Facebook has a serious issue with the male body, specifically, eye candy and/or gay portrayals of everyday occurrences and/or male modeling.
There is a photographer, Michael Stokes Photography, who advertises/shares his work on Facebook and who has been threatened/harassed by Bible Thumpers (a derisive term that is used to describe some conservative Christians who go far above and way beyond the accepted definition of what a conservative Christian is) because of it. This harassment has basically resulted in him getting thrown into FB, banned from posting and threatened with having his personal & professional pages merged together.
A few weeks ago, after another atrocious banning that stemmed from showing two gay actors sharing a kiss, a friend of mine formed a page called End Abusive Actions & Features on Facebook. This page for formed with two goals in mind, to bring attention to the abuse being inflicted on Mr. Stokes (who also had a cover of a book about the Holocaust pulled as well) and the hypocritical nature of the censorship as it applies to the LGBT community.
According to Facebook, and to a greater extent, what the average user sees/experiences, unless you're a big corporation (i.e. ESPN with their annual Body Magazine issue) or an icon in the gay community (i.e. Mr. Star Trek George Takei), if you post any image that shows the positive of being a male gay person (sorry for the weird phrasing) or semi-explicit nude of a guy, you can get the photo binged and you purged for 30 days.
Unless you're showing a semi-explicit nude picture of a woman or a semi-explicit lesbian scene, then you're basically okay.
The link up above to the story is just one of a growing crop, domestically and internationally, that is asking about the lack of consistency of Facebook's Standards & Practices. In ye olden days, I honestly think that FB would probably give lip service to this kind of issue, However, since they're a publicly traded company, they have no choice but to pay attention to it.
Because, as you all know, not all publicity is good for a company, especially if its bad publicity about a legitimate problem that the company has chosen to treat in a cavalier manner.
By the way, Blogger is very consistent about what it does and does not allow on their website for content, and has actively suggested to those thinking about posting that type of content (i.e. provocative and or X/NC-17 rated) to try either WordPress or Tumblr.
In the end, it doesn't really matter what your personal view point is on certain issues within the LGBT community, what matters is that people should be able to write/show what they want and/or what they do for a living, free from harassment/threats/censorship.
(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.