The heavy weight of thousands of angry tweets and continued departure of advertisers, no doubt supplemented by the back-breaking straw that was the declaration of my own departure from Facebook, led to this announcement today.
It’s long, so I’ll sum it up for you:
Vague promises yadda yadda yadda complex challenges and complicated issues blah blah lines of communication etc etc etc facilitation of goals blah blah blah throwing in the Anti-Defamation League for good measure.
On one hand, I’m glad to see this public recognition of the issue. On the other, reading between the many, many lines of non-committal PR crisis communicator-speak, it sounded an awful lot like:
Lots of you seem angry, even though some of this stuff is funny, and anyway, posting gross things gives you the chance to convince other people of their grossness, and we’d think you’d appreciate that opportunity. But we’d also like you to stop driving our advertisers away, so we’ll talk to some of you ladies about what’s getting your panties in a bunch and give you the chance to convince us we should change.
But hey, maybe I’m being overly critical, or maybe my panties are particularly bunchy today. The photo of the battered teenager blaming her for her own injuries seems straightforwardly offensive to me, but perhaps there are levels of hidden nuance that I’m missing. God willing, Facebook will ferret them out.
I also note with interest that the statement doesn’t address the issue of labeling breastfeeding and breast cancer-related images as too offensive for the delicate Facebook constitution. Perhaps they can identify a few more ladies to chat with about that one.
I mean, yes, I’m glad they issued this statement, because they might actually do something and now I don’t have to change all my logins that used Facebook (sure, I’m critical, but I’ll claim this as a win; I’m a lazy activist). But that doesn’t mean I’m happy.