Why I Don't Think Facebook's "Rape Fan" Page Is Funny
I don’t know about you, but I kind of find jokes about rape spectacularly unfunny. And not one of my friends would ever accuse me of being a humorless drag.
So why does Facebook think rape jokes are a laugh riot? So much so that they’re even insisting on their right to continue publishing a Rape Fan page on their UK site. Is it a woman-man thing? What?
It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining--just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.
(Facebook statement 17.8.11)
On second thought, I did spit out my beer after reading this hilarious quote from the fan page:
You know she’s playing hard to get when your (sic) chasing her down an alleyway.
And, well, this partial post made me laugh so hard I almost had to be sedated!
I have raped many women….no lie and I rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome.
No wonder I’m speechless! But thankfully, Orlagh Ni Leid has not been so silent.
I stumbled across this page and was shocked to see not only rape 'jokes,' but outright advocacy and even apparent confessions.
Which, oddly enough, Orlagh didn’t find funny. So the young British student launched a petition asking Facebook to delete the page. Which they haven't. The petition has since attracted worldwide attention in a way the company probably didn’t intend. And now, according to Orlagh, there’s a Facebook petition gathering steam in the U.S.
What’s really funny, if we’re going to talk about comedy and social media here, is that Facebook actually already knew about its problematic rape page. Because thousands of people had complained about it. Which then led Facebook (I’m getting awfully tried of typing that word) to issue its hilarious response about what’s funny to someone else is not necessarily funny to you. Yadda yadda yadda. Come to think of it, sort of like the way blokes joke in a pub!
It’s hardly the first time Facebook has been slammed for denigrating women. In 2010, BlogHer’s Julie Ross Godar took the company to task for a fan page called Hitting Women, after noting its policies strangely ask users to refrain from content that is “hateful, threatening, pornographic, or that contain nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.'' Did Facebook not get the message then?
All of which leads me to ask: Isn’t it amazing how quickly jokes can travel via the power of Facebook?