In an example of consumer-oriented activism, a campaign fighting against domestic violence against women content on Facebook has seen some success from their efforts. 13 companies dropped advertising from Facebook over the domestic violence content that is on the site.
The campaign was started by a coalition of sexual violence prevention and women's equality groups that banded together to protest against Facebook not including violence against women on their list of restricted content. The group plans to continue the campaign and attempt to get larger companies to participate.
Among the companies that dropped advertising from Facebook are Nissan UK, Nationwide UK, J Street, and WestHost. Supporters of their actions took to social media to show their support for these companies:
Facebook's current community guidelines have prohibitions against hate speech. The social network's guidelines also prohibit violence and threats. However, according to any inquiry by ThinkProgress, many of the pages cited by the organizers of the campaign fall under "poor taste" or "crude humor."
Women, Action, and the Media posted examples (trigger warning: images of domestic violence) of some of the content, which includes graphic depiction of domestic violence against women and Facebook's response to attempts to report it. Facebook took down the examples after they were posted in a public sphere.
Women, Action, and the Media says that Facebook suddenly taking down the pictures only after the public spotlight was pointed towards them shows that there is a systematic problem that needs to be solved through a change in policy, rather than an unevenly-applied moderation system that only works when enough public outrage is generated for certain types of offensive content.
Domestic violence is one of the leading causes of injury for women between the ages of 15 and 44, more then rape, muggings, and car accidents combined. Nearly 1 in 4 women experience at least 1 physical assault from a partner during adulthood. That works out to roughly 3-4 million women a year. Physically assaulted women will experience at average of 7 physical assaults a year from the same partner.
In what is claimed to be a further example of the unevenness of the content moderation, an advertisement about breast cancer was rejected for violating Facebook community standards because it featured a partially exposed breast.
Facebook has not responded to the campaign further then pointing to its community guidelines, perhaps hoping that the furor dies down after a few weeks. It remains to be seen if larger and more viable companies will rebuke Facebook and possibly force a change in the website's policy. But organizers are determined not to stop now, utilizing the Twitter hashtag #FBRape in order to publicly spread their message. Time will tell if they can keep up a sustained campaign against the social media giant.