Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Hi Friends,

I'm going to try something a little unusual and I'd like to explain it here.

Starting right after I post this message, I'm going to disappear from Facebook for a month. It's not that I'm trying to avoid the distraction, my colleagues already tell me I'm "not using the internet right" because I only go to social media pages occasionally.

I'm leaving Facebook for a month because that means that, for a month, their advertisers can't reach me.

I want to be unreachable to companies that advertise on Facebook because of some horrible things that go on here; things that do not get enough notice.

My leaving won't cause anyone to notice... ...but you're reading this, right? What if you write a similar note and leave for 24 hours? What if everyone you know reads your post, and then does the same thing?

It wouldn't have to be a single 24-hour period. Just imagine the idea that Facebook advertising space could be worth a little bit less on any given day next year than it was last year.  Not because fewer people are members, but because fewer people are visiting every day. It might be an interesting way of speaking out about what you dislike and want to see changed.

What do I want to see changed? Facebook's unabashed promotion of women as objects of sexuality and violence.

Facebook has always set standards for what can and cannot appear on their pages. This is their choice, of course, but I have become troubled by some of their standards. They censor breastfeeding, but allow pages that promote violence against women. After a 15-year-old Canadian woman was gang-raped, photos of the assault appeared on-line. She was then bullied on Facebook until she took her own life. Horrifically, a photo of her appeared later on Facebook, advertising a dating website.

Information about these facts is just a Google search away, so please look into it.

Facebook is making a lot of money on all of us. It is time for them to spend some of it on improving their standards. If they choose profit over accepting responsibility for how their site is used, then maybe it is time for them to make a little less.

Please give this some thought and consider trying something similar yourself.

Your friend,

John

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