Facebook’s war on sex

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Facebook adopts bizarre new anti-sex speech code in secret

8 Dec, 2018 09:36 Edited time: 10 Dec, 2018 09:14

Facebook adopts bizarre new anti-sex speech code in secret

© Reuters / Yves Herman 

Facebook has opted to purge its platform of all sex-related content with a new policy banning everything from nude pictures to “sexualized slang,” up to and including “vague suggestive statements” – without informing its users.

The new “sexual solicitation” rules were adopted in mid-October, according to PCMag, and forbid everything from pornography to “implicit sexual solicitation.” The latter term is purposefully vague, encompassing “vague suggestive statements, such as ‘looking for a good time tonight,’” discussion of “sexual partner preference,” content (including hand-drawn art) that depicts “suggestively posed persons,” and even the use of “sexualized slang.”

Facebook long ago banned pornographic content – even Tumblr is jumping on that bandwagon after a child porn scandal got the site’s app kicked out of the Apple store – but this new measure comes with a unique justification: “[P]eople use Facebook to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. We recognize the importance of Facebook and want to allow for this discussion. We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults.”

You read that correctly – Facebook doesn’t want to provide a platform for sex between consenting adults, or otherwise harbor the idea that sex can be anything other than exploitative and misery-inducing.

A company spokesperson claims it was Facebook’s human content reviewers who requested the new policy, claiming “the sexual exploitation policy did not adequately distinguish between exploitation (e.g. ‘My ex was a slut. Look at the photos she sent me.’) and solicitation (e.g. ‘Looking for swingers. Friday at 8 PM, [name of bar]. Wear pink.’) and solicitation.” The company has expanded its human workforce following user complaints that algorithms were flagging legitimate content for takedown – including classic works of art and the American Declaration of Independence.

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