Saturday, March 31, 2018

Facebook Corporate Thinks Indigenous Peoples Are Pornographic

Stuart K. Hayashi

I have seen a lot of hateful material posted on Facebook -- neo-Nazi stuff screeching about brown-skinned people merely moving into white-majority neighborhoods is a form of "white genocide." And often when you report that sort of material, nothing happens; you get a condescending message from Facebook Corporate saying the racist post was reviewed and no action will be taken.

However, Facebook Corporate did decide to delete a G-rated link I posted to an article from New Scientist magazine titled "How Many Uncontacted Tribes Are Left in the World?"  It is about how there are over 100 hunter-gatherer societies on Earth that have not really made contact with industrialized societies. Link to it here.

When I logged in to Facebook tonight, it greeted me with this condescending message:

I thought, "Goodness, me! Is Facebook Corporate confusing me with those alt-right propagandists whom I have criticized repeatedly? Did I type up something that could be construed as especially insulting toward indigenous peoples?"

After thinking about this, I couldn't imagine anything that Facebook Corporate could consider problematic about the post except that the thumbnail picture showed some indigenous peoples wearing loincloths.  I decided to post the link again:

Mere minutes later, Facebook sent me the same reprimand message again -- the one from above -- and then followed up with this:

Because I was too stupid to understand the first time around, Facebook Corporate spelled out for me that the problem is that the thumbnail picture on my link apparently depicted "nudity and sexual activity."

You know what particularly bothers me about this?  The indigenous peoples depicted in the thumbnail aren't even naked; they are wearing loincloths.  On network television, it is generally considered permissible for the TV program to show hunter-gatherer women bare-chested; I understand that Facebook Corporate is under no obligation to follow the same standard.  But take another look at the thumbnail: it doesn't even show any woman's nipples or anything like that; the thumbnail picture isn't any more revealing that a G-rated version of Tarzan or The Jungle Book; it's just that the photo is of actual hunter-gatherers.

Apparently, Facebook Corporate considers indigenous peoples as such to be too lewd and pornographic? 😐