CENSORSHIP: The Internet Dies A Little Every Time Facebook Decides U Can’t Handle The Truth


PHILLY POST: I’ve seen many photographs and pictures depicting the white man’s mistreatment, dehumanization and outright murder of black people, from that iconic photo of a former slave with whipping scars all over his back to the picture of the 1930s Indiana lynching of two suspected rapists to, closer to home, the 1970s image of the Philadelphia Police vs. Delbert Africa, and many more, but none made me quite as uneasy as this photograph shared several days ago by Philadelphia attorney and Philly Post contributor Michael Coardon his Facebook page, a photo that Facebook has since removed.“It stopped me in my tracks,” says Coard of the photo, which he found on the page of his Facebook friend, New York City filmmaker Stacey Muhammad. “Look at how this man is treating this black girl as a captured trophy. Look at the grinning and leering and lustful face on the man and the terror etched on the face of the girl. A monstrous grin meets a face of terror. It crept right into my soul. I’m not really a spiritual or emotional person like that, but when I saw this picture, it spoke volumes. It cut to the core of the evil of racism.” Before Facebook deleted the image, as well as all of the comments, shares and likes associated with it, Coard says there were hundreds of likes and dozens of shares. The last time I looked at it, there were over 90 comments, and Coard says he received not one complaint. But it’s his belief that the photo was removed after Facebook received complaints about it from “some confused white or black person who found it offensive.” MORE

RELATED: Amine Derkaoui, a 21-year-old Moroccan man, is pissed at Facebook. Last year he spent a few weeks training to screen illicit Facebook content through an outsourcing firm, for which he was paid a measly $1 an hour. He’s still fuming over it. “It’s humiliating. They are just exploiting the third world,” Derkaoui complained in a thick French accent over Skype just a few weeks after Facebook filed their record $100 billion IPO. As a sort of payback, Derkaoui gave us some internal documents, which shed light on exactly how Facebook censors the dark content it doesn’t want you to see, and the people whose job it is to make sure you don’t. […] Walking the line between keeping Facebook clean and excessively censoring its content is tricky, and Facebook’s zealousness in scrubbing users’ content has led to a series of uproars. Last April, they deleted an innocent gay kiss and were accused of homophobia; a few months before that, the removal of a nude drawing sparked the art world’s ire. Most recently, angry “lactivists” have been staging protests over Facebook’s deletion of breast-feeding photos. MORE

RELATED: Facebook, it appears, will delete pretty tame stuff. For example, any of the following content will be deleted, according to the guidelines:

  • Blatant (obvious) depiction of camel toes and moose knuckles.
  • Mothers breastfeeding without clothes on.
  • Sex toys or other objects, but only in the context of sexual activity.
  • Depicting sexual fetishes in any form.
  • ANY photoshopped images of people, whether negative, positive or neutral.
  • Images of drunk and unconscious people , or sleeping people with things drawn on their face.
  • Violent speech (Example: “I love hearing skulls crack.”).

When it comes to sex and nudity, Facebook is strictly PG-13, according to the guidelines. Obvious sexual activity, even clothed, is deleted, as are “naked ‘private parts’ including female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks.” But “male nipples are OK.” Foreplay is allowed, “even for same sex (man-man/woman-woman)” Even the gays can grope each other on Facebook. Facebook is more lenient when it comes to violence. Gory pictures are allowed, as long somebody’s guts aren’t spilling out. “Crushed heads, limbs etc are OK as long as no insides are showing,” reads one guideline. “Deep flesh wounds are ok to show; excessive blood is ok to show.” MORE