Facebook has blocked an administrator of an Australian feminist page for uploading a poster that encouraged people to voice their concerns over misogynistic and violent content on the social networking site.
The Destroy the Joint page has been active in the fight for Facebook to remove sexually violent and degrading content from the social network which, until Thursday, was allowed to be freely shared.
The poster listed content that Facebook allowed – pages about domestic violence and rape jokes – and content it did not, including pages about breastfeeding and reconstructive surgery.
It then directed people to visit the website of campaigners Women Action Media.
When the administrator who posted the image tried to log in to Facebook this morning, they were informed their account had been blocked because the content had been deemed abusive.
Jenna Price, co-founder of Destroy the Joint and a social media academic at the University of Technology Sydney, told Guardian Australia the ban showed that those running Facebook were “slow learners”.
“Perhaps they think we’re responsible for generating some of the controversy about their moderating guidelines and this is a bit of revenge, but actually I just think it’s more likely that their moderators aren’t exercising appropriate judgment,” said Price.
Price said Destroy the Joint – a group started in response to sexist remarks made by broadcaster Alan Jones about the prime minister and other women in leadership positions – had made many complaints to Facebook about content which promotes violence and sexism against women, but they were ignored.
“My problem is that when we report things like violence against women or sexism against women or misogyny against women, they just say it’s totally fine,” said Price.
When contacted by Guardian Australia a Facebook spokeswoman said “the link was blocked for a very short period of time but systems were quickly restored”.
“To protect the millions of people who connect and share on Facebook everyday, we have automated systems that work in the background to maintain a trusted environment and protect our users from bad actors who often use links to spread spam and malware,” the spokeswoman said.
“These systems are not perfect, though, and in rare instances they make mistakes. We learn from rare cases such as these to make our systems even better.”
The #FBRape campaign on Thursday claimed success, as Facebook bowed to public pressure and threats or withdrawals from advertisers, and changed its guidelines on moderating offensive content.
The campaign highlighted that pages and content celebrating rape and violence against women were freely allowed and shared on Facebook, without reprisal.
Facebook does often take action against other examples of hate speech, including homophobic, racist and antisemitic content.
© The Guardian