Double standards alive and on Facebook

Last week, during the course of a fairly lighthearted conversation a friend christened me with the nick-name ‘Goldenboobs’ - a play, of course on David Beckham’s infamous nick-name.

We had a bit of a laugh about it and later that evening, while we were having a bit of banter on Facebook I decided it would be funny to change my middle name to ‘Goldenboobs’ on Facebook - for a bit of a laugh with family and friends.

Well I was surprised when Facebook would not let me change my name.

Okay so I know it wasn’t exactly a mature name to choose for a nick-name. But when Facebook flashed up a message telling me that it couldn’t be used because it contravened their standards for decency and was actually offensive I was a bit taken aback.

The word ‘boobs’ offensive? When half the population of the world has them? And it wasn’t as if I was flashing any or being lewd in any fashion. I was simply referencing to the fact I have them.

Still I supposed it was good that Facebook had such stringent rules when it came to language or behaviour which may be deemed offensive.

Until, of course, I realised via a Twitter campaign that Facebook has had, until the campaign reached fever pitch this week, very mixed standards when it came to policing its own site.

Images and “joke” pages which glorified domestic violence or rape did not contravene the social media’s site policies. Some of the images are too graphic for me to describe in a family newspaper such as this, but it would not be unusual to see pictures of bruised and battered women declaring they deserved to be raped and beaten.

An example of one of the pages Facebook deemed not to contravene their acceptable use policies was “Violently Raping Your Girlfriend Just for Laughs”.

And yet, as I said using the nick-name ‘Goldenboobs’ was beyond the pale? Not to mention Facebook’s ongoing policing of removing pictures of breastfeeding mothers sparking a huge ongoing row with those who (rightly) see the act as natural, nurturing and far from provocative or offensive.

Campaigners from Everyday Sexism targetted Facebook’s advertisers in the last week - asking them to remove advertisers from the site until they brought their standards into line. It seems for now, the power of money has won and Facebook have agreed to look at their policies again.

But they should never have had to in the first place. Wrong is wrong.