ChrisMaverick dotcom

on Sex, Violence, The World Cup, Steve Jobs, Good Looking Criminals, Non-sequitur Memes, Lebron James and Why Facebook Can Go Fuck Themselves…

Siren's Song #25 (of 42) Models: Melanie Swank & Jordan Driscol. Photo credit: Christopher Maverick ©2012

Siren’s Song #25 (of 42)
Models: Melanie Swank & Jordan Driscol. Photo credit: Christopher Maverick ©2012

So initially I was going to write something entirely different here. I was going to complain about people complaining about sports. I was going to complain that people who complain about sports are being stupid. I was going to complain about non-sequitur memes. I wanted to write about what a complete and total fucktard David Icke is (yeah, I know…. “who the fuck is David Icke?” more on that later). But then in doing so I ended up getting so mad at the ridiculousness of Facebook that this became about that. (Trust me, the sexy picture attached here will make sense sooner or later… well hopefully) Anyway, this all started because I hate when people complain about sports as a sign of their own superiority. I mean, don’t get me wrong, complain about whatever you want. I complain all the time. I even tweeted a stupid joke making fun of the World Cup right after it was over yesterday. <DocHoliday>Apparently, my hypocrisy knows no bounds!</DocHoliday>

qzq1rxzkeyppapc6teci

Lebron James vs. Richard Peverley

Note, that in doing so, I didn’t even really say the World Cup is stupid. I like soccer. I don’t love it. I love football (real Football, dammit) more. No this doesn’t make me superior to anyone. None of my personal likes or dislikes do. Nor do my morals. (I’m superior because I’m incredibly attractive, supremely intelligent, have an enormous penis and shit rainbows). No, what I hate is when people find something that they know a lot of people care about (say sports) and then complain that those who care about said thing are somehow morally or intellectually inferior because of it, as though the human condition only allowed for the most altruistic and academic of pursuits: “Why are you watching the NBA Finals, you could be reading a book?”, “I’m glad your team won the Stanley Cup, but do you know people are dying of cancer?”, “Yes, the Superbowl is this Sunday, but have you accepted Christ into your life?” That sort of thing. It’s not even just sports. I similarly get annoyed when people make posts complaining that we shouldn’t mourn the death of Steve Jobs because millions die in Africa or that somehow Jeremy Meeks, the felon, being attractive belittles the heroism of Kyle Carpenter, the marine. These things are called non-sequiturs. One has nothing to do with the other. It’s like saying “I’m glad you care about AIDS research, but you know there’s a war in Iraq?” (Please note, I am NOT talking about people who make memes like this one of Lebron. Because, really fuck that guy. And yes, I do want him to help the Cavs win a championship. I told you I’m a hypocrite) I’m sure we all know people who feel this way, and if you’re that person and you honestly feel this way… fuck you.

That’s what I was going to complain about. But then shit got real.

So I saw a couple of these random non-sequitur memes pop up and I was all set to make fun of one, but then I saw one that was pretty damn disturbing for a different reason. It was very graphic. I saw it pop up a couple of times in my Facebook newsfeed being forwarded from different people, and I’m sure it’s on Twitter too. I debated whether or not to link to it here in the context of this article but decided that it was way gross and I’d just leave it out. If you care, you’ll probably be able to find it from my description. Trust me, it’s not worth it. In any event, if you’re likely to be squicked out by even the description of graphic images with children, go ahead and skip the very next paragraph (this means you, Connie).

So there I am sitting on my front porch, having a cigarette and reading Facebook on my phone when I see a photo pop up in my newsfeed that a friend of mine has “Liked” from conspiracy theorist (and former soccer player), David Icke (again, I refuse to link to his site). It’s disgusting. I scroll past it. Then I see it show up again as someone else has shared it. As disgusting as it is, I decide to go to the original poster’s page and investigate. He’s helpfully made the post “sticky” so that it’s right there at the top of his page. Said photo is captioned “Germany won the World Cup. Oh, My God. Does it matter?” While Icke’s poor grammar is enough to be appalled by (why is this idiot famous and I’m not) what really was disgusting is that the photo is a picture of a father, weeping over the lifeless body of his child, on a medical gurney, as the back of his skull has been blown off from a bomb. Both are covered in blood and you can clearly see that his skull is empty, as most of the child’s brain matter has spilled out from the blast. The photo, as of this writing, has some 38,000 Likes, 6,000 reshares, and 4,100 comments. Perusing the comments, I can see that some people thought it was fake (it’s not, and to make things EVEN BETTER someone helpfully posted the video reel that the still was taken from to the comment feed so that people could see it was real), people complaining that it was disgusting and needs to be taken down, and Icke and his followers chastising the those who are offended for ignoring the atrocities in the world in favor of a sporting event.

English: David Icke, English writer and public...

David Icke (Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

(Welcome back, those of you with squeamish triggers) In any event, what the photo lacks is context. From the comments, I can see that Icke and his followers are actually opposed to “the horrors” of the “terrorist nation of Israel” and their bombing of poor children in the Gaza strip. Ok, yeah… I get that. And that’s even a reasonable debate to maybe have. Too bad it’s not mentioned in the picture at all. The picture is just “Germany won the world cup. Here is a dead kid.” NON-SEQUITUR. Honestly, the debate in his comments is pretty heated with a lot of inflammatory (and often anti-Semitic) language. Most of them, including Icke himself, seem pretty idiotic (Also, he looks kinda like he should play the villain from a B-movie, Skinemax remake of Lord of the Rings). And fine. They’re welcome to it. Their logic of linking it to the Wold Cup is pretty flawed, as is common with non-sequitur memes and like I said, I was going to write about it. But then I started talking to my friend Nat, and he pointed out that I should really report the photo as offensive so it doesn’t pop up on other people’s pages who might be more squeamish than me (like our other friend, Connie). Good point. So I go to do it. And here my problems began.

Model: Dane Halo, Photo Credit: Norman Whaley ©2014

Model: Dane Halo, Photo Credit: Norman Whaley ©2014

I’ve been reported for offensive Facebook content before. I’m sure I will be at some point again. Usually it’s because of boobs. I take photos. Sometimes there are boobs in them. I generally try really hard to make sure that no nipple shows up on Facebook, because everyone knows that the female nipple is the Satan’s gateway and when children see nipples they will undoubtedly be sent down a dangerous path of deviant sexuality and fornication that their eternal souls will burn in hell. Or at least so I am told. Me, I like boobs. I think they’re wonderful magical things. They have the power to nourish children & cause erections! They give bras and lingerie a reason to exist, And they have the power to sustain a woman for weeks malnourished in the desert (actually, that might be camels… what the fuck do you want, I’m an English major). All that and the whole Satan’s gateway thing is pretty impressive. But anyway, I’ve mostly been lucky about not being reported on Facebook. As opposed to say, my good friend, Dane Halo, a nude model, who seems to complain about being reported weekly. You see, Dane has her picture taken for a living. And she has boobs (very nice ones in fact). So, chances are, if you follow her on Facebook or Twitter, you’re likely to catch some titty from time to time. And honestly, most of what she talks about is modeling, so if you’re afraid of seeing that sort of thing, you probably shouldn’t be following her. I for one love her tits! (See, that’s a compliment. I’m smooth like that).

Anyway, so I figured “good point, I should report the picture of the kid minus a head. How hard could that be?”

FUCKING HARD.

First of all, it took me a little bit to even figure out how to report something, because the link Facebook has to “Report This Image” isn’t there anymore. They’ve renamed it “I don’t want to see this” which I’m sure someone thought was a great idea, but is actually just bad usability, because not only does it not adequately describe what I want to do, it’s not the commonly accepted term for that function that is in use EVERYWHERE ELSE ON THE FUCKING INTERNET. It’d be like if Apple or Microsoft suddenly decided to replace all of the “OK” buttons with “Alright.” But anyway, I figured it out. So when you click the link you’re asked “Why don’t you want to see this photo?” and given the following possible responses:

  1. It’s annoying or not interesting
  2. I’m in this photo and I don’t like it
  3. I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook
  4. It’s spam

Ok, that’s, not so bad. Clearly the reason I don’t want it is reason #3. So I click that. I get a new pop-up asking me why I don’t think it should be on Facebook. My options are:

  1. This is pornography
    • Examples: nudity, sexual arousal, sexual acts, individuals soliciting sex
  2. This is annoying
    • Examples: pointless pictures, memes or viral images, someone or something that bothers me
  3. This insults or humiliates me or someone else
    • Examples: altered images of me, shows something racist, homophobic or sexist
  4. This is a photo of me or my family that I don’t want on Facebook
    • Examples: photos from my past relationships, photos someone else posted
  5. Something else

Uh…. well, that’s odd. Well, there’s the pornography link that I was sort of expecting. The others seem like they’re really just kind of trying to convince me to not bother reporting stuff. I’m pretty sure if I pick 2 through 4, Facebook will just tell me to go fuck myself, because that’s the nature of the internet, freedom of the press and how photography laws work. But really, none of them are actually appropriate anyway. So clearly I want “Something else.” I click option 5 and I’m given ANOTHER pop up (the third):

  1. This shows gore or bodily harm
    • Examples: shows graphic injury, body parts, animal abuse or torture
  2. This shows someone using drugs
    • Examples: people injecting or snorting drugs
  3. This displays someone harming themselves or planning to harm themselves
    • Examples: self-inflicted wound, weapon held to head, suicide note, promotes eating disorder
  4. It describes buying or selling drugs, guns or regulated products
    • Examples: shotguns, marijuana, tobacco, adult items
  5. I think it’s an unauthorized use of my intellectual property
    • Examples: copyright or trademark infringements

Finally! Clearly option #1 is where I want to go! So if I click that, it will give me a form where I can say what I find disturbing about the picture, right? WRONG! Clicking that leads me to yet ANOTHER pop-up where I am told, “Here are some things you can do to handle this:”

  1. Message DavidIcke
    • Ask David Icke to take it down
  2. Hide all from DavidIcke
    • You won’t see posts from David Icke
  3. Submit to Facebook for Review

For HOVA’s sake, why didn’t you just give me option #3 four fucking popups ago? Because at this point the message is clearly “really, don’t bother us with your sensibilities. Unless it’s got boobies in it! But whatever, now I’ll finally get a chance to tell Facebook why I think the photo is offensive. Nope. Guess not. Obviously, given the 4000-odd comments that were on the photo, asking him to take it down, wasn’t useful. Hiding all content from him isn’t useful either, because I don’t follow him in the first place, and really, I’m not reporting it for me, so much as other people who might be rightfully squicked out. So, I click the 3rd link and the text of it changes to “Submitted to Facebook for Review.” No new popup. No chance to type anything. Just a subtle addition of the letters “t, e and d” to the end of the first word. Blink and you’ll miss it. Whatever. I figure the photo speaks for itself and it’ll be pretty clear why I am reporting it.

An hour goes by. And then I get this response from Facebook (wow, that was way faster than I expected on a Sunday night):

This photo wasn’t removed

Details

Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the photo you reported for containing graphic violence and found it doesn’t violate our Community Standards.

Woah?!?!? Seriously? After all of that? Honestly, I don’t expect any real person to be reviewing these cases. I expect that if enough people click and say it’s offensive, some Facebook-bot just blocks it. Especially given how many of Dane’s photos get taken down (and mostly ones that have been censored to not show nipples or genitals, or covered up like the one I used above). And really, given the content of the photo, I’m quite certain I wasn’t the only one who reported it. So clearly someone reviewed the photo and decided “nope, this is fine. Graphically murdered children don’t violate our community standards.”

I often joke that the problem with this country/world is that people are way more offended by sex than violence (and everyone should watch the brilliant documentary, This Film Is Not Yet Rated). But this wasn’t even a joke. From the Facebook community standards that they linked to:

  • Graphic Content

    Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences and raise awareness about issues important to them. Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. In many instances, when people share this type of content, it is to condemn it. However, graphic images shared for sadistic effect or to celebrate or glorify violence have no place on our site.

    When people share any content, we expect that they will share in a responsible manner. That includes choosing carefully the audience for the content. For graphic videos, people should warn their audience about the nature of the content in the video so that their audience can make an informed choice about whether to watch it.

  • Nudity and Pornography
    Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.

So, in other words officially, graphic content is of public interest so long as it about terrorism or human rights abuses and you are complaining, but nudity is always bad.

Really… FUCK YOU GUYS!

So yeah, that’s apparently Facebook’s official policy. The funny part is that when I went to pick a photo for this image I decided “gee, what do I have that is both sexual and violent” so that it fits. And the funny thing, of the gazillion photos I’ve taken, it turns out that I actually DON’T have anything that is all that violent. This series of Melanie and Jordan where she is pretending to kill him, is literally the best I have. So now what I need to do, apparently is put together a Kickstarter or something, so I can raise the money to hire a couple of porn stars and fly to Somalia so that I can take pictures of them having sex on a pile of dead bodies. You know… for the political statement. Who’s in?

5 comments for “on Sex, Violence, The World Cup, Steve Jobs, Good Looking Criminals, Non-sequitur Memes, Lebron James and Why Facebook Can Go Fuck Themselves…

Leave a Reply