Do Something Real for #NotFunnyFacebook

When I heard about the Twitter campaign against Facebook's rape joke pages my first thought was, "come on, Internet, seriously? This is why we can't have nice things!". I mean, don't get me wrong, my generation is the Web 2.0 generation and most of the time I loves me the intertubes, but this is the kind of totally ineffective action that gets the whole internet generation dismissed as irrelevant. #notfunnyfacebook may raise awareness about Facebook's fucked up obscenity standards (rape jokes = hilarious, breastfeeding = BANNED!) in some places, but not among the people whose opinions matter to Facebook.

Because here's the thing. People expect a company to care how their customers feel about their service. But people need to realize that on Facebook we are not the customers, we are the product. And companies really don't care how their product feels about anything. What we need to do is hit Facebook where it hurts: in the advertisers. So here's what I recommend. It's more work than just tweeting a hashtag, but I think it's much more likely to be effective.

Step 1:
- Go to one of these pages of rape jokes. They can be hard to find because most articles about them decline (understandably) to link to them. I've so far found two, here and here. (It should go without saying, but trigger warning for sexual violence on those two pages.)

Step 2:
- Make sure you can see the ads. If you use AdBlocker Plus like I do, you need to set it to "disable everywhere" and reload the page.

Step 3:
- Hover your mouse over an ad and a little blue/grey x will appear in the top right corner. Click it.

Step 4:
- A drop down menu will appear with two options. Select "Hide all ads from [this provider]". Then Facebook will ask you why. Select "Other" and type "Supports a page that endorses rape".

Step 5:
- repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the ads on that page are hidden. Then reload the page and go back to step 3.

I don't know for sure if this will work. I don't know if anyone reads the comments when you block an ad for "Other" reasons. But I do know this: The only thing, and I mean ONLY thing, Facebook cares about is their advertisers. And if enough people start to do this, in a regular and sustained way, it should cause a blip in either Facebook's or the advertisers' analytics and someone might pay attention.

Tweeting a hashtag is great, but it's only ever step one. To be effective, we need to move on to step two.


parodie said...

What about taking screenshots and then emailing the advertisers?

Q. Pheevr said...

This sounds like a good idea.

I wish I had some way of visibly toggling my status vis-à-vis Facebook between "not using it because I don't feel like it" and "boycotting it because of the latest stupid shit they've done." (This may be a distinction without a difference, but it would still be fun.)