Enough is enough.

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I wanted to leave it be just a bit before I went raising the flag over the fort again, but Facebook, without fanfare or notification or explanation or any sort of apology, has republished my original page. This is probably largely in part to all of you who heard my partner Jesse Jackman‘s appeals, signed the petition (which is still live and still accepting signatures!), and appealed on Facebook’s “lost page” page. For this, I can’t begin to thank you all enough–

Of course, no sooner is it up than some kind follower sees fit to report a photo I’d posted to the page three years ago. It’s one of the first pictures I’d ever uploaded to the Dirk Caber page; it was one of the first images I’d ever texted to Jesse. The image violated Facebook’s Community Standards, by showing “genitals or fully-exposed breasts or buttocks.” Or maybe because of the explicitly shown sexual activity? Or might this possibly be child porn…? I dunno. What do you think I did wrong?

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.29.37 AM copyHere’s the thing, and we know this has been going on for a while, as we’ve all known people who’ve been reported and blocked for the most innocuous and inane content in a Facebook post: there are folk out there who seem to think that any content of any gay nature is ipso facto obscene and hence should be reported. It would seem that Facebook would be able to police these reports and make the determination as to whether in fact the material offends. And we know that this does in fact happen; occasionally a vaguely accusatory notice will appear on our login screen that says that such-and-such a photo has been reported but hasn’t been reviewed yet, and that we have the chance to remove the offending photo before Facebook has to do it and slap us with whatever penalty they deem appropriate. Sometimes nothing happens, suggesting that Facebook found the material inoffensive. Would be nice if they told us that too… However, when one of those photos was a picture of me and my brother at his wedding (to a woman), fully clothed, and holding drinks, and this photo WAS deemed offensive, was removed, and I was hit with a three-day Facebook posting moratorium for that, we can say pretty securely that something in that system isn’t working.

This photo was removed from Facebook for violating their Community Standards.

This photo was removed from Facebook for violating their Community Standards.

Similarly, photos have been removed just of same sex couples kissing.  This has happened repeatedly to me and Jesse, and evidently isn’t uncommon among the lesbian population either.

Conversely, and this has been done on an experimental basis by a number of us, we have observed perhaps hundreds of examples of instances where we’ve reported heterosexual sexual content to Facebook. These include pictures of tits, pictures of beautiful nudes and women photographed nude for the sake of laughing at them. Pictures showing female genitalia, both just displayed and being penetrated.  It’s not just sexual, this extends to hate content and material condoning violence.  And evidently, if any of this is presented in a way that can make a Facebook reviewer laugh, it’s fine.  And a few days later we’ve received the notice in our activity logs that Facebook found no problem with such content.

I really couldn’t cite any sort of comprehensive statistic as to how often the Facebook reporting policy works or doesn’t work, either at actually identifying offensive material, or at maintaining a fairness between gay and straight content. What I do see is a much larger expression of outrage over removal of gay content that shouldn’t raise Facebook red flags than I do about straight content which shouldn’t but does. Much has been made in the media about the apparent capriciousness and opacity of Facebook’s review process, and there are entire websites and blogs out there dedicated to the confusion over what Facebook deems offensive and yet what it glosses over as harmless.

So here’s my challenge, in two parts. Go to Facebook, and find a photo somewhere of nude titties or overt sexual activity. For extra credit, find the picture of the girl with her dog’s foreleg stuffed up her hoochie which I reported six months ago and Facebook declined to be offended by. Report that image. When you get the result of the report, take a screen capture of that notification (CTRL-Shift-3 on a Mac; for a PC, press ALT-PrtScn, then create a new drawing in your favorite paint program and press CTRL-v to paste it in). Do it when you first see it, as it’s likely you’ll never see that notification again. Secondly, if some photo of yours gets reported, again, take screen captures of the notification, preferably showing the photo they removed and hopefully showing why. Then send it to me via direct message on my Facebook page (look for the “Message” button below my banner). I’m going to try to collect as many of these images as I can into a presentation as part of a move to force Facebook to reexamine its self-policing policies. Hopefully we can make this otherwise rather vibrant internet resource just a bit less unfair.

34 comments

  1. R G Sloan says:

    CTRL-Alt-Print Screen will do the screen capture on a Windows PC.

    • Blue says:

      No need for the extra buttons, the PrtScrn button is there for that single purpose of capturing everything on the screen. All we need to do is tap it once and it is now captured/saved into the temporary memory. Then simply open Paint.exe and press CTRL+V to paste the temporary memory contents into the blank space as a new document. Then save… Pressing Ctrl+Alt+ PrtScrn is pointless as the PrtScrn button has no other variations so will not accept the Ctrl+Alt keystrokes. The only time this would be a possibility of requirement would be on some laptops which require key combo’s in order to access secondary functions built into other keys.

  2. Lyne says:

    I’m sure some will respond, but on a PC there is a Print Screen button on the keyboard than you have to paste it in a program. It works well with MS Word…or any other image program.

  3. Gordon Karpen says:

    Hey Mr. Caber, I’ll meet what you cite as a challenge, as per your suggestion. And thank you for taking time to invest so much energy in trying to resolve it as you’ve been doing. Personally I feel you ought to not be inclined to feel at fault for anything, which I’m sure I’ll continue to feel certainty about.
    Frankly I don’t see the point of persons “reporting posts” they think or know you’ve placed… and I agree when you and Jesse both have mentioned the presence of anti gay sentiments. Facebook could easily make that clearer. In short I side with you and Mr. Jackman as fully as I possibly can. Please rely on that support from me because I believe your efforts are relevant to the circumstances.
    I’m sorry you two were ever imposed on for whatever reason. And please don’t lose site of your goal in the matter. I believe Facebook sees how widespread the imposing is for a greater number than they have yet to draw attention to and so on. Congradulations on your music, too, it’s really very beautiful. I admire your tenacity. And thanks again.

  4. Jon says:

    Sounds like a plan.

  5. Phetra says:

    Sounds like a plan. I’m on. This is harassment no question of it. FB can kiss my ass!

  6. Liz says:

    I honestly think that no one sees these complaints. I think that FB has some random program that runs, reads the words in the caption and then decides if it violates their policies or not. I mean, how do you look at a picture of two men, DRESSED, and smiling and laughing w/drinks in their hands and deem that offensive? What human would do that? FB really needs a department dedicated to reported pictures/videos and that department should have people that breathe actually running it.

    • Dirk says:

      This was my belief for a while too, that FB couldn’t have the staff necessary to monitor all the complaints they must get, and must simply yank anything that anyone flags (or gets a certain number of complaints perhaps). Made sense. But then that algorhythm is finding nonsexual gay content offensive and sexual straight content inoffensive a strikingly large amount of the time. If that were the case, FB would need yo tweek the filter just a hair towards fair. However, having read up on how FB deals with these, we know there are in fact people making these decisions, and that these folk decidedly seem to have a bias…

  7. Jasp says:

    Just a for your info, Mac screen shots are “Command (The Apple Key)+Shift+3” not Ctrl+Shift+3.

  8. Ben says:

    Just to let people know. I have 4 laptops. 2 window 7, 2 window 8. Only one of them have the print screen button and that is the one I bought 6 years ago. The 3 newest ones, you do have to push alt+Prtsc, maybe it’s the brand or age of your laptop, but most new ones have the 10key on the side which causes you to have the alt-prtsc.

    • Blue says:

      Only on laptops and not all laptops require key combo’s to access secondary functions. On desktop computer keyboards, the PrtScrn works fine even though it is merged as a second function to the Sys Rq key… on some keyboards.

  9. jeremy smith says:

    Not surprising

  10. christien Archer says:

    Hi there. To this when people think they don’t like something that they see on Facebook they have a need to report it. Because they have no life and they need to bitch about someone who is in the adult entertament field. Thous people are nothing but prudes and the are closed mined people. I have dealt with that kind of people several times with my Facebook page they reported me several times for having pictures of mans cock or ass naked. To start with I am a gay man and I don’t bitch or complain about straight man on Facebook showing almost naked woman but that is okay to them that is normal us gay man we aren’t normal and that is why they complain to Facebook about thoughs horable picks.

  11. mary gresham says:

    Dirk, maybe when you do the presentation, you should also go through a major media outlet, so it would reach more people. There’s someone who works for USA Today, I’ll have to look up the name, who might possibly be interested in doing a story, she did one when we were in Chicago for GayRomLit, interviewing author Carol Lynne. If you think you’d like to go that route, let me know and I’ll get the name for you.
    As for me helping out with the reports, I’d be happy too, but I haven’t had a picture reported in a very long time and even then, it wasn’t removed and it shouldn’t have been anyway. I don’t even remember what it was, other than the fact I think it might have been of a guy in a swimsuit that covered everything. But, I have a friend who had been blocked for 3 – 7 days and has had numerous photos reported that were of gay couples, I’m sure she would help you.
    Anyway, just let me know either way and good luck!

  12. I believe that FB likes to discriminate against same sex pics or gay pics in general.
    I reported a full front dick pick, FB responded..this doesn’t go against their policy.
    I’m just saying something is very wrong at fb.

  13. Wish you luck on this. I think it’s obvious that FB is discriminatory in their treatment of homosexual material. Removing that photos of you and your brother was just plain weird though.

  14. Jon Beck says:

    This whole thing with FB system is so flawed, they “monitor” as they put it by biggits and homophobes stalking GLBT people and are still repressing us. I see other people in other countries that post genitals and breasts and asses, but I guess it’s ok they don’t understand the rules, I call BS on that. So if this is it Dirk for your reign on FB I will follow you to your other sites that you work off of…

  15. Dude, I have bazillions of screen shots of cock that was posted on Facebook. Hell, I even captured a video ON FACEBOOK of a dude jacking to orgasm. Say the word. I will send you copies. I do screen shots just so folks can’t say “Oh, you just boosted that from a Google search” or the like. I prefer to say Facebook Busted!

  16. Edward D Padilla says:

    I rarely find anything offensive on Facebook – Why get upset about nude photos on my feed when I look at nude photos on my own at other times? Some people just report because they need the attention – Or they’re azzholes – or just plain hypocrites – Probably reporting the photo with sticky fingers –
    I guess I’m not a jerk –
    But I will accept your challenge –

  17. Dirk, I too have been the victim of Facebook. My facebook is for my DJ avatar on Second Life. I had posted a pic of him shirtless, and it was removed due to “exposed genitalia”.

    When I emailed “the authority” to find out exactly what the issue was for the pic, they stated “the enlarged nipples”.

    FUCK YOU FACEBOOK

  18. Andrew says:

    I haven’t read all the posts but what I see in the posted photo is a young adult male cuddling with a young adult tiger. Not sexual intimacy yes yes yea. Puts me in touch with my inner child. It’s a kind thing. My inner child exists in an adult body. I may not be a rocket scientist but I don’t think it’s poor graphic at all.

  19. Andrew says:

    Your a bueatifully confident sexy man. To heck with the haters. They have low self esteem. Big bear hugs

  20. I was more than happy to sign the petition, Dirk.

    This is not the first time that Facebook has perpetrated this nonsense.

    And people wonder why I spend so little time on Facebook?

  21. Shadow S. Black says:

    Dirk and Jesse,
    I too, on several occasions have felt the unfair sting of facebook discrimination and it has gotten so bad that I have mostly left facebook and have joined Gayternet.com
    as well I have joined Ello.com and have never had a problem on there. I recommend both of these social media sites and would be proud to be your first friend on these sites.
    Love and best,
    Shadow S. Black

  22. Dan Barenholtz says:

    How about the multiple times I reported pages for photos of rape, and nothing was done? Sick!

  23. Maha says:

    dirk

    http://archive.today/ and http://archive.org/web/. use those instead of print screen. that way you will have a permanent snapshot of the whole site AND have the ability to actually see if things were altered

    all the best

    maha valio

    P.S been fighting media censorship/ unfair social media censorship for a long time. so this blows to see this

  24. Jeff says:

    Just wanted to left you know I blasted facebook over allowing a video of a boy having sexual u tee purse with a duck to be posted on facebook but men kissing is taboo. I added to stop the double standards.

  25. Jim says:

    May I suggest you keep an eye open for any examples of similar pictures and posts by straight people that have been allowed. Just to have examples of a double standard, to bolster your case.

  26. Manuela says:

    If it wasn’t such a serious matter this would be a really funny and entertaining fb game. Unfortunately the real and good outcome seems to be still very far away. Most certainly will I try and find some pics (as you described) and see what happens if I report them.
    There is a reason why I save the pics that I like (yours with Jesse, too). I’ll never know whether it will be reported and deleted and then I will never find it again. Keep up the fight. Hugs

  27. Dirk, I only reactivated my Facebook page two months ago, and I was more than happy to sign this petition, as well as post it on my Facebook page, and Tweet it, too.

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