Moral Turpitude: An Open Letter to Facebook

*Note* This article has been redacted. See updates at the bottom. –DE

Feminists are pissed. According to WAM, Facebook has completely failed to produce an adequate response to feminist’s demands regarding censorship of “hate-speech” against women. WAM’s contention is that Facebook’s “inadequate” response contributes to violence against women, catering to a culture where violence against women is normalized. How could Facebook be so callous to the plight of women? What are the demands of these feminists?

  1. Recognize speech that trivializes or glorifies violence against girls and women as hate speech and make a commitment that you will not tolerate this content.
  2. Effectively train moderators to recognize and remove gender-based hate speech.
  3. Effectively train moderators to understand how online harassment differently affects women and men, in part due to the real-world pandemic of violence against women.

On the surface, such demands seem reasonable. No moral person would deliberately support speech that trivializes and glorifies violence. No moral person acting as a moderator would deliberately tolerate gender-based hate-speech. No moral person would deliberately misunderstand how violence affects women and men. Any failure to comply with these demands is proof of Facebook’s callous attitude and contribution to the normalization of violence. In fact, failure to acquiesce to these demands is proof of Facebook’s moral depravity. As such, corporate businesses should pull sponsorship from Facebook on the grounds of moral turpitude.

As a moral lesson for Facebook and as an attempt to instill at least a bit of virtue into this vile corporation, let us walk the grounds of moral turpitude for a moment. Let us deliberately support speech that trivializes violence, tolerates gender-based hate-speech and misunderstands how violence affects men and women. What would that speech be? Who would support that speech? What would be misunderstood about the effects of violence?

As we walk the grounds of moral turpitude for a moment, try typing into a search engine the phrase “violence against men.” You will get scores of pages linking to articles and information regarding violence against women. That’s right. Searching for violence against men leads to information about violence against women. Try it. Even though the overwhelming amount of violence in this world is violence against men, feminists have monopolized the narrative of violence as violence against women. The normalization of violence against men permeates society. We don’t even notice it. However, violence against women receives special status and notice. So much so, that search engines don’t even link to violence against men. This elevation of violence against women is de facto discrimination against men. This focus on violence against women minimizes and trivializes the savage violence that men experience everyday in this world. It is men who are overwhelmingly brutalized by a “justice” system that throws them into cages for non-violent drug crimes. It is men who are overwhelmingly slaughtered on battlefields and glorified for being great at slaughtering other men. It is men who are overwhelmingly homeless. It is men who are glorified for their brutality against other men in the ring as “sportsmen.” It is men who suffer overwhelmingly from sports related head trauma. It is men who juice their bodies in order to be glorified as objects of utility for a sports team. It is men who suffer the trivialization of violence done to them by society, by women, and by other men. Nobody notices. Nobody cares. We are too busy elevating the violence against women to some sort of superior status, some sort of slight against the divine, in some ridiculous feminist pissing-match about which gender is the longest suffering long-sufferer in the history of long-suffering. That is a walk along the grounds of moral turpitude.

Those are the grounds of moral turpitude and along those grounds we see the lack of care, understanding, and compassion for the lived experiences of men. If feminists gave a damn about equality, they would be screaming about violence against men. They remain silent. The more they scream about violence against women, the louder is their silence about violence against men. This silence is hate. This silence is ignorance. This silence is bigotry. This silence trivializes and glorifies violence against men. This silence distorts the “real-world pandemic” of violence against men. This silence is violence. Nobody notices. Nobody cares.

Feminists are pissed and that’s all that matters.

[Editorial update: Google results now show violence against men as their top results for searches on “violence against men”. Before press we witnessed the same behavior out of Google that Jason describes here. Google et. al. change their search algorithms constantly, and it does not require a conspiracy on Google’s part or anyone else for the search results to improve–and AVfM’s own entries on violence against men are among the results. It’s great that this is a small victory in getting violence against men recognized in search engine results. The fact that people are now agreeing that ignoring violence against men is very bad is also a small victory. Now all we have to do is get it recognized by international aid organizations and governments! –DE]
[*Editorial Update 2* It turns out we do have the screen shots on this, and the editorial team, specifically Dean Esmay, owes Josh an apology. So do a lot of other people. Look for an updated article on this in the near future. Dave Futrelle’s been caught out as a liar. Again. What a shock! Stay tuned. –DE]
[*Editorial Update 3* My thanks to Dave Futrelle of Manboobz. In his increasing efforts to remain relevant, he’s published multiple stories on this one little article already. In a way it’s pretty cool; we need people to hold us to high standards, after all, and even dishonest people can help others to stay honest. Futrelle is holding us to standards as high as the mainstream media, which is pretty awesome, although we want to be held to even higher standards than that. So in that sense, he’s being useful: if we publish something we can’t back up, we need to admit it. Thank you, Dave.
I also want to thank Dave for tacitly admitting we’re as important as a mainstream news organ by giving this much attention to one small story–a small part of a much bigger story of internet censorship, one that I somehow think the Dave Futrelle of the 1990s would have been on our side of.
So I thank Dave Futrelle for helping me catch an error I should have caught in the first place. I also thank him for unwittingly helping expose just how lopsided the content on “violence against women” is versus “violence against men” when you look online, even though men are demonstrably more often the victim of violence than women are.
The fact is that I did witness the Google behavior I mentioned in Update 2. However, Jason emailed us a screen shot after publication (not before) that has been wrongly declared a forgery. It is not a forgery. It was made after this confusion began, to show us what Jason’s post-publication results looked like and to express Jason’s own confusion privately, to us. That screenshot shows an artifact caused by Jason’s slow internet connection, his screen shot software, and his browser, which he was able to demonstrate to my satisfaction is in fact a glitch and is not reasonably declared a forgery. I rushed when I first saw it to assume it was the pre-publication screen shot when it wasn’t and promised an update on that here. An editor new to the process here at AVfM rushed in behind me and linked that post-publication screen shot to my words saying “We witnessed this behavior” above, effectively putting words in my mouth. That is bumble #2 and #3 on our part.
Dave Futrelle has been on the internet long enough to know that search engine results on uncommon phrases (like “violence against men”) can change daily, and that a site as big as A Voice for Men will, in fact, alter search results on Google within hours. He also almost certainly knows that companies like Google have huge teams of people who work daily to test and improve results, thus causing search results on uncommon phrases like “violence against men” to change pretty quickly. As the old phrase goes, “the elephant squeezed mightly to give birth to the mouse.” It’s pathetic, really, to make this much out of this little. But Dave Futrelle has been given this opportunity because I personally failed to take and include a screen shot before publication, I rushed an update, and a green editor added a link she shouldn’t have post-production. It’s a mistake we have discussed among the editorial team and we will not repeat it.
I may still go ahead and publish an article schooling Futrelle’s misguided readers on exactly how things like Google work, although at this point our screwup on this matter has resulted in so much work and so much pointless confusion it may not be worth it. I stand by Jason Gregory, but I regret my error in not taking the screen shot before publication. We do not and will never have the screen shot Futrelle demands. It would be nice if he would retract the claim of forgery, but that’s up to him; I don’t believe it is one and have ample reason to believe otherwise. We do, however, withdraw this story by Jason because of the lack of an available screen shot to demonstrate the pre-publication search results. This is my screwup ultimately folks. Sorry about that.
I’d especially like to thank AVfM regular TallWheel for bringing all this to our attention and not letting us ignore it. –DE

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