Facebook Also Becoming a Sexuality-Free Zone: Reason Roundup

Just a few days after Tumblr announced that it would ban all pornography, Facebook has pulled the proverbial hold my beer with its new “Sexual Solicitation” policy.

Facebook will now “restrict sexually explicit language”—because “some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content”—as well as talk about “partners who share sexual interests,” art featuring people posed provocatively, “sexualized slang,” and any “hints” or mentions of sexual “positions or fetish scenarios.”

The company has long been known for bizarre content-moderation choices—at times downright puritanical, at others permissive, in a way that goes beyond the typical vagaries of monitoring and filtering massive amounts of content. (An August episode of Radiolab does a better job than anything else I’ve encountered at tracing why this is and how it plays out in practice.) The site has gotten slack for banning everything from photos posted by breastfeeding mothers to classical art to Stone Age sculpture in a willy-nilly manner.

But its updated Community Standards explicitly ban basically anything that hints at or mentions sexuality, including specifically ordering users not to post erotic art, engage in sexualized banter, use anything above PG language, advertise legal sex work, organize community events or private groups related to non-normative sexuality, or even engage in private talk with other users about hooking up.

The new Sexual Solicitation policy starts by stating that while Facebook wants to faciliate discussion “and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation,” it “draw[s] the line…when content facilitates, encourages, or coordinates sexual encounters between adults.” Can we pause a moment to appreciate how weird it is that they lump those things together in the first place? Whatever the intent, it reads as if only content coding sex as exploitative, violent, and negative will be tolerated on the site, while even “encouraging” consensual adult sex is forbidden. It goes on to instruct users not to post:

Attempts to coordinate or recruit for adult sexual activities such

You can read the rest of this article at: https://reason.com/blog/2018/12/06/facebooks-new-sexual-soliciation-policy