Dirk Hooper Photography
Last weekend Facebook removed dozens of BDSM-related pages from the site. The group BDSM Against Censorship lists nearly 100 groups affected by the ban, but there are unquestionably more groups and pages that have not made the list. Since last weekend a few of the groups have successfully gone through the process of petitioning for reinstatement, but the vast majority have not.
Michelle Fegatofi, author of Bdsm Basics for Beginners – A Guide for Dominants and Submissives Starting to Explore the Lifestyle, lost her group BDSM International last weekend. The group had over 35,000 members and has not been reinstated by Facebook.
Fegatofi describes how she learned about the fate of her group. “The only notice I received was a little bubble notice saying it was unpublished and could be appealed, which I have done. The reason was a vague reason saying I violated Facebook regs by having nude, lewd or violent sexual pics posts. Which I did not!”
Facebook did not make a public statement about the reasons for removal of the BDSM groups. Michelle Fegatofi and others in the BDSM Against Censorship group believe that Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, writer and activist Soraya Chemaly and Jaclyn Friedman from Women, Action & the Media were either directly or peripherally responsible for Facebook deleting BDSM groups through the hashtag Twitter campaign #FBRape in May 2013.
In a post on their Facebook page, Woman, Action & the Media explains they were not responsible for the Facebook crackdown, “We’ll say this again clearly: WAM! is fully in support of consensual BDSM pages, and have told Facebook explicitly that we oppose their crackdown on these pages. Please ask anyone claiming to attribute a quote to the contrary to us to provide a source for those quotes. They are false, plain and simple.”
Whether the BDSM groups and pages on Facebook were collateral damage from a campaign about violence against women or a decision by Facebook corporate to cut down on adult content, the results are the same; many groups will never return and all BDSM groups on Facebook are at risk from this point forward. If owners of BDSM pages and groups decide to stay on Facebook then they must assume that their groups can be shuttered at any time. ...