Saturday, January 24, 2015

An open letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Dear Mr. Zuckerberg,

Recently, a few individuals who wanted to cause problems have targeted members of the gay community, and supporters of equality. They have gone on a rampage, reporting photos and threatening people. Michael Stokes, a photographer out of Los Angeles, California, was targeted by an individual and told that she would “ruin him” because he posts artistic photos of male models. If you go to any museum, or even walk past most museums of fine art, and you would see more of the human body than you do on the photos Mr. Stokes posts. Yes, we all know Facebook has community standards, however Facebook’s standards are double standards, allowing abusive photographs of women, pornography of women, images depicting women in demeaning situations, and other abuses to stay on the site and yet photos of two men fully dressed but kissing are deleted. Do you really want to be known as the company that supports abuse towards women and gay men? Thirty years from now, when your granddaughter (if you have one) is looking back at the company her grandfather created, do you want to be known as the man who allowed abuse to foster and grow? Maybe you don’t care about women, and you think it’s funny that groups on Facebook support the exploitation of women, I don’t know, but based on which posts are deleted and which posts are allowed to stay I’d have to say that maybe you are that type of man and history will show the truth, depicting you not as a great man who united the world, but a person who encouraged the abuse of women and gay men.

I implore you to stop allowing the abuses to continue. Mr. Stokes was threatened then kicked off Facebook because an individual who is homophobic chose to “ruin” him. Abusers of the system are rewarded and the people they are attacking are harmed. I see it on a weekly basis on Facebook, where some crazy homophobic person finds and reports authors of gay literature, photographers who make a study of the male form, gay performers, and others who support equality. Stop allowing the abuse to continue. The double standard is unfair, and it supports abuse towards women and gay men. Please stop the abuse. Stop allowing people who habitually report clean gay images and images of the male form from trying to “ruin” good people who are working to foster equality.

Sara York

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