October 2nd, 2008

I interviewed Jincey Lumpkin, the head of a new lesbian social networking site called Digiromp, for a recent Click Me. Like many interviews, a lot of what she said didn’t make the final cut of the piece — but one such cut was particularly interesting. Lumpkin mentioned she’d wanted to advertise for her site on Facebook, but that they’d turned her request for ad space down. Here’s how she describes it:

I tried to advertise on Facebook but they rejected my ad, because they don’t allow anyone with any kind of adult content to advertise there. Even if it weren’t adult content though, I don’t think they’d allow us to do that. I’ve seen ads for lesbian vacations, but anything that’s more provocative they automatically discount.

True, Digiromp has a pretty risqué tagline (“Where all the hot girls come“) but is that really an excuse to discriminate? Facebook wouldn’t deny ad space to straight dating sites, and they have much more “adult” intentions than Lumpkin, who wanted to set up a space for lesbians to discuss their personal lives in a safe environment free from drooling men. Thanks, Facebook. Soon you’ll be as evil as the once heavenly Google.

Tags: Facebook, queerness, social networking

10 Responses to “Facebook discriminates against lesbians?”

  1. Matthew Gallant Says:

    I’m pretty sure Facebook has always been evil. Extra shame on them for this, though.

  2. Duoae Says:

    Yeah, facebook is pretty evil… though this doesn’t surprise me. There is a double standard between the perceptions of straight and gay relations…. and of course it makes it worse that Facebook is based in the US where there’s a really big taboo against anything that could even be taken in a slightly sexual way (but guns and killing people are okay!).

    I think as gay relations continue to become more normal then this issue will die down – though i’m not telling people not to make noise when the issue rears its head. The problem is that we’ve got to get past this current generation and then things will be a bit better – in a lot of cultural senses because there’s been such a large ideological shift in how we are supposed to perceive certain social aspects and how that generation was brought up….

    Actually, now that i think about it… what happened to all the hippies? I mean, most of the (social stigma) problems i think we’ve got with the older generations are with those people who grew up in the 60s/70s. I thought hippies were supposed to be accepting… or maybe there just was never as many as i thought.

    Hmm. It seems there’s only one solution. Remove all children from their parents at a young age and teach them (politically) correct behaviour (no race, sex-orientation, religion hate…. respect other people and their/your environment etc).
    The only problem is avoiding the inevitable rebellion and them becoming ultra conservative in their world view instead….

  3. Duoae Says:

    Ugh.. random wandering thoughts posts are bad when you’re frazzled.

    This part should finish off:

    in a lot of cultural senses, because there’s been such a large ideological shift in how we are supposed to perceive certain social aspects and how that generation was brought up, there is a large discrepancy between what people believe and thought was accepted behaviour and what we expect to be allowable. People were just brought up being told that being gay was wrong that people with different coloured skin should be segregated from each other etc. It takes a lot to change how you’ve thought and been taught to think.

  4. Erik Says:

    Did anyone actually go to digiromp.com? I did and it is filled with adult content, if you click on something it will come up with an adult content warning. Sure, this content maybe no more adult than dating sites, though I can’t speak to which dating sites facebook does advertise, but it is clearly adult in nature. This probably didn’t pass the first sniff test for adult content. I think very little critical thinking went into this article but that’s probably because I am discriminating, right?

    Also, does anyone realize that facebook is private property and they can do what ever the hell they want with their site?

  5. Erik Says:

    I just wanted to say I enjoyed your contributions to the Radio Free Nintendo podcast at NWR. It’s too bad it got cut off at, what would normally be, the half way point. It’s good to see they are trying to incorporate different opinions, and perspectives.

  6. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Hey Erik, if you visit the inside of the site, not just the initial content screen, you’ll see there’s actually very little adult content. In all fairness, in order to get into the main part of the site properly — as I mention in the article — you need an okay from Lumpkin herself. I could see how you’d be thrown off by the adult content warning, but trust me, from the inside, the site is pretty tame.

  7. Erik Says:

    Wouldn’t that exactly explain why facebook would expect there to be adult content? Hence the reason they rejected the advertising based on the assumption that it was an adult content based website. Regardless of whether the “interior” of the website is not inappropriate I doubt anyone at facebook took a thorough look inside. Maybe we can call them lazy but saying they discriminate is a bit of a stretch given the context of the website.

  8. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Lots of sites have “adult content” warnings and require you to be 18 over to enter — including a number of the dating sites already being advertised on Facebook…

  9. Jincey Lumpkin/ DigiRomp Says:

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. The reason that there is an 18+ warning is because the social networking platform on which DigiRomp is housed requires it. I think a lot of people are thrown off by the very stark-looking stop sign. I’d love to change the warning page and make it a bit more inviting, but the Terms of Service do not allow it.

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