Collared is a series of gay BDSM club nights and social events, and an associated online community
Last week Facebook wrote to Collared to confirm that it was actively enforcing a total ban on all fetish and BDSM content and that all fetish related groups and pages on its site will be subject to deletion without exception.
The Collared page was deleted by Facebook following a complaint from a site user.
The deletion angered and mystified many Collared members and supporters. As a community non-profit organization with a well-known and proven focus on safety and socialization the Facebook page was used merely as a means of communication between members. There was no explicit imagery or sexual content of any kind and the page was secret. The Page strictly followed the Facebook Terms at and especially condition (3.7):
- You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
Facebook explained that: Any content that is primarily related to sexual activities is deemed to be in breach whether or not the there are any overtly explicit photos on the Facebook page. This applies whether the content is a closed or open group and whatever the nature of the sexual activity. When it comes to fetish content this is generally regarded as always sexual rather than social in nature and removed from the site.
This apparent policy should concern the entire fetish and BDSM community as it signals a discriminatory and inconsistent application of an unethical policy.
However following extensive communication with senior staff of the company Collared has successfully lobbied the Internet giant to review the ban. Facebook is currently engaged in a wide ranging internal dialogue to clarify the prohibition and to determine whether a total ban is justified. Collared will be consulted throughout this process. Facebook has reiterated that the review process will not necessarily result in a reversal of the ban. Instead it may focus on creating greater consistency, clarity and transparency in the enforcement of the prohibition.