facebook disables www.facebook.com/pornvalleyvantage.com?!!

Today started out awesome – chilly, MGMT pumpin,’ lots of great stuff to work on, the prospect of a nap in the afternoon…

…and then I got this email:

“Hello,

Your Page ‘Porn Valley Vantage’ has been removed for violating our Terms of Use. A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes. Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed. We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual. If your Page was removed for any of the above reasons, it will not be reinstated. Continued misuse of Facebook’s features could result in the permanent loss of your account.

If you need further assistance with this issue, please visit http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=page_disabled.

The Facebook Team”

Really?!!

Yes, really.

Now many things have been pointed out to me since I received this email, namely that Facebook is a free service and its terms of use are very clearly spelled out.  For sure, 100%, but here’s the thing: my disabled page – www.facebook.com/pornvalleyvantage – did not violate any of these terms.

Consider…

1. “A Facebook Page is a distinct presence used solely for business or promotional purposes.” – I used the PVV Facebook page to announce new posts and stories, as well as update readers on my goings on, happenings, etc.  Sounds like “business or promotional purposes” to me.

2. “Among other things, Pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed.” – Now perhaps there is some confusion about the sociological meaning of “critical,” as in “Porn Valley Vantage – critical commentary on the adult film industry,” and/or the definition of obscenity in the US.

Porn Valley Vantage presents critical commentary on the adult production industry and related happenings – I complicate relevant issues with a perspective shaped by sociology, feminisms, and social justice. Ideally, I highlight some of the additional nuance present in every issue.  And as many of you know, I’m also pretty critical (in the traditional sense) of a lot of issues and/or things impacting the adult industry – absolutely. But disagreeing with and/or being critical of public figures and actions is neither hateful nor threatening.

Moreover, obscenity in the US is currently defined by the three-pronged “Miller test.” It requires an assessment of 1) whether an average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that a work (such as PVV), taken as a whole, appeals to prurient (read: sex-related simply for the purpose of being sex-related) interests; 2) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by an applicable state law; and 3) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value (Miller v. California 413 U.S. 15, 1973).

In order to be considered obscene, a work must meet all three Miller test criteria. So, by using the word “obscene,” Facebook is implying that Porn Valley Vantage might be prurient according to the average person/contemporary community, may be offensively depicting sexual conduct (what?), and is, consequently, lacking in value.

This part actually really angers me… and it sounds rather libelous. Whatsmore, I’m pretty sure PVV’s Facebook and Twitter followers, who are themselves a community with contemporary standards, would disagree with any attribution of “obscene.”  I’m also pretty sure that all those underground, undeclared PVV readers would concur.

3. “We also take down Pages that attack an individual or group, or that are set up by an unauthorized individual.” – ummm… aside from the fact that I, who writes and is responsible for everything PVV, am authorized to set up a page for my work, it seems that we are back to that same “attacking”/threatening issue (see 2).

Porn Valley Vantage encourages people to consider the rights and full personhood of an historically marginalized group – members of the professional adult production industry.  Call me crazy, but this is quite the opposite of attacking anyone or anything.

I think I understand what this whole thing is reeeally about: the use of the word “porn” and, by proxy, critical engagement of adult.  The idea that porn and adult production need to be taken seriously is pretty much mind-blowing for a lot of people, and that’s ok. I’m not saying that the world needs to love and support porn (although statistically, in terms of dollars spent, most of us do), but I am saying that the industry and the people therein need to be taken seriously as humans and as a culturally significant dimension of society.

I seriously doubt Facebook even looked at the PVV page – they probably just saw the word “porn” and reacted (although I have run a couple of ads with them in the past… they were more than happy to take my money, thus they’ve clearly known about the page in some capacity before today). That possibility is what I find most disappointing.

Regardless, I now need your help!! I have already issued a written response, but please show you love and support for Porn Valley Vantage and help me regain access to what is actually a huge deal (Facebook is a pretty darn influential social networking outlet).

Please contact the powers that be via this link: www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=page_disabled

It will ask you for the name and URL of the disabled page.  They are “Porn Valley Vantage” and “www.facebook.com/pornvalleyvantage” respectively.

Don’t put up with this bullshit, bebes – if they can take down PVV, they can probably take down anything… and that’s a pretty scary thought.

email me!!

absolutely awesome graphic above courtesy of JM – thanks, man!!