Standing up to the Man: Going Dark on Facebook


On May 8, I posted on the struggle to get Facebook to stop banning breastfeeding photos and the role Jodine Chase plays as an important node in that network.

When I went onto my Facebook page this morning, I saw a new post by Jodine. It began like this:

“Good morning. I’m going dark for 30 days after Facebook banned me for 30 days because I liked and then shared a breastfeeding picture…”

She went on to provide a link to  Ads DifferenceAdRecallwith Friends, a blog post from Nielsen, which talks about research the organization did on the value of social ads. Social ads are ads sent to people who have “friends” who have liked a product. The ads let you know that your friend liked the product. Nielsen’s research shows that these social ads are 55% more likely to be remembered than non-social ads. That’s an incredible increase in effectiveness and points out how valuable our information is to Facebook and their advertisers.

So by going dark for 30 days, Jodine is withholding the only thing we have that is of value to Facebook or other social media services – our selves and our connections. This is our social capital. It seems Facebook isn’t listening to the entreaties it has received to put a human interface in place to ensure that photos that meet its own guidelines aren’t inappropriately blocked by its algorithm.

Facebook doesn’t appear to realize that by continuing to participate on Facebook, we have faith that it has a social conscience and is able to learn and do the right thing regarding breastfeeding and other human rights issues. They need to figure out that we can lose that faith and withdraw our support. Individually we may only be a grain of sand in their shoe, but if enough accumulate, who knows what might happen.

“Going dark” may be the new protest march. While Wikipedia and other sites went dark to protest SOPA, it doesn’t seem to have been done much by individuals. That said, we shouldn’t be afraid to try.

Jodine is going to be blogging daily on her protest at Jodine’s World. Check it out, including her analysis of the Time photo and why the Forbes article on it entitled “Here’s why Facebook is OK with Time’s Breastfeeding Cover” should have carried the headline “Here is why Facebook is OK with Time’s Breastfeeding Cover….But Will Delete it Anyway”.

Power to the people.


4 Responses to “Standing up to the Man: Going Dark on Facebook”

  1. 1 Andrea

    Judith I think Jodine will be the person that will break Facebook’s hold on the average person. Once you go “dark” for 30 days the need, the tendency, the desire to even go back on is greatly diminished. I’ll be watching this as it unfolds. Wonderful post!

  2. I watched Seth Meyers on SNL mock the Time Magazine cover on his weekend update. Hilarious!! I’m pro breast feeding but they were really asking for it with that cover.
    BTW – great post

    • But asking for it on purpose! I have seen that cover at least five times in the media over the last few weeks. You can’t buy that kind of publicity!

      • True, but I think a lot of people will think that breastfeeding is weird…I’d be really interested in some survey work on what people really thought.

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