So I’ll cut right to the chase on this one. On Friday the 10th of November, at 6:15 PM EST, I received an odd Facebook message from a friend, one that I’ll call Jane for the sake of this article. At first glance, just from the thumbnail, her message seemed like a risky thing to click on. Here’s what I saw:
Now, I knew Jane pretty well, so I knew that she often said and did things that weren’t particularly appropriate – but it wasn’t a constant thing, it happened from time to time. So, even though the preview to this video concerned me, I reasoned that perhaps this wasn’t what it looked like. After all, it could have been a play on the word “cock,” whereby some dude positioned a rooster in such a way that it could, ostensibly, be perceived as an appendage of sorts. Not something that I would personally find funny, especially given the probability of a misunderstanding occurring; however, I felt Jane deserved the benefit of the doubt.
Unfortunately for me, and unfortunately for the chicken, this video was 100% what it looked like. To my shock, the video depicted full-on bestiality – there’s just no other way to put it – some depraved, demented human was having sex with a chicken, and enjoying himself. I think it’s safe to assume that the chicken never gave consent.
Realizing the seriousness of what I’d been sent, I immediately sought a way to report the message as being inappropriate through Facebook, so that they could remove it from their servers, or at the very least, my message history. Reporting, of course, is part of life on the Internet – sometimes, inappropriate content gets through the filters, and it’s up individuals to raise the necessary flags. And while the definition of “inappropriate” or “offensive” may vary, I felt that an explicit video of a dude sexually violating a chicken was a pretty good candidate for deletion.
Here’s the problem. While Facebook has some tools for reporting posts, comments, pages, profiles, and conversations, it doesn’t have a great way to report a single message for being offensive/inappropriate. If you press the gear icon next to a Facebook conversation, and you press Report, it immediately returns this message without giving you a chance to intervene:
We’ve marked this message as possible spam. If you’d like to report threatening or abusive messages, please visit the Help Center.
I mean, that’s good in case you’re getting spam from a random Facebook stranger, but what if this is a friend that I normally don’t have issues with? I didn’t think it made sense to flag her as a spammer.
The only other option I found was reporting the message as a threat, which is ultimately what I went for. I didn’t feel Jane was threatening me, but I found no other way to communicate the problem to Facebook. When writing the report, I made sure to specify that it was entirely possible one of her friends got a hold of her phone, and sent it without her knowing. I provided a screenshot, and figured that they’d respond rather quickly.
That was at around 7pm EST. The case is still open, and it only features this:
How long will it take for Facebook to remove something like this? Isn’t it a little bit of a concern that they can’t react faster when someone reports this type of content? I mean, to their credit, I assume that if it was an actual threat of violence against a human, they might be quicker to respond. I also imagine they’re probably pretty busy overall. But still, isn’t this still an important thing to remove? Shouldn’t Facebook be better at responding to these types of issues? I realize they might not be able to bring the guy to justice, but they could at least remove the video and prevent it from being uploaded again.
I’ll update this post when they reply to my support ticket.