Facebook is constantly updating what it deems as acceptable on its site, and the newest weird choice is taking down posts that could ‘facilitate, encourage or coordinate sexual encounters between adults’.

It’s a very strange new rule, there is nothing illegal about two consenting adults wanting to have a ‘sexual encounter’, nor is it illegal to set people up; it’s a very prudish move from a website which surely has bigger fish to fry, like, I don’t know, cyberbullying, catfishing and fake news. It’s an odd move to suddenly decide that adults shouldn’t use Facebook to get some. Personally, I’ve never seen a page for setting people up on Facebook, has Mark Zuckerberg not heard of Tinder? Also, surely Facebook should be supporting any uses for itself other than tagging your friends in memes; so what if some people use your site to pull – I thought the whole point of Facebook was to help people connect?

Even the language of the new rule is bizarre, particularly ‘encourage’, maybe Zuckerberg has suddenly decided the only form of birth control is abstinence. Maybe he’s rebranding Facebook as a sort of anti-aphrodisiac, ‘go on Facebook, you’ll never want to have sex again’. Perhaps he doesn’t want any unplanned pregnancies on his conscience because, you know, so many babies born nowadays are a direct result of Facebook.  

If I were to play devil’s advocate and make some guesses as to why this new rule has been put in place, there are a few possibilities that come to mind. Perhaps it’s a moral choice aimed at preventing people from using Facebook to facilitate extra-marital affairs, maybe in a post Ashley Madison scandal internet people started relying on Facebook pages to help them find like-minded people. Maybe these pages/posts had begun to include a level of facilitation to monetary exchanges in return for sexual acts, or perhaps they had just become too explicit in the language or images posted on them. Perhaps similarly to Tumblr, Facebook decided to sanitise itself and prevent its users from using it to view or post softcore porn.

But honestly who knows why Mark Zuckerberg does what he does. Four years on and I still have no idea why – in order to promote Facebook Live – he did a half hour stream about ‘smoking meats’ from his decrepit looking garden. He was already a millionaire, he could’ve splashed out on more than just a camping chair.  


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