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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Facebook says it gets better.

The co-opting of bullying as a GLBT-only phenomenon continues with this new video from Facebook and the It Gets Better message. It’s solid, well-produced and heartfelt. At the risk of this coming off like anti-gay rhetoric, the video also ignores those who suffer at the hands of bullies who may not have had to deal with coming out issues, but who nonetheless experienced just as much torment. While the piece ends with COO Sheryl Sandberg imploring people to report abuse on their safety page, it feels like an afterthought. Throughout, there’s not one story from someone who wasn’t gay. Considering the company, surely there were no shortage of geeks at Facebook who were bullied because they loved math? It Gets Better is a great message for all bullying victims. Any message is better than none, but given its 500+ million users, they missed a huge opportunity here to take the lead in the social networking space and speak out on behalf of everyone, regardless of sexual preference. (The alternative is the federal government steps in, and that always works out.) Especially with so many of the people on Facebook parents, how could it hurt to build an education campaign addressed to them. Because all parents know what their kids are up to in real life – and online.


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