The Nordic spokesperson for Facebook has admitted to having made a mistake in the case of Þórlaug Ágústsdóttir, whose photo on Facebook was stolen and changed grotesquely to make it look as if her face had suffered bruises and cuts and used to promote violence against women.
Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
The picture was posted on a different Facebook page with the following text in Icelandic: “Women are like grass. They require regular beating” ruv.is reports. In Icelandic the word slá is used for ‘cutting’ and ‘mowing’ as well as ‘hitting’ and ‘beating.’
Þórlaug repeatedly complained to Facebook about the abuse but was given the response that the use of her picture was in line with the social media’s regulations.
Þórlaug refused to accept Facebook’s handing of the case and organized a campaign to have Facebook take action. Only after her friends and other supporters joined her protest was the picture removed and shortly afterwards, the page shut down.
On Sunday Danish national broadcaster DR covered her story. Þórlaug is a student at the University of Copenhagen and lives in Østerbro, a district of the Danish capital, with her husband and two sons.
Facebook’s spokesperson in the Nordic countries Jan Frederiksson admitted to DR that they had made a mistake in Þórlaug’s case. “It’s not ok in real life and also not ok on Facebook.” He explained that all complaints are handled by an office in Dublin and that its employees may have misunderstood the context.
Wired also covered Þórlaug’s case, stating that this isn’t the first time Facebook has failed to remove abusive content and promotion of violence.