For most people, Facebook means keeping in touch with your friends. For others it means keeping in touch with your family and professional contacts as well. According to the Turskish Daily News, Facebook has also turned into a place for finding people for sexual encounters. Given that the writer of the article is based in Turkey, they received many more results with groups, events and profiles with explicit content. It appears that within my networks, Facebook has done a relatively good job with filtering out explicit content.
According to the article, fake profiles were created using avatars of naked women and male genitalia. The author and others set up fake profiles and immediately made 32 contacts in one night. There are also a number of sex party events that have been set up on the site. Is Facebook trying to avoid having their site used for such things? Not really. There is actually a category of events called “Erotic Party.” I’m not sure how that can be misinterpreted to mean anything but sex parties.
Given that a large percentage of the users in the U.S. are still college students, all of the events under that category when I searched were simply jokes. Well, I at least got the impression that they are but then again, I didn’t show up to any of the events. Semra Pelek notes that “Turkey’s network of pornography groups on Facebook has numerous sub-groups like, ‘asking/trying/having sex on camera,’ ‘I want to have sex,’ ‘I am married but available,’ ‘for hysteric women’ or even ‘divorcees.’”
As noted in the article, most of the sex related groups and events are outside of the U.S. As the international population on Facebook grows, they are going to have a difficult time filtering out explicit content. Will Facebook soon emerge as the next MySpace? Will the site turn into a place for discussing and organizing “mature” topics and events?