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Facebook and the right to be free from discrimination

Excerpted from The Sex Workers in Europe Manifesto

Defamation of sex workers incites discrimination and hatred. We demand that sex workers be protected by anti-discrimination legislation.

Media and education
Our voices and experiences are often manipulated by the media and we are seldom given the right to reply and our complaints are dismissed.

The portrayal of sex workers in the mass media all too often perpetuates the stereotypical image of sex workers as unworthy, victims and/or a threat to moral, public and social order. In particular the xenophobic portrayal of migrant sex workers adds an additional level of stigma and increases their vulnerability. Such portrayals of sex workers give legitimacy to those within our society who seek to harm us and violate our rights.

Prejudice and discrimination against sex workers runs throughout our society. To overcome this we require our governments to recognise the actual harm that is being done to us, and the value of our work, and support us and our clients in educating and informing not only those in public authorities but also the general public to enable us to participate fully in our society.

Sex workers and sex worker rights advocates take action against groups and pages on Facebook which incite hatred and violence towards sex workers. Recently activists demanded that Facebook shut down a group advocating the murder of prostitutes as a joke. No joke say sex workers, but rather one more example of how we are perceived in society as exploitable and expendable. While free speech advocates cry foul talking about murdering people is somewhat different than engaging in discussion and having differing opinions. There are other groups and pages on Facebook that think it is cool to talk about killing prostitutes. There is a handy REPORT button you can use to tell Facebook what you think about this kind of hate speech.

Press:
Catholic Boys set up 'kill hookers' page


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