STATUS UPDATE

More Than 20,000 People “Like” The Bareback Page On Facebook

barebackUnlike other forms of social media, Facebook has managed to keep from devolving into a sexual quagmire. Moderators vet questionable images (sometimes too vigilantly) and, aside from the occasional “poke,” we haven’t seen too much risque action on the site.

So we were rather shocked to stumble across a Facebook community page devoted to barebacking. Created in August 2011, the page currently has 20,209 likes, with 5,560 talking about it.

While there are posts about bareback videos and porn stars (mostly from Treasure Island Media), it also appears members are using the site to hook up for condom-free encounters. “Featured members” submit a photo and any stats they want to share, and other members can begin a dialogue by responding in the comments field.  (In one instance, a commenter included his telephone number.)

Interest in the page seems to be growing: The moderator posted earlier this month, “So many featured [BB] member requests!! I might have to start featuring 2 guys per day,”

We haven’t been able to reach the moderator,”Val,” but he did include this preface on the site’s “About” section:

One of the first things you face when you become HIV + is the stigma and discrimination, not only from society in general but especially from the gay community itself.

Many do not understand that the bareback community is a community where you can be free, be yourself and not be judged by the status you have. This is the reason why I created this site, here you can feel safe and not judged, and hopefully meet other people to have fun.

From time to time we get hate messages from people saying that we promote aids and diseases … F. them! They don’t get it. An adult is responsible of his actions, you can’t blame the rest.

This page can only be accessed by people 18 and over. We do not promote “bugchasers,” if you are negative you should do your best to stay that way. If you are positive you are not alone, there are many like you around, all colors, all sizes, and we won’t judge you.
It’s important to seek professional help and stay in control

Beside that … I’d like to welcome you and invite you to participate, interact, make suggestion and overall HAVE FUN! 😉

It’s apples and oranges: There’s nothing questionable about a Facebook page for HIV+ guys, but we didn’t seen anything about AIDS or HIV on the site except for in the “About” section.

This is about encouraging unprotected sex between partners of unknown sero-status. Obviously no one should be thrown in jail for that, but it does leave a bad taste in our mouth. (No pun intended.)

And given how puritanical Facebook is on other issues, should they allow such a page to remain operational?

Our feeling is no—Facebook has made it clear it is a family-friendly space, not a hookup site. And certainly not a bareback hookup site. This isn’t a First Amendment issue, either—Facebook is free to decide what kind of content it allows on its community pages. (Pages devoted to hate groups have been taken down, for example)

But what do you think? Are we being too uptight or should a bareback-sex page—and one that facilitates unsafe liaisons—be allowed?

UPDATE (2/13/13, 8:22pm): Facebook has since taken down the page.