The ability to post your relationship status on your profile is one of Facebook’s oldest features, with making a relationship “Facebook official” or official on Facebook even becoming a milestone for some people. But apparently, since its inception, this feature of Facebook has been discriminatory towards polygamists.
Indeed, if it is possible for a monogamous person to indicate his love situation on the social network by identifying the partner, a polygamous person will not be able to do so by identifying his partners.
For the NGO OPEN, the mention “free union” is not enough
And in the United States, the NGO Organization for Polyamory and Ethical Non-monogamy (OPEN) or Organization for polyamory and ethical non-monogamy is officially asking Facebook to fix this. It published a letter, addressed to the manager of the Facebook application, Tom Alison.
In this letter, OPEN explains that the design of Facebook’s “relationships” feature prevents many users from having the relationships most important to them. For the NGO, non-monogamous people “are arbitrarily prevented from expressing the full range of their relationships on the Facebook app. »
“Given the growing prevalence of ethical non-monogamy, we believe that restricting users to listing only one relationship status on their profile is arbitrary, exclusive, and contrary to Meta’s core values. At best, this restriction perpetuates the erasure and marginalization of non-monogamous relationships; at worst, it harms non-monogamous users by perpetuating social stigma around the validity and authenticity of their relationships”we also read on this letter published by OPEN.
Facebook is certainly losing momentum (a few months ago, the social network recorded a drop in the number of users, which caused the stock market to fall). But according to the NGO, ethical non-monogamy is practiced by 4 to 5% of the American population. And one in five adults have practiced consensual non-monogamy at some point in their lives.
The NGO OPEN also mentions a study indicating that 43% of those who practice ethical non-monogamy experience discrimination. And the same study would suggest that stigma can be reduced by acknowledging people’s choices.
“All users of the Facebook application should have the right to indicate all their romantic and intimate partners, without limits. We therefore ask Meta to take the next step to facilitate inclusive login on the Facebook app by removing the limit of one “relationship status” on profiles »concludes the NGO.
Meta has already reacted to this letter. Quoted by the New York Times, a representative of the social network indicated that the group is examining it, while recalling that on Facebook, users already have the possibility of indicating that they are in a free union.
What OPEN asks is that users can mention the people they have a relationship with on their profiles.