Facebook Reverses Decision on Inclusion of Bullfighting as 'Inappropriate'

Controversy has stirred up in Spain after Facebook included bullfighting as a category that people can report as inappropriate or offensive.

The categories for reporting content were amended to say: "It´s against my values, it mocks my musical or sport tastes, shows hunting scenes or bullfights." The reactions to the change were expected in some ways, but not as black and white as many would believe.

Many organizations that are pro-bullfighting responded in anger, stating that bullfighting is part of Spanish culture and tradition. @arteespanol, a Twitter account that defends bullfighting, called it an "outrage", while Fundacion del Toro de Lidia, an organization that represents bull breeders, said that they would be meeting with Facebook executives in order to discuss their concerns and opposition, stating: "This doesn't make any sense. It is unfair that they are comparing an art form with violent content."

On the other side of the spectrum, Pacma, a political party in Spain focused on improving animal welfare, was pleased with the inclusion, stating "Facebook has recognized the violent nature of bullfighting."

However not all who are opposed to bullfighting stood united on this subject, and as Marta Esteban of Tortura No Es Cultura (Torture Is Not Culture) stated, Facebook's inclusion could affect anti-bullfighting advocacy work as well:

"We are using these images against bullfighting, so banning them is really a tricky solution. We have seen a clear shift from Spanish people: they are more and more against these kind of practices and we think those images can help exposing the public to things they haven't seen before. We think images that are promoting bullfighting should be banned, and others that are denouncing it should be permitted, there should be a distinction."

Facebook has just recently removed the option, chalking it up to being a "mistake". Whether or not the inclusion returns, possibly with distinctions, with the regional bans of bullfighting in place in Catalonia and the Canary Islands, and with the EU voting to cut subsidies for bullfighting in Spain, it does appear that the controversial practice is on a steady decline. 

Photo Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullfighting

Lena Tachdjian is a certified nutritionist and a writer, who splits her time between Canada and Armenia. She writes about nutrition, health, food, recipes, culture, travel, animal rights, and more. You can follow her on her nutrition and travel blog http://thetravelingchamelian.blogspot.ca/

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