Last week, my cousin took a screenshot of an ad that appeared in her sidebar on facebook. The ad reads, "Lose pounds of bellyfat every day with this weird trick, by Health Club X." Below the slogan is a picture of a nude woman (with her back to the camera) who is literally skin and bone- she probably had to get up off of her deathbed to pose for the picture. (I'm not sure, but I heard a story about a French fashion model who did one last photoshoot before she died of anorexia, wanting to show the world what goes on in the fashion industry. This may be one of her photos.) Needless to say, my cousin was furious, and so was I when I saw the image.
A friend of my cousin found the facebook page for Health Club X and posted the screenshot of the ad to their wall, saying, "Please tell me this is not really yours. If it is, please tell me how you think this is appropriate." Myself and a few others posted comments (professional-sounding, no vulgarity or accusations) in agreement with him. About an hour later we looked back at the page and saw the wall had been deactivated so our post (along with all previous posts) were no longer visible.
At this point, I sent them a private message saying that deactivating their wall did not solve the issue- there was an ad floating around the internet with their business name on it and an image below it that glamorized anorexia. Today, I received a response: "This is not our ad!" Literally, that was all it said.
I'm sorry, but does this response remind anyone else of that moment when a parent or teacher enters the room with a crying child or broken object, and the troublemaker immediately screams, "I DIDN'T DO IT!!" No apology, no promise to take it up with facebook and ask to have the ad removed, nothing denouncing the advertisement. There facebook page makes no reference to the ad.
Call me crazy, but my understanding is that when something offensive comes out under your name, even if you were not responsible for posting it, you make some sort of effort to clean it up, and you MAKE SOME SORT OF STATEMENT denouncing it. I see people do this when their personal social media accounts are compromised ("I am very sorry for what was posted on my account today without my knowledge or consent; I have removed it and changed my password to prevent it from happening again."), or businesses do it when someone uses their logo or name to spread something inappropriate. Saying "We're sorry," has never translated as, "We are guilty" to me, it just means you empathize with those who were exposed to the inappropriate material and want them to know you don't support the message it carried.
Am I expecting too much by thinking Health Club X should at least post a status update saying they are sorry for the advertisement, they do not condone disordered eating, and they have asked facebook to remove the fake advertisement???