• It’s Complicated

    All 51 Facebook Genders Explained

    For ten years, the social network limited billions of people identifying as either male or female. Now there are dozens of terms to pick from. Here’s how to understand them all.

    Imagine you’re a man. You think everything about you looks like a man should look. You have short hair and a little scruff on your face. When you were born, the doctors said, “It’s a boy!” and that’s how your parents raised you. You’ve always shopped for guys’ clothes and no one has ever called you anything other than a boy, guy, dude, or man. Then one day at a restaurant, the waiter asks you, “Can I get you anything to drink, ma’am?”

    If feeling like a man, but being called “ma’am”, would be uncomfortable, jarring, or at least surprising, perhaps you can imagine what it might feel like to be perceived as a gender other than your own.

  • Nick Ut/AP

    My Space

    Friend Or Not Friend?

    Should you monitor your child’s Facebook? Author and clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair answers the question.

    What is your big idea?

    When children and families see me privately, often in a crisis or when a child’s situation has become more than they can manage or ignore any longer, parents’ responses are always a significant factor. What we say and how we say it matters to our children.

  • Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg. (Yonhap/EPA, via Landov)

    PAY UP

    Lean In Will Pay Interns

    After Facebook post about unpaid intern applications was widely circulated.

    Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organization was criticized after an employee wrote a public Facebook post seeking unpaid interns to work for her. Many critics were appalled that a position would be unpaid, since it seems to contradict Sandberg’s very message. Now, Lean In’s president, Rachel Thomas, issued a statement on the organization’s Facebook page saying that it has had volunteers in the past and, “As a startup, we haven’t had a formal internship program. Moving forward we plan to, and it will be paid. We support equality—and that includes fair pay—and we’ll continue to push for change in our own organization and our broader community.” The original Facebook post was by former Newsweek and Daily Beast employee Jessica Bennett.

  • Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty, LIONEL BONAVENTURE

    The Face Book

    The First Great Internet Novel

    A woman gets drawn into an online forum and is asked to impersonate someone else. Lauren Elkin salutes Lottie Moggach’s novel.

    In a now-classic episode of The West Wing, deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman discovers he has an online fan club with an active discussion forum. Back in 2001, when the episode aired, men in Josh’s position weren’t all that internet-savvy, so it’s his assistant Donna who has to warn him not to post on the site, or risk the wrath of the web folk who may or may not be off their meds. Predictably, Josh disregards Donna’s advice; his charming offline bravado comes across online as thoroughgoing arrogance, chaos ensues, and the b-plot ends with press secretary C.J. Cregg giving him a stern talking-to. “These people on these sites are the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest!” C.J. says.“I’m telling you to open the wardroom window and climb on out before they give you a pre-frontal lobotomy and I have to smother you with a pillow.”

    Over 10 years later, it’s a rare person who doesn’t have a basic awareness of the inhabitants of the online landscape, transformed from whoever they are in daily life into the kind of quietly desperate people who take part in internet forums and the trolls who live in comment boxes. (Writing this review for a website with a comment box, I know I’m asking for trouble.) That person is the heroine of Lottie Moggach’s mordantly well-observed debut, Kiss Me First, which could be the first great novel about the way the internet has become a part of our lives, what it means, and how it has fundamentally altered the way we get along with each other.

  • Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg. (Yonhap/EPA, via Landov)

    Exit Plan?

    Is Sandberg Leaning Out?

    Facebook's rock star COO Sheryl Sandberg insists that she's not leaving the social network. But status updates are prone to change, writes Daniel Gross.

    About 66 minutes into Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this week, a stockowner stood up and posed a question to Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s long-serving chief operating officer who this spring penned a best-selling book, Lean In, and then created a nonprofit group, Leanin.org to promote women in the workplace. 

    “You wrote a great book in the last year, spent a lot of time promoting it, traveling around. I’m sure it did a lot of positive things for Facebook’s ability to attract people.” He said. “However, my concern is that took a lot of time and activity in addition to your substantial responsibilities as COO of Facebook. How can you assure me that you’ll be just as committed to Facebook over the next 12 months as you were the previous four or five years? Because without you there is no business in Facebook.”

  • Jonathan Knowles/Getty


    Facebook to Allow Mastectomy Pictures

    After online petition gets 20,000 signatures.

    Facebook just announced that photos of mastectomy scars will now be allowed on the social-networking site, after Change.org gathered the necessary 20,000 signatures. In a statement, Facebook claimed that the site has “long allowed mastectomy photos,” but they were only removed after reports by other users. Fully exposed breasts without scars will still be banned from the site.  

  • Gary Edwards/Corbis

    The Internet

    Italy's Teen Cyberbullying Suicide

    Prosecutors are investigating whether to sue Facebook for not removing posts that drove a young girl to her death.

    Could Facebook be held liable for an Italian teen’s suicide? If an Italian prosecutor has his way, the social networking giant could face criminal manslaughter charges.

    Carolina Picchio was a 14-year-old girl from Novara, Italy, near Milan, with an enviably pretty face and a bright future. Then, late on the night of January 4, she jumped out of her bedroom window from her family’s fourth-floor apartment. She died instantly when she landed headfirst on the pavement below. Before she jumped, she updated her status on Facebook with a chilling suicide note: “Forgive me if I’m not strong. I cannot take it any longer.”

  • Paul Sakuma/AP

    Viral campaign caught social media giant’s attention.

    Turns out a tweet—or 60,000—can spur action. A campaign created by Women, Action and The Media, The Everyday Sexism Project, and activist Soraya Chemaly targeted gender-based hate speech on Facebook using the hashtag #FBRape. Facebook responded as advertisers such as Nissan and Nationwide UK pulled ads that were placed next to pages promoting graphic violence or sexism against women. In a press release on Facebook’s website, the social media behemoth promised to update guidelines and training and to directly speak with women’s groups about their concerns. The #FBRape campaign spurred 60,000 tweets, 5,000 emails, and a coalition of more than 100 women’s movement and social justice organizations.

  • A screenshot from the "Rapebook" Facebook page. (Facebook)

    Internet Age

    Facebook’s Hate-Speech Hypocrisy?

    A page called Rapebook called the social-networking site out over banning nipples but overlooking posts that glorified rape and worse. Caroline Linton reports on Rapebook’s mission—and its demise.

    UPDATE May 29: One week after campaign by a collective of women’s group was announced, Facebook agreed on May 28 to tighten up guidelines toward gender-based hate speech on the social network. The #FBRape campaign spurned 60,000 tweets, 5,000 emails, and big-name advertisers such as Nissan and Nationwide UK pulled ads that appeared next to graphics promoting violence against women.

    On April 5, the message went out with little fanfare: Rapebook, a Facebook page created to report inappropriate material on the social-networking site, had been shut down. “We sought the proximity of Facebook administrators and regularly emailed them with the intention of being absolutely certain that things we reported were seen by Facebook administrators,” the final post read. “The results were marred, the actions taken by Facebook rarely swift and seldom sufficient to uphold their own rules.”

  • Paul Sakuma/AP


    Our Bea Arthur Boob Scandal

    It was an innocent story about the art market, that happened to include a nude image of everyone’s favorite Golden Girl. Facebook disagreed. Brian Ries on an unjust ban.

    In the end, I was done in by Bea Arthur’s boobs.

    As the social media editor for The Daily Beast, I have posted countless potentially offensive stories on our Facebook page, from the sexual proclivities of porn stars to purported cannibalism in Syria. But not until we linked to a piece about the Golden Girl’s breasts did Facebook shut us down.

  • Cyndi Lane and her mother Audrey Gilligan pose for a family photo. Lane, who was put up for adoption as a baby, decided to search for her birth mother in her 30s. After 8 years on dead ends, Lane found Gilligan after two days after making a facebook group. They were reunited after 44 years apart in mid-April.

    Mother and Child Reunion

    Reunited by Facebook

    After 44 years apart and a desperate search, mother and daughter find each other again via Facebook.

    Once, Cyndi Lane had parents and cousins and aunts and uncles, and then she had none. Eight years ago, a cousin came to visit with Lane’s newborn son, and the two had an emotional heart-to-heart. “I need to tell you something that’s going to change the rest of your life,” the cousin suddenly blurted out. It was what Lane had always subconsciously known: she had been adopted. For decades, her dark-haired Italian family refused to admit to their suspiciously blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter that she wasn’t their biological child, even though the whole family knew otherwise. When Lane confronted them—and announced that she wanted to search for her birth parents—her adoptive family became upset. They haven’t spoken with Lane much since the blowout.

    Meanwhile, the revelation launched Lane—now 44 and an insurance adjuster—on a seemingly impossible search for her birth mother, a woman she knew only by her “non-identifying information”: hairdresser, 37 years old at the time of her birth, four previous kids, C-section patient. For eight years, Lane hired multiple private investigators, poured through microfilm hospital records, and filed requests of New York’s state adoption agencies. “It was one dead end after another,” she says. Despite this, the search consumed her, and she pressed on. “I just couldn’t stop. I thought about it every day of my life.”

  • Chris Jackson/Getty Images News

    Out of control

    U. of Wyoming’s Rape Facebook Hoax

    Student blogger allegedly posted an anonymous, fake rape threat to herself.

    It’s always shocking when someone is stupid enough to sexually harass another person online. It’s even more ridiculous coming from a woman, especially when the woman she’s threatening is, well…herself. Police charged 28-year-old University of Wyoming student Meg Lanker-Simons with interference on Monday for posting an inappropriate comment on the “UW Crushes” Facebook page. The since-deleted comment reportedly said:

    I want to hatef--k Meg Lanker—so hard. That chick that runs her liberal mouth all the time and doesn’t care who knows it. I think its [sic] hot and it makes me angry. One night with me and she’s gonna be a good Republican b--ch.

  • Tribeca Film Festival

    Tribeca Film Festival

    Evan Rachel Wood Opens Up

    The ‘Case of You’ star talks to Marlow Stern about coming out as bisexual, Twitter, and her pregnancy.

    At just 25 years of age, Evan Rachel Wood has established herself as a gifted, highly unpredictable actress. After her breakout role as a troubled young girl in Thirteen, she’s gone on to star in a diverse array of films, including Julie Taymor’s musical Across the Universe, Darren Aronofsky’s dark drama The Wrestler, and George Clooney’s political thriller The Ides of March.

    A very pregnant Wood is at Tribeca to unveil her latest film, romantic comedy A Case of You. Directed by Kat Coiro from a screenplay by brothers Justin and Christian Long, the film stars Justin Long as Sam, a disillusioned novelist who is infatuated with Byrdie (Wood) the barista at his local Brooklyn coffee shop. He eventually stalks her Facebook profile and seeks to win her over by becoming the man he thinks she wants—that is, conforming to all the things under her “likes” section. The experiment goes swimmingly, until Sam realizes he may be biting off more than he can chew. The film boasts a stellar supporting cast as well, including Vince Vaughn as a snappy agent, Peter Dinklage as a saucy gay barista, and Sam Rockwell as a stoner guitar instructor.