I am completely astounded by the amount of support gained for a Brisbane couple whose advertisement for Rip&Roll condoms was pulled by Adshel. It was deemed to be promoting an risky and unhealthy type of sex, and apparently depicted “an act of foreplay”.
The photo in fact does nothing of the sort; the two men are fully clothed and merely sharing a loving embrace, while many ads of near-naked women go unnoticed in this day and age.
The indignant couple created an event on facebook that was used to rally support against the homophobic move, and it currently has a whopping 59,767 attendees, and counting. In fact, in the time it has taken me to write this blog post, the number has increased by another 4000 people!
Facebook users that showed support for the reinstatement of the ad were called upon to complain to Adshel, in the form of phone calls, email, writing, or anyway they saw fit.
And success! The decision to pull the ads has been reversed due to the overwhelming amount of complaints and the revelation that the original complaint was in fact homophobic, and conducted in representation of the Australian Christian Lobby.
If this isn’t proof of the fact that internet users can be mobilised to form a strong political community within hours, then I don’t know what is. The democratic access to ideas that social networking mediums such as Facebook allow is something that I’m incredibly grateful for. It is so great that not only were we able to make an impact in the real world through collective cyberspace action, but the discussion and debate that this event has sparked is sensational. It has brought homophobia back on the table as a political issue, and adds fuel to the fight for gay marriage rights and equality. Go internets!