CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Woman on Facebook gets unsolicited penis pic, fights back in kind

Technically Incorrect: A British woman posts a restaurant review to Facebook. In return, a man sends her a picture of his crown jewels. The woman decides to give him some of his own medicine.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Samantha Mawdsley, fighting against insufferable d*cks.

Samantha Mawdsley; Twitter screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

What is it about men that they feel the need to display themselves to strangers?

Several of my female friends who have found a boyfriend on Tinder have told me that one of the reasons they like their boyfriend is because he didn't send them a picture of his penis.

Some men -- I fear it's many men -- somehow believe that such a picture is alluring.

I fear, too, that some men tend not to send pictures of their own penises.

It doesn't matter, though.

It's disgusting, disgraceful and several other dis-es, and Samantha Mawdsley has had enough.

As the BBC reports, Mawdsley -- a Brit from Manchester -- posted a restaurant review on Facebook. A man she didn't know sent her a penis pic.

Just because.

She said she thought about merely deleting or blocking, the usual things you do.

Instead, she gave him a taste of his own below-the-belt mentality. She started sending him penis pics. Lots of penis pics.

This included one no-doubt devastating missive: a penis pic accompanied by the message "Mine is bigger."

You can imagine how that one hurt.

For her sending of penis pics, she says, Facebook suspended her account. The company told me it would look into the case.

Clearly, though, the site's community standards don't allow images of genitalia. Facebook does have employees scanning the site for bad things. However, it relies on what it calls its "community" to report bad behavior. This does, therefore, put the responsibility for complaining -- and hoping to get resolution -- on the individuals involved.

Some might wonder, though, whether men who do this should simply be banned from the site for life.

Mawdsley told me her account has now been deactivated.

Of the penis pics, she told me: "I think there needs to be consequences. There's no disincentive for guys not to do this."

Why, I asked her, did she think men did this. "I have no idea what the appeal is," she said. "Understanding that would probably help to fight it."

She told the BBC she's received a lot of support.

"I feel like Beyoncé. I've had messages from all over the world, including Germany, Netherlands and even Aruba," she said. "People have been saying, 'You're my inspiration' and 'You've won the internet' I've also had guys saying sorry on behalf of men. I'm so shocked."

Perhaps she shouldn't be.

Still, she's now at the center of a minimovement. Her Twitter hashtag #NoMoreDickPics is extremely active.

But Mawdsley is right. This issue surely falls into the category of "something needs to be done."

If those who abuse verbally on social media can be prosecuted, why not those who send such images? It is, in its own way, just crude abuse.

This is no more nor less than being a flasher. That's a crime too. Mawdsley agrees that something drastic needs to be done.

"There needs to be someone who's even willing to investigate when these things happen," she told me.

She admitted that she didn't complain to Facebook because "I've raised complaints before and nothing was done. But I've spoken to others who were harassed by the same guy. They did complain and nothing was done. He's still free to harass women as he sees fit."

In Mawdsley's case, the man who sent her the penis pic didn't like it when she sent him some back.

She told the BBC that at one point he replied: "I just want to puke! Please stop!"

Perhaps he might look in the mirror and repeat the first five words of that over and over again.