I reported on Woman, Action, Media (WAM!) making a move towards removing what they alone deem to be hate speech on Facebook. WAM! did this by issuing an ultimatum in the form of an open letter to Facebook on May 21st. Images using rape for humorous purposes were deemed hate speech and therefore worthy of removal while similar images where men were the target were ignored. The double standard became more obvious when AVFM’s content challenging the feminist-driven zeitgeist was removed, even though it complied with community standards. The content consisted of two images .
I requested assistance from the AVFM forums in profiling the organizations who signed of the open letter. The goal was to document how money was circulating in and around WAM!
WAM! has yet to respond to my request for a donor list or any other financial documentation. In the event they obtain tax exempt status, I can request any form 990s or 1023s they have available under IRC 6104(d) regulations. What this means is that federal law allows me to just walk up and ask for that information, and WAM! must provide it. The IRS database does not list WAM! as a tax-exempt organization, so WAM! is likely still getting most of its funding from sponsorships and individual donors as it claimed. However, I wanted to learn about the funding sources for the financial sponsors of WAM!, and those source’s sources, and so on.
The motivation of this project is simple: When someone makes claims, it helps to know who is giving them money. This can lead to new insights about potential biases and possible breaches of regulation, in the event that government funding was used somewhere in sexist campaigns like #FBrape.
WAM!’s open letter proved to be a gateway into this project given its large list of signatories, which included government funded and/or tax-exempt organizations. I asked the AVFM forums to assist me in profiling the signatories, and they delivered. Fifteen people helped me compile a large PDF document with useful information on each of the signatories.
Daily Dot copywriter Aja Romano accuses AVFM as an organization fighting for the right to make rape jokes, and paints me as a conspiracy theorist for starting this project.
I publicly released the latest version of the PDF, which was not to be updated any longer. Since the document was being updated organically, it made more sense to move it to the AVFM wiki for further development. Before the content can be ported, a MediaWiki template is needed to make the conversion process easier. The wiki administrator has spelled out the process for me. I am now tasked with porting the MyBB forum post code into a meaningful WikiText representation.
July 16th 11:22 GMT-5
Ported much of the PDF content to the AVFM wiki. State benefits for feminist organizations (or organizations acting in feminist/misandrist interests) can now be mapped in this article.
July 26th 21:20 GMT-5
WAM! finally responded to my queries for information. They are trying to get tax-exempt status. Here’s their 1023 with attachment:
Jaclyn Friedman replied herself. Email below.
Our 990s are available on the Foundation Center’s website. Attached is our 1023. Please note that FY13 financials were projected, not actual, as the 1023 was filed a year ago.