Oversight Board calls on Facebook and Instagram to revise ban on bare breasts

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A woman wearing adhesive tape to cover her nipples, during Pride walk in Amsterdam.
A woman wearing adhesive tape to cover her nipples, during Pride walk in Amsterdam.
Photo: Getty Images
  • Meta's Oversight Board has called on Facebook and Instagram to review its adult nudity policy.
  • The decision was made after Facebook censored two posts from an account run by an American couple who are transgender and non-binary.
  • Among other recommendations, the board suggested the social media platforms "revise its guidance for moderators on the Sexual Solicitation Community Standard so that it more accurately reflects the public rules on the policy".


Meta's Oversight Board has called on Facebook and Instagram to review its adult nudity policy.

The board said in a ruling on Tuesday that the company's existing policy is based on a binary view of gender, making it unclear how the rules apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people.

The oversight board – a group of academics, politicians, and journalists who advise the company on its content-moderation policies – recommended an overhaul to the company's rules banning bare-chested images of women, but not men, Sky News reported.

"The Oversight Board has overturned Meta's original decisions to remove two Instagram posts depicting transgender and non-binary people with bare chests. It also recommends that Meta change its Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard so that it is governed by clear criteria that respect international human rights standards."
-- Oversight Board announced in a press statement.

Per The Guardian, the decision was made after Facebook censored two posts from an account run by an American couple who are transgender and non-binary.

The posts showed the couple posing topless but with their nipples covered, with captions describing trans healthcare and raising money for top surgery.

Meta initially removed the posts after receiving a series of alerts from their automated system and reports from users. The couple appealed the decision leading the Oversight Board to investigate further.

"After the Board accepted the cases, Meta found it had removed the posts in error and restored them," the press statement continued. 

The Oversight Board recommendations:

Define clear, objective, rights-respecting criteria to govern its Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard so that all people are treated in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, without discrimination based on sex or gender. Meta should first conduct a comprehensive human rights impact assessment on such a change, engage diverse stakeholders, and create a plan to address any identified harms.

Provide more detail in its public-facing Sexual Solicitation Community Standard on the criteria that lead to content being removed.

Revise its guidance for moderators on the Sexual Solicitation Community Standard so that it more accurately reflects the public rules of the policy. This would help to reduce enforcement errors on Meta's part.


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE