It could *finally* be time for Facebook and Instagram to ‘free the nipple’ with new nudity rules

The Meta board called the current rules around female nipples “extensive and confusing, particularly as they apply to transgender and non-binary people”.

It’s 2023 and we’re still having to fight to desexualise women’s nipples. From early 2000s “lactivism” to the sheer amount of commentary generated by Florence Pugh’s nipples at Valentino’s haute couture show in July 2022, progress has felt slow.

However – in some sorely needed good news – nearly a decade after #FreeTheNipple first trended on social media, Facebook and Instagram have been told to overhaul their ban on bare breasts.

The advisory board at parent company Meta this week recommended a change to the company’s current rules banning bare-chested images of women, but not men.

You may also like

How women’s nipples became so disproportionately offensive: a history

In a decision dated 17 January, advisors on the company’s content-moderation board suggested 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”.

Currently, Instagram’s policy on nudity states that while “people might want to share nude images that are artistic or creative in nature”, nudity is simply not allowed.

“This includes photos, videos and some digitally created content that shows sexual intercourse, genitals and close-ups of fully-nude buttocks,” the company says. “It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos in the context of breastfeeding, birth-giving and after-birth moments, health-related situations (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness or gender confirmation surgery) or an act of protest are allowed.”

However, the oversight board’s ruling follows on from Facebook’s censorship of two posts showing a transgender and non-binary couple posing topless, but with their nipples covered, with captions describing trans healthcare and raising money for top surgery. The posts were flagged by the site’s users, then reviewed and removed by an AI system. After the couple appealed the decision, Meta eventually restored the posts.

Following the review, the Meta board called the current rules around female nipples “extensive and confusing, particularly as they apply to transgender and non-binary people”. It added that “this creates confusion for users and moderators and, as Meta has recognised, leads to content being wrongly removed”.

The board also determined that Meta’s policy on its social platforms was “based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies” which “makes it unclear how the rules apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people”.

You may also like

What the Tommy Lee Instagram censorship debate teaches us about the double standard around women’s bodies

In response, a spokesperson for Meta said the company had recognised the content posted by the US-based couple should not have been taken down prior to the board’s report and welcomed its decision.

In a statement, it added: “We are constantly evaluating our policies to help make our platforms safer for everyone. We know more can be done to support the LGBTQ+ community, and that means working with experts and LGBTQ+ advocacy organisations on a range of issues and product improvements.”

Images: Getty

Source: Read Full Article