(San Francisco) Meta (Facebook, Instagram) is again called upon to revise its rules on nudity, in particular the one that prohibits women from showing their bare breasts, and undermines the ability of women and transgender or non-binary people to speak out, according to the group’s supervisory board.
“We ask Meta to look into this issue. We say there should be more equality. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Denmark’s former prime minister and member of Meta’s supervisory board, said Thursday in an Instagram webcast.
“Interestingly, the only non-sexualized nipples are those of men or those that have had surgery,” she added.
The social media giant’s “Supreme Court” recently ruled that Meta shouldn’t have taken down photos posted by a couple showing their breasts, with nipples covered.
The legend mentioned the health of transgender people and explained that one of the two people was soon to be operated on as part of sex reassignment surgery (removal of the breasts). The couple were raising funds to help them finance the intervention.
“The removal of these images is not consistent with Meta’s values or its human rights responsibilities,” the oversight board said Tuesday.
“Free These Beauties”
“The company’s adult nudity policy more strongly restricts women, transgender and non-binary people from expressing themselves on its platforms,” the board added.
The oversight board is made up of 20 international members, journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders and former political leaders. It was created in 2020 on the proposal of boss Mark Zuckerberg and is responsible for evaluating the Californian group’s content moderation policy.
Meta rules prohibit images containing female nipples, except in certain health contexts, such as breastfeeding or gender reassignment surgeries.
“This regulation is based on a binary vision of gender,” notes the board. “This involves moderators quickly and subjectively determining sex and gender, which is unrealistic on a large scale.”
He therefore recommends that Meta’s management define “clear, objective and respectful of human rights criteria so that people are treated without sex or gender discrimination, in accordance with international human rights standards”.
Instagram is regularly accused of prudishness and lack of objectivity by its users.
“Release these beauties,” model Helena Christensen wrote Thursday in commentary to a parody video of comedian Celeste Barber shaking her pixelated bare breasts.
At the Board of Supervisors conference on Instagram on Thursday, users asked why Meta wouldn’t just “release” “all the nipples.”
But the members of the entity do not comment on this question.
“This case shows that Meta’s current rules restricting nipple images are confusing and based on a binary view of gender, and a distinction between male and female bodies,” Julie Owono, a member of the council, told AFP. counsel and director of the NGO internet sans frontières.
Meta, for its part, recalled that the disputed images had already been reinstated, and that the company had already acknowledged that they should not have been removed.
“We know we can do more to support the LGBTQ community,” a spokesperson told AFP.
The group plans to respond to the council’s recommendations publicly by mid-March.
In August 2021, Instagram had apologized after the brief removal of publications sharing the poster of the film by Spaniard Pedro Almodovar, Madres Paralelaswhich shows a nipple from which hangs a drop of milk.
They had been reinstated in the name of the artistic context.
And in October 2020, the application had revised one of its rules on photos of breasts, which prohibited “compressing” them, under penalty of the cliché being considered pornographic, and therefore removed.
A plus-size model accused Instagram of discrimination and the platform ended up allowing content in which a person hugs or simply holds her chest.
Meta called for revising its nudity rules to be more inclusive