Facebook is notoriously nipple-shy.
Mummy blogs, mothers groups and individuals mums (as well as Mamamia) have all had “offensive” posts of breastfeeding removed from Facebook by the administrators.
But the social networking site inspired ire from another community entirely when they removed a post from the “Girl on Girl” documentary film Facebook fan page – a photo that encouraged people to be true to themselves.
This was the image in question:
The administrator of the page, which has 136k+ followers on Facebook, is Jodi Savitz. She wrote a piece for xojane detailing her disappointment over Facebook’s handling of the situation.
When Jodi was first informed that the image violated Facebook’s “community standards”, she thought there must have been some nipple or arse visible in the photo.
My contact-less eyes combed the photo for signs of a nipple or butt crack violation. No dice. Yet, the message I read from Facebook stated that it somehow violated their Community Standards on Nudity and Pornography. I clicked the hyperlink to read what was written:
Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitation on the display of nudity…
Jodi wrote that, “For a moment, I was compelled to laugh. Their “strict policy” is nothing short of a joke; its imprecision borders on legal parody and its utility would be more convincingly demonstrated in the context of an SNL skit.”
When she woke up in the morning, she was able to make her grandmother an administrator of the page and logged into her grandma’s Facebook account – because her own had been banned from posting content.
She then created and shared this image and encouraged her followers to share the image too.
Jodi writes that after she shared her meme, a “slew of messages came in”.
One of them stood out — it was a link to a photo on celebrity poker player, Dan Bilzerian’s, Facebook fan page. I clicked the link. Underneath the photo was the caption, “Somebody’s gotta do it, these girls aren’t gonna f–k themselves. Actually, maybe they will!” The message contained a screenshot and Facebook report explaining that the photo was not in violation of any of Facebook’s Community Standards and was not going to be removed.
So when someone tried to report THIS photo, they were told it didn’t violate any community standards.
Jodi decided to try out a little test and shared the image on her own Facebook page. It wasn’t removed. She then started receiving messages from many, many other people, pointing out similar examples. Jodi’s conclusion?
… it seems that Facebook is playing favourites. This image that we shared did not get taken down even though it is arguably even more graphic and sexual in nature than any of the photos we had posted in the past. It’s almost as if when an erotic lesbian photo originates on a heterosexual page it is somehow deemed acceptable and we are safe in sharing it because it caters to the male gaze…
I find it extremely telling that lesbian content in the context of a heterosexual man’s fan page is deemed wholly acceptable (indeed defendable via Facebook’s automated response system), while similar imagery in the context of our fan page about lesbian visibility, created for and by women, is a punishable offence.
The real question raised by this is what constitutes ‘pornography’ according to Facebook? An image of two mostly dressed women kissing in a loving manner is considered pornographic; while two women kissing to titillate the male gaze with their posteriors presented towards the camera doesn’t violate ‘community standards’. The more pornographic picture seems obvious.
Jodi closes her rant by saying:
In the meantime, I’ll keep posting photos of women in love — while actively protesting on Facebook’s rival Twitter using the hashtag #ENDFacebookHomophobia.
Because guess what, Mark Zuckerberg?
You’re in violation of my community’s standards.
Well said, Jodi.
Have you ever been banned from posting something on Facebook? Have you ever seen something that should be banned?