May 25, 2024

Instagram & Facebook Told To ‘Free The Nipple’ And Allow Bare Chested Posts For All Genders

Instagram and Facebook have been advised to end their censorship of bare breasts and chests for all genders, following a decision from parent company Meta’s oversight board.

The panel – made up of academics, politicians and journalists, per The Guardian overturned a decision by Instagram to remove a post from a transgender and non-binary couple — who must now be kept private due to the involvement of the oversight board — with their bare chests on show. The images showed the couple posing topless, but with their nipples covered, with captions describing trans healthcare and raising money for top surgery.

In overturning the removal of the posts, the board also recommended that Meta change its current rules on censorship, “so that it is governed by clear criteria that respect international human rights standards. ”

Referring to Meta’s ‘Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard’, the report states that the policy “prohibits images containing female nipples, other than in specified circumstances, such as breastfeeding and gender confirmation surgery,” and is therefore based on a binary view of gender.

These Golden Globes attendees just made a very convincing case for the nearly-naked dress

It reads: “Such an approach makes it unclear how the rules apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people, and requires reviewers to make rapid and subjective assessments of sex and gender, which is not practical when moderating content at scale. ”

It adds that the restrictions and exceptions to these censorship rules – which include protests, scenes of childbirth and other medical and health contexts such as top surgery – are not always clear for moderators and creates uncertainty for Facebook and Instagram users.

“Here, the Board finds that Meta’s policies on adult nudity result in greater barriers to expression for women, trans, and gender non-binary people on its platforms,” the report states. “For example, they have a severe impact in contexts where women may traditionally go bare-chested, and people who identify as LGBTQI+ can be disproportionately affected, as these cases show. Meta’s automated systems identified the content multiple times, despite it not violating Meta’s policies. ”

The panel concluded by advising that Meta defines clearer and more “rights-respecting” criteria for its Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard, without discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. It also noted that the policy should protect against non-consensual image sharing, and questioned if other ruling needs to be strengthened in this regard.

Questions have also been raised as to how a new, more inclusive policy will deal with concerns like child protection and pornography.

Campaigners have been pushing for Instagram to ‘Free The Nipple’ since 2013, with stars such as Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Florence Pugh backing a move to stop the sexualisation of non-male bodies. #f***ingfreethef**kingnipple,» Florence concluded her 2022 post on the sheer Valentino gown she wore to the fashion house’s haute couture show in Rome.

Meta has 60 days to respond publicly to the board’s recommendations.

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