The oversight board responsible for advising Meta on its content moderation practices has urged the tech giant to make its adult nudity policies more inclusive. This comes after two Instagram posts featuring the bodies of trans and non-binary people were removed from the platform.
The photos, both of which showed a US-based queer couple bare-chested with their nipples covered, were accompanied by captions discussing transgender and gender-affirming healthcare and were removed under the Sexual Solicitation Community Standard.
In a statement released earlier this week, the board announced that it had overturned Meta’s decision as neither post violated any rules, and the images have been restored.
“Removing these posts is not in line with Meta’s Community Standards, values or human rights responsibilities,” the group wrote. “These cases also highlight fundamental issues with Meta’s policies.”
The board explained that currently, it is “unclear how the rules apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people”. It also called the restrictions on showing female nipples “extensive and confusing,” particularly as they apply to people who are not cisgender.
Concluding its statement, the group of academics, politicians and journalists recommended that Meta review and update its Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard policies in order to ensure “that all people are treated in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, without discrimination on the basis of sex or gender”.
In relation to its Sexual Solicitation Community Standard, the board also advised that the company provide more detail on the criteria that lead to content being removed, and revise its guidance for moderators in order to reduce enforcement errors.
At present, it appears that the restrictions on showing naked nipples have been removed on Facebook and Instagram, almost 15 years after the first ‘nurse-in’ protest took place in 2008. Spearheaded by mothers, the demonstration responded to Facebook’s ban on breasts, which has been heavily criticised by gender equality activists.
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