Yesterday, we ran an inspired story about photographer Laura Dodsworth’s art and social project,Bare Reality, which showcases 100 un-airbrushed photographs of women’s breasts and explores how the participants feel about their breasts. As with all of our stories, we posted this piece to our Facebook page, knowing full well it was just a matter of time before the social media’s censors would take it down.
After just 12 – 15 hours of being live, Facebook did exactly as we expected and this is the notification we received, “We removed the post below because it doesn’t follow the Facebook Community Standards.” They then further clarified exactly what we had done to violate their policy…
While we’d love to shake our finger only at Facebook over this, they do not act in a complete vacuum when they take posts like ours down. This is step 2 in a process that first involves a Facebook user notifying them that a page has posted something “offensive.” Nonetheless, they shamefully (and admittedly) ignore context when it comes to breasts and nudity, which is a convenient loophole and leaves a page like ours virtually defenseless in getting the “offending” post republished.
In working through our obvious frustrations, we decided to do some informal research on just how stringent Facebook’s “Community Standards” are when it comes to breasts. In doing a basic Google search, using terms like “Facebook boobs” and “Facebook tits” (“Facebook breasts” rendered the fewest results), it is very clear that Mark Zuckerberg and his minions are not completely anti-mammary glands.
In fact, you can find breasts ALL over his social networking site, and they are the sole focus of countless facebook pages, especially when they are perfectly round and perky, jacked up in bustiers, lathered in soap, and/or being gently fondled by their rightful owners (who also happen to be making pouty faces).
“So why did the non-salacious image of Laura’s art project breasts set off alarm bells? Plain and simple… blame it on the nipple!”
Image from Laura Dodsworth’s Bare Reality project that was removed from the Women You Should Know Facebook page.
On every “breast specific” page we scoured, one thing was consistent with their boob shots… they don’t show nipples or do their darndest to cover them, allowing only the slightest edge of areola to peek out in many shots.
So while Facebook continues to be plagued by pages that show porn, violent and graphic images, depictions of animal abuse and heinous crimes like beheadings, they’ve decided that the world would be a much better place if it was devoid of female nipples. We would love to have been a fly on the wall in that “Community Standards” meeting.
PS – Before anyone throws the typical “prudes” barb, don’t bother. We’re not asking for the more salacious images to be banned, we’re just asking for Facebook to be consistent in its haphazard policy when it comes to showing women’s breasts. Based on what we saw, it’s both depressing and laughable that “bare” is the litmus test by which Facebook judges a breast shot as being offensive enough to remove from a public page.
8 Images Anyone Can See On Facebook
At the risk of offending, we felt compelled to share some visual highlights from our research (these are the very tame ones). Please take special note of the names of the Facebook pages the images are living on right now, and the captions that accompany several of them. Based on the below, clearly NIPPLES are the root of all evil (sarcastic sigh).
Note: We spared you from the Facebook user profile pic we found of a woman bent over, pulling her G-sting away from her body, so her entire vulva is visible. In case you’re curious… that user is a man.
Giving credit where credit is due… the “Sweater Meat” image above was posted to the Facebook page Just Nipples, with the clever caption, “Look at those protruders!!”