Meta’s Oversight Board Pushes For More Inclusivity In Nudity Guidelines
By Alexa Heah, 18 Jan 2023
New recommendations from Meta’s Oversight Board have suggested the technology giant should tweak and clarify its stances on adult nudity and sexual content on Instagram and Facebook.
The independent watchdog group wrote in its report that the current guidelines were too confusing and vague, and worse still, disproportionately censored trans people, non-binary people, and women.
A stark example was when two separate posts—one in 2021 and one in 2022—were blocked on Instagram. Both uploads featured images of a bare-chested couple with their nipples covered, discussing top surgery and trans health care.
However, the algorithm ultimately removed both posts for violating the site’s Sexual Solicitation Community Standard, despite having done no such thing, just because the images showed breasts and the couple had linked to a fundraising page.
“The Oversight Board finds that removing these posts is not in line with Meta’s Community Standards, values or human rights responsibilities. These cases also highlight fundamental issues with Meta’s policies,” the report said.
To avoid posts from being wrongfully removed, the organization suggests the policy be expanded from just a binary view of gender—one that only pertains to male and female bodies.
Such a take makes it difficult for moderators to apply the rules to intersex, non-binary, and transgender individuals, and with the volume of posts on Facebook and Instagram, case-by-case reviews are not always practical.
Plus, as the report mentioned, the current policies on adult nudity could act as barriers to expression, especially in contexts in which people may traditionally go bare-chested or identify as LGBTQI+.
Simply put, Meta is being asked to take a closer look at its legislative criteria, so that everyone on its platforms is treated “in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, without discrimination on the basis of sex or gender.”
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