Facebook is under intense criticism again this week for removing an article about the French government’s attempt to overhaul mammogram-screening in the country. The article’s main image on Facebook featured an exposed breast, and Facebook censored it for violating the site’s nudity policy.
To point out the double standard of Facebook’s policy, another French publication reposted the story but with an image of a nude male’s torso instead.
Facebook having censored the image of a mammogram that accompanied the article, we have replaced it with an image of a nude male torso which does not itself violated the social network’s terms of service,” the publication wrote jokingly in its post.
This latest controversy comes on the heels of Facebook censoring an iconic image of a nude girl running away from a napalm explosion during the Vietnam War. After much back and forth, Facebook finally apologized for that incident and reinstated the picture. The site did the same in the instance of this mammogram photo, but some critics still aren’t happy with the rules Facebook seemingly applies to depictions of the female body.
Imposing a blanket ban on nudity, even if a handful of exceptions are carved out, furthers the idea that women’s bodies are inherently sexual,” said Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Facebook itself says that its policies can be “too blunt,” so at least the site knows its own shortcomings. Still, it must find a way to avoid more of these censorship controversies in the future.