Oversight Board suggests Facebook and Instagram review their ban on ‘nipples’

The Meta Oversight Board asks the company to take a close look at its rule against female nipples on its platforms.


Meta ‘s Supervisory Board has determined that the social media company look into its ban against female nipples .

Through a statement, the board noted that this conclusion comes after a ban case made in 2021 and 2022 to two transgender activists.

no to censorship

In both posts, which featured captions advocating for trans healthcare, the couple posed shirtless but with their nipples covered, the statement said. The posts were flagged by users despite not blatantly violating community standards and were removed by a content moderation algorithm.

At that point, Meta finally decided that his removal was warranted, a decision the board has now overturned.

This reversal, the Oversight Board noted in its statement, was done in part because the notorious nipple rule is “based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies” and, as such, “does not make clear how rules apply” to intersex, non-binary, and transgender people, and “requires reviewers to make quick, subjective assessments of sex and gender, which is impractical when moderating content on a large scale.”

confusing measurements

The board acknowledged that they are “extensive and confusing” and “often intricate and ill-defined” measures, requiring extraneous and subjective content moderation assessments.

“In some contexts, for example, moderators must assess the extent and nature of visible scarring to determine whether certain exceptions apply,” the statement said. “The lack of clarity inherent in this policy creates uncertainty for users and reviewers, and makes it unfeasible in practice.”

In addition to reversing the removal of the posts, the board advised the company to “define clear, rights-respecting and objective criteria” for its rules on nudity and prohibitions on sexuality, a directive that urges the company to think seriously whether these rules are serving users “in a manner consistent with international human rights standards, without discrimination based on sex or gender.