The Meta Oversight Board, an external body that oversees content moderation on Facebook and Instagram, recommended that transgender women and users who qualify as non-binary be allowed to show their breasts on the social media platforms.
Since these networks began to operate, if a biological woman were to post a revealing image, she would have had this part of her body censored. Now women will have to put up with continued censorship against them but not against transsexuals who want to show their breasts.
In a statement, the company's Supervisory Board explained that:
The same image of female nipples would be banned if posted by a cisgender woman, but would be allowed if posted by a person who identifies as non-binary.
The board in charge of censorship also explains that there are other exceptions related to female nipples "based on contexts of protest, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding."
The Supervisory Board, composed of academics, journalists and politicians, also criticized the company's previous approach to branding images of breasts because it reflected an outdated view of gender and sex. The organization is particularly concerned about any act of censorship affecting the LGBT community:
The Council believes that Meta's policies on adult nudity pose a greater barrier to women, transgender and non-binary people expressing themselves on the company's platforms. For example, they have a negative impact in contexts where women, by tradition, are allowed to wear a bare torso. Likewise, people who identify as LGBTQI+ may be disproportionately affected, as these cases demonstrate. Meta's automated systems identified the content several times, even though it did not violate Meta's policies.
The Guardian reported that the Supervisory Board's decision comes after Facebook censored two posts from an account of a transgender, non-binary American couple. The posts showed the couple posing topless, but with their nipples covered, with captions depicting trans healthcare and fundraising for cosmetic surgery.
Meta believes that it should strive to develop and implement policies to solve all these problems. It must change its approach to nudity control on its platforms by defining clear criteria for adult nudity and sexual activity policies that ensure that all users are treated in a manner consistent with human rights standards. It should also assess whether the policy on adult nudity and sexual activity protects against the spread of these images without consent and whether there are other policies that should be strengthened in this regard.