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What's with the name?

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Today in Boobs

Facebook Temporarily Blocked the ACLU For Posting About Censoring Boobs. Because Boobs.


A group wants a statue to be taken down because of boobs. The ACLU writes a response, including a picture of said work of art. They post the response to Facebook, and Facebook takes it down. Because, again, boobs.

Oh no! Boobs! Run for the hills!

“Accept or Reject” is a statue of a bare breasted woman that a group called the American Family Association is trying to get removed from its current home in a Kansas City park on obscenity grounds. The ACLU disagrees, and staff attorney Lee Rowland wrote a piece on the ACLU’s website about how the statue just plain doesn’t doesn’t meet the legal standard for obscenity. He posted a link to the story on the ACLU’s Facebook page, and a picture of the statue showed up in the link preview. And lo, Facebook did see the pair of bronze boobs and swoon, collapsing onto their setees in a fit of offended sensibilities. When they were finally revived with a hefty dose of smelling salts they deleted the link and banned the ACLU from posting for 24 hours.

Facebook told the Daily Dot that the whole thing was just one big mistake. Indeed, while Facebook bans “pornographic content,” “content of personal importance,” including art-related nudity, is OK. You can, in theory, post a picture of the Venus de Milo or Michelangelo’s David and not get banned because of it. Said Facebook’s spokesperson:

“Our team processes hundreds of thousands of reports each week and we occasionally make a mistake. In this case, we mistakenly removed content from the ACLU’s page and worked to rectify the mistake as soon as we were notified.”

Shortly thereafter, the post went back up.

Get it together, Facebook. Something is explicitly allowed under your terms of service and it still gets banned? Even if your policy on nudity were 100% perfect—which many, many people would argue it isn’t—that doesn’t mean squat if you don’t enforce it properly. It’s not just an issue with nudity, either. It took three years for Facebook to ban a page the purpose of which was making violent jokes about female marines despite the fact that threatening and harassment is banned on the site (not to mention illegal). As for nudity, Facebook has mistakenly banned elbows that look like boobs and a topless drawing posted by a New York City art school.

Writes Rowland in his follow-up post to the most recent chapter of Facebook’s Boobgate:

“If Facebook is going to play censor, it’s absolutely vital that the company figure out a way to provide a transparent mechanism for handling appeals. That’s particularly true when censorship occurs, as it so frequently does, in response to objections submitted by a third-party. A complaint-driven review procedure creates a very real risk that perfectly acceptable content (like…you know, images of public art) will be triggered for removal based on the vocal objections of a disgruntled minority. A meaningful appeals process is, therefore, beyond due.”

Who know is Facebook is ever going to clean up their act; it took them years to say “Heyyyy, maybe we should do something about all those rape threats!” So I’m not holding my breath. Something tells me we’ll be talking about another Facebook fail not too far down the road.

(via The Daily Dot; Venus de Milo pic from Wikimedia Commons)

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  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    Don’t forget when they banned a page about birds, because they just happened to be called boobies.

  • athenia45

    What really upsets me about this sort of stuff is that I always assumed that this process was automated, but no. Some random dude in Morocco is making these qualitative decisions. So Facebook, congratulations for supporting sexism. Makes totes business sense!

  • Heather

    Oh god, did they really?

  • Nicole Elizabeth Currie

    They did. I think it last month as well. And that time, as last I heard, they stuck to their guns and insisted it was inappropriate content because they named the birds ‘boobies’ (their names) on the page.

  • Heather

    That’s insane. I guess the Tit Appreciation Society shouldn’t even bother trying.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    But… but there are birds named boobies! *That is their real name!*

  • Anonymous

    Now I’m worried about my European Shag Appreciation group. :(

  • Harrison Grey

    All this said, I looked up the statue and it’s a fairly crappy statue. It’s a headless, topless (and section-of-the-belly-less) girl doing a selfie. It ought to be replaced with a better statue.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The quality isn’t the point, though. The AFA is claiming the statue’s nudity makes it *illegal*.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The quality isn’t the point, though. The AFA is claiming the statue’s nudity makes it *illegal*.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The quality isn’t the point, though. The AFA is claiming the statue’s nudity makes it *illegal*.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The quality isn’t the point, though. The AFA is claiming the statue’s nudity makes it *illegal*.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The quality isn’t the point, though. The AFA is claiming the statue’s nudity makes it *illegal*.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    The quality isn’t the point, though. The AFA is claiming the statue’s nudity makes it *illegal*.

  • Charlie

    To be fair it doesn’t sound that much better than the dead island bust…

  • Margaret

    It’s funny because the Victorians were doing similar stuff over 100 years ago: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/d/davids-fig-leaf/

    Granted, a lot of what the AFA does is very Victorian…

  • Anonymous

    This, and the examples mentioned in the post, makes me wonder if they’ve got an algorithm that controls the banning rather than having a person making those calls.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    1) The AFA is a certified hate group on the SPLC’s watchlist. Nothing they say is of any relevance to anyone but bigots and idiots.

    2) FUCK Facebook. They’ll censor a naked fucking statue but a troll publicly calling me a “fucking tranny hooker” in a comment doesn’t count as Hate Speech to them? FUCK you Facebook! Fuck you sideways!!!

  • Harrison Grey

    And I get that. These people are trying to say it’s against the rules when, according to the people who make the rules, it isn’t. I’m just saying, legality aside, it’s an ugly statue, and if they’d tried a Facebook petition saying, “can we get a better statue”, they might have gotten away with it. Instead they had to play the moral card which probably cemented this thing’s relevance in a way the statue itself couldn’t have. The Venus de Milo, this thing ain’t.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not saying art has to be tasteful, but what an odd choice for a public garden. Facebook is stupid though.

  • Anonymous

    I learned something today: The titmouse is not a mouse. (It’s not a boob either).

  • Jenni

    what Fred replied I am stunned that some one able to make $5282 in one month on the computer. useful content

    w­w­w.Y­A­D­7.c­o­m

  • Anonymous

    Well the boobs do actually look like boobs, as opposed to melons with nipples.

  • Elias Algorithm

    That’s it exactly, actually.

  • Elias Algorithm

    I was hoping it wasn’t that one so at least I back it for being thought provoking. But it isn’t. It’s really kind of an eyesore, so I don’t see the point of even trying to get it removed on decency grounds. It just seems a whole lot of effort for something ultimately mundane and boring.

  • alk

    This was an awesome read, and the swooning comment had me in fits of laughter! I share your lack of optimism about Facebook actually ever revising their policy to be either sane or effective, much less both.

  • Anonymous

    So guess who the real boobs are in that story?
    Anyone who answered “The Faceboob guys” won!

  • Charlie

    That’s a start I guess :p

  • athenia45

    They might have an algorithm, but they also have people making these decisions as well. During the #FBrape campaign, it was shown multiple times how pornographic images were kept online, but artistic images were not.

  • Harrison Grey

    I think tastefulness in art can be all over the place if it’s in a private collection or an art gallery with, I guess, walls and an entry point or something; in a public place, like a park or garden, I think tastefulness in art should be a higher priority. Again, I’m saying this more as a purveyor of art than as a moral statement; if I go to a public park I’d much prefer pieces done in a classical style than undecipherable modern art, but that’s just me.

  • LifeLessons

    Oh. Good. Grief.

  • Fiona

    Facebook needs to get their shit together. I deleted my Facebook (sorry, DEACTIVATED, because I can’t frickin’ delete it) for exactly this reason. I want nothing to do with this site. I know that the Internet is full of the big, the bad and the scary, but I also know that there is also just a bunch of idiocy, and I feel like Facebook, or at least the part of Facebook that I see a lot, is overrun with blithering idiots who can’t get their shit together. The people who run Facebook need to get better at what should stay up and what shouldn’t, and a lot of the people I came across on Facebook were really cruel, they said terrible things and had these ideas that made no sense, but did show me how terrible they were at being good human beings.
    /rant over.
    Feel free to disagree with me, I have only one opinion out of many.