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Meta’s Oversight Board Calls Out The Company For It’s ‘Impractical’ Nudity Policy

Meta’s Oversight Board is the name given to an independent body that goes through the firm’s hard decisions linked to content moderation.

Meta really respects the board and looks up to them for advice. But recently, the board was seen overturning the firm’s decision to take down two posts featuring non-binary individuals flaunting a bare chest.

This particular case has been called out as one which the company should review or take a closer look at while adding how Meta’s nudity policy is impractical and needs work.

The decision was linked to two people who currently took part in a campaign of fundraising. This had to do with a certain couple that hoped to gain funds so they could undergo surgery linked to breast tissue. Hence, two images were set out on the likes of Instagram in both 2021 and the year after that.

While both of them featured bare chests, they had the nipple region covered and entailed links to a fundraising website.

As one can expect, the posts were continuously flagged across the board by so many users and even the app’s own AI-powered content moderators. They ordered for it to be removed and that’s exactly what Meta ended up doing.

The company called it out as a clear violation of its policy called the Sexual Solicitation Community Standard. It entailed nudity while people were asked for money. Since this policy is intended to rid sex workers from taking part in innocuous content online, it makes absolute sense as to why it’s being talked about in the first place.

The couple was seen making an appeal for this decision and they even brought about the news to the Oversight Board. But Meta called it out as a huge error. However, let’s remember how getting rid of such posts is not quite in line with the likes of the firm’s standards set for the community. This entails values as well as responsibilities linked to human rights. The matter is putting more emphasis on major fundamental concerns having to do with the firm’s policies too.

This is a great chance for the board to highlight how Meta’s policy needs work and a good solution would be to take a closer look at it and send out recommendations to the firm so it may really end up taking a serious approach that reflects the values and priorities involved.

As it is, the rules linked to allowing and blocking female body parts like nipples are quite confusing as it does end up applying to other communities of people like trans and non-binary.

Some exceptions that were highlighted by the policy included the likes of protests and childbirth as well as medical contexts such as breast cancer and more. But with that being said, it’s all just so poorly defined in the end.

In a few cases, moderators could assess the extent as well as the nature that such could have in terms of visible scars to see which exceptions would apply. This lack of clarity linked to this policy makes room for a lot of uncertainty for both users and reviewers and also makes it super unworkable to utilize in practice.


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