OPINION | This article contains commentary that reflects the author's opinion.
In a new decision announced on January 7th, Facebook and Instagram will allow photos of bare breasts on their sites, but only for transgender and “non-binary” people.
Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, has created an “Oversight Board” consisting of academics, politicians, and journalists who advise the company on its content-moderation policies.
The controversy began when Instagram removed two posts of people who were both topless and had their nipples covered. One of the people was transgender and the other was non-binary.
This triggered outrage among leftists and a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the “Oversight Board” would review the case.
— Mark Of Sussex. #StopTheInvasion (@Haterofwokery) January 18, 2023
Meta eventually overruled this ban and restored the photos.
In its new decision, the board refers to biological women as “cisgender women.” Cisgender women are prohibited from posting the same image of female-presenting nipples.
However, an individual self-identifying as non-binary is permitted to post the image.
“The Board also notes additional nipple-related exceptions based on contexts of protest, birth giving, after birth and breastfeeding which it did not examine here,” the board said.
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— The Trending Fashions (@FashionTrnding) January 21, 2023
Many Americans have criticized Facebook’s hypocrisy for creating different rules for “different women.” Biological women have to live by one set of rules while trans and non-binary women have their own set of rules.
The board said that Facebook currently relies on “human reviewers” tasked with “quickly assess[ing] both a user’s sex, as this policy applies to ‘female nipples,’ and their gender identity.”
“This policy is based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies. Such an approach makes it unclear how the rules apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people, and requires reviewers to make rapid and subjective assessments of sex and gender, which is not practical when moderating content at scale,” the board said.