Facebook and Instagram, via the ban on female nipples

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Facebook and Instagram may soon lift the ban on female nipples: Meta’s supervisory board – a group of academics, politicians and journalists who advise the company on its content moderation policies – has asked for a rule review which bans shirtless images of women (but not men). Lui recommended that Meta modify its he standard «so that it is governed by clear criteria that comply with international human rights standards».

The opinion of the supervisory board follows the Facebook censored two posts from an account managed by an American couple transgender and non-binary. The posts showed the pair posing, topless, but with their nipples covered. Healthcare for trans people was talked about and money was raised for major surgery. The posts have been removed by an artificial intelligence system. But, after the couple appealed this decision, Meta reverted the posts.

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The supervisory board noted that “the policy (up to now) it is based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies», and this makes the nipple ban rules «unclear» when it comes to intersex, non-binary and transgender users. The group of experts then recommended that Meta “define clear, objective and rights-respecting criteria”, “so that all people are treated consistently”.

Countryside #FreetheNipplefor the removal of the nipple ban, was launched in 2013, and has been endorsed by celebrities including Madonna, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Lena Dunham, Aurora Ramazzotti and Chiara Ferragni.

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A spokesman for Meta, with a press release, replied that the company “welcomes the board’s decision in this case,” noting that the photos of the couple had been restored even before his recommendation. “We are constantly evolving our policies to help make our platforms safer for everyone. We know more can be done to support the LGBTQ+ community, and that means working with experts and organizations.” Now Meta will have 60 days to publicly respond to the recommendations of the board.

But one question remains: how will Meta’s automated content moderation systems be able to distinguish between a topless post and porn? «Context is everything, and algorithms are terrible at analyzing context», he explained to Guardian Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. “The interesting question will be how Meta can create new rules without opening the door to porn, which is why these rules exist. It should be possible, but I’m skeptical if content moderation is automated.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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