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May 02, 2018

Facebook Won’t ‘Free The Nipple’ But Will Add Dating Site Feature

Facebook has long imposed a ban on photographs that display female, though not male, nipples and despite a vocal “Free the Nipple” campaign and widespread, perhaps wishful, rumors last year that the social media giant had reversed the nipple policy, founder Mark Zuckerberg said last week that women’s nipples will remain banned from Facebook for the foreseeable future. Zuckerberg, who came under fire from the United States Senate earlier this month for flaws in how Facebook protects user privacy, as well as the platform’s role in spreading Russian propaganda during the 2016 presidential election, also announced this week that Facebook was getting into the dating business, adding a new matchmaking feature that Zuckerberg said would facilitate “long-term relationships, not just hookups.” In last week’s conference call, Zuckerberg attempted to explain why Facebook continues to censor female nipple photos, saying that the artificial intelligence program that Facebook uses to monitor content finds it “easier” than other types of censorship. “Ninety-nine per cent of terrorism content we take down before anyone sees it,” Zuckerberg said on the call. “Whereas hate speech, which is more nuanced linguistically, that’s going to take more years to do something reasonable. It’s easier to build an AI system to detect a nipple than what is hate speech.” In 2014, Facebook modified its anti-nipple policy to allow photos of women breastfeeding, as well as images of post-mastectomy women. While “Free the Nipple” activists have objected to the platform’s discrimination against images of female nipples while freely permitting photographs of bare-chested men, Facebook executive Monika Bickert said that the difference was a result of concern over “safety.” “Fundamentally our nudity standards are about safety. It’s very hard for us to determine the age of a person depicted in a nude image,” Bickert said on a separate call, as quoted by the site B&T.  “It’s also very hard for us to determine consent. So even if it’s pretty clear the person consented to the image being taken, it’s very hard to tell if the person consented to the image being shared.” As an artistic protest against the Facebook policy, in 2015, feminist artist Micol Hebron created a viral image of a male nipple, and distributed instructions on how to paste the image over any image of a female nipple, thus bypassing the Facebook ban on women’s nipple images. Photo via Change.org Free the Female Nipple on Facebook! Petition

 
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