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Tuesday, January 24, 2023


An Oversight Board is urging the platforms to be more trans and nonbinary inclusive.

Meta has been urged to revamp community guidelines on nudity this week by an Oversight board who believes the current rules are discriminatory to women, transgender, and nonbinary folks.

The board consists of 22 experts in technology and human rights law from around the world who are unaffiliated with Meta leadership and yesterday, they released a joint decision to challenge Instagram and Facebook's current rules.

According to them, "the complaints were filed by a couple who had posted photos to Instagram showing their bare chests with their nipples covered to promote a fundraiser for top surgery. Meta moderators initially removed both posts before eventually restoring them." The board says that the initial removal of the posts point to "fundamental issues with Meta’s policies,” notably the application's censorship of “female nipples” and a clearer definition of them, specifically when it comes to breastfeeding.

The review also cites a “high volume of public comments” from transgender, nonbinary people, and even cisgender women, “who explained that they were personally affected by enforcement errors.”

“This policy is based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies.” Board members felt the current societal definitions are "broader than the stated rationale for the policy.”

“Such an approach makes it unclear how the rules apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people,” the Board wrote, “and requires reviewers to make rapid and subjective assessments of sex and gender, which is not practical when moderating content at scale.”

The board is recommending to Meta, Facebook, and Instagram to revise the Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity policies with “clear, objective, rights-respecting criteria” that don't discriminate based on sex or gender and revisions of their “sexual solicitation” policies that prevent sex workers from openly operating on the platforms.

Meta "welcomes the Oversight Board's decision" and is now in the process of reviewing their policies in an attempt to "constantly evolve our policies to help make our platforms safer for everyone.” They now have 60 days to issue an official response to the Board’s decision.

While we remain hopeful, Meta could decline the requests. Time will tell.


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