MetaR17;s oversight board on Tuesday overturned the company’s decision to remove two Instagram posts depicting transgender and non-binary people with bare breasts, saying Meta needed to change its policies to be more inclusive.
The committee, funded by Meta but operating independently, said in a ruling that the companyR17;s adult nudity policy was based on a binary view of gender, making it unclear how the rules would apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people.
The case brought before the committee includes two posts in 2021 and 2022 under an Instagram account maintained by an American couple. The posts featured photos of the couple with their bare breasts and covered nipples, and their captions discussed transgender healthcare and gender-affirming surgery.
MetaR17;s policy prohibits the inclusion of images of women’s nipples except in specific circumstances, such as breastfeeding and gender-affirming surgery.
“The limitations and exceptions to the female nipple rule are broad and confusing, especially when they apply to transgender and non-binary people,” the committee said.
It added, “This creates confusion for users and moderators, and, as Meta recognizes, it results in content being removed in error.”
The Oversight Board, which includes academics, rights experts and lawyers, was created by the company to adjudicate a small subset of thorny content moderation appeals, but it can also make recommendations on site policy.
© Thomson Reuters 2023