January 28, 2023

Meta’s oversight board on Tuesday overturned the company’s decision to remove two social media posts that depicted bare-chested transgender and non-binary people.

The board found that removing the posts was inconsistent with the company’s community standards, values, or human rights responsibilities.

Additionally, it said Meta’s policies around adult nudity resulted in greater barriers to expression for women, transgender people and non-binary people on its platform.

In a news release, the board said, considering the two cases together for the first time, recommended that Meta change its rules on adult nudity and sexual activity so that they are bound by international human rights standards.

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Meta’s Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Policy prohibits images containing female nipples except in specific circumstances, such as medical and wellness settings. The council said the policy was based on “a binary view of gender and the distinction between male and female bodies”.

“This approach makes it unclear how the rules apply to intersex, non-binary and transgender people, and requires reviewers to make a quick and subjective assessment of sex and gender,” it said.

Visitors walk in front of the Meta (Facebook) logo at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on Dec. 29, 2022.
(Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Its decisions and recommendations are made to ensure that all users are not treated in a discriminatory manner on the basis of sex or gender.

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This includes well-defined, rights-respecting standards governing the policies described above, as well as providing more detail on the standards that lead to content being removed in the public-facing sexual solicitation community standards, and revising moderator guidelines to more accurately reflect public rules policy.

“This will help reduce enforcement errors on the Meta side,” it said.

Icons of Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram displayed on a mobile phone screen are shown in this illustration photo taken on April 6, 2022 in Krakow, Poland.

Icons of Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram displayed on a mobile phone screen are shown in this illustration photo taken on April 6, 2022 in Krakow, Poland.
(Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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“We welcome the board’s decision in this case. We have reinstated the content prior to the decision, recognizing that it should not have been removed,” a Meta spokesperson told Fox News Digital in an emailed statement Wednesday.

“We are constantly evaluating our policies to help make our platform safer for everyone. We know more can be done to support the LGBTQ+ community, and that means working with experts and LGBTQ+ advocates on a range of issues and product improvements organization cooperation.”

Meta is required to publicly respond to Board-recommended policy guidance within 60 days.



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