Facebook blocked a cancer awareness video for showing cartoon breasts

Image Courtesy: thedrum

The Swedish Cancer Society, a non-profit-organisation tried to put up Breast cancer awareness video featuring animated pictures of breasts. Facebook’s strict no nudity policy apparently did not spare it and quickly put it down.

What was the social networks explanation to banning the video? “Your ad can not market sex products or services nor adults products or services.”

In response to the ban, the NGO sent an open letter to facebook along with the pink circles used to illustrate breast turned into squares.

In the letter they wrote: “We understand that you have to have rules about the content published on your platform. But you must also understand that one of our main tasks is to disseminate important information about cancer – in this case breast cancer.

After trying to meet your control for several days without success, we have now come up with a solution that will hopefully make you happy: Two pink squares!

This can not possibly offend you, or anyone. Now we can continue to spread our important breast school without upsetting you.”

Facebook eventually issued an apology with a statement to the  Guardian: “We’re very sorry, our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ads.”

Facebook’s nudity policy restricts images or videos of female breasts, if it includes nipples. However it allows women actively engaged in  breastfeeding  or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring. This restriction is also imposed on digital representations of  nudity, unless it is used for educational or humorous, or satirical purposes.

Facebook has a separate set of policies for advertisements and the video uploaded by the Swedish Cancer Society came under this category. But, clearly Facebook has admitted that banning the video was a mistake.

This is not the first time that Facebook has come under fire for their censorship.

Previously, Facebook took down an iconic Photograph of a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack during the Vietnam war. After the editor of Norway’s largest newspaper published an open letter, accusing CEO Mark Zuckerberg of “abusing his power”, Facebook retracted from their decision.

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