Revise your ‘convoluted’ nudity policy, Oversight Board tells Meta

Meta’s Oversight Board has overturned the social networking giant’s original decisions to remove two Instagram posts depicting “transgender and non-binary people with bare chests”.

The Board recommended that Meta change its “Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard” so that it is governed by clear criteria that respect international human rights standards.

The case represents a failure of a “convoluted and impractical nudity policy”, the Board said, and recommended that Meta take a serious look at revising it.

Two separate pieces of content were posted by the same Instagram account, one in 2021, the other in 2022.

The account is maintained by a US-based couple who identify as transgender and non-binary.

Following a series of alerts by Meta’s automated systems and reports from users, the posts were reviewed multiple times for potential violations of various community standards.

“Meta ultimately removed both posts for violating the Sexual Solicitation Community Standard, seemingly because they contain breasts and a link to a fundraising page,” said the Board.

The users appealed to Meta and then to the Board. After the Board accepted the cases, Meta found it had removed the posts in error and restored them.

“Meta’s internal guidance to moderators on when to remove content under the Sexual Solicitation policy is far broader than the stated rationale for the policy, or the publicly available guidance. This creates confusion for users and moderators and, as Meta has recognized, leads to content being wrongly removed,” the Board said.

The Board has consistently said Meta must be sensitive to how its policies impact people subject to discrimination.

Meta “should change its approach to managing nudity on its platforms,” it added.

20230118-114803

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