Facebook’s Breast Phobia Is Absolutely Ridiculous

    February 9, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Full disclosure: I’m much, much more socially liberal than the average bear. I won’t get into specifics about certain policy positions – but let’s just say that I fail to see how a little lightening up could do anything but help a society.

Having said that, I believe that you can be pretty socially conservative and still see that Facebook really needs to lighten up when it comes to nudity.

And no, I’m not suggesting that we turn the news feed into a porn tube or we turn the Timeline into an exhibition show. Let’s be real – this isn’t Myspace.

What do you think should be the line when it comes to nudity on Facebook? What do you think of their current policies? Have you ever had a post removed and you felt it was unjust based on their policies? Let us know in the comments.

All I’m suggesting is that we stop acting like the catalyst for the fall of our moral civilization is a 15-year-old catching a glimpse of a painted breast. I’ll now step down off the soapbox and get to the real story.

Parenting blog strollerderby (a Babble property) reports that Babble’s social media manager Andrea Zimmerman recently had a photo removed from her Facebook page. She received that standard rigamarole about Facebook’s nudity and pornography policy and the obligatory “do this too much and we’ll kick you off” warning. Many of us have seen this first hand in our many years of Facebooking.

The photo in question is of a fully nude woman with both breasts exposed. Both nipples are visible and the subject of the photo is touching herself. Check out the incredibly obscene photo below:

Are you as horrified as I am?

The photo, part of a pregnancy body art series, is about as un-obscene as it can get. In fact, it’s rather beautiful. But the problem lies with Facebook. It doesn’t matter that this depiction of nudity is what it is – and not some still image from Bangbus.

Facebook’s current policy says that the user “will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” It goes on to say that a photo can and will be removed if it “contain[s] nudity, drug use or other obscene content. If the photo attacks another individual or group, it will be removed as well.”

Nudity, drug use, or other obscene content. When did nudity just automatically become obscene content?

Let’s take another photo example – this time one more personal to me. I shared an article of mine to my personal Facebook page as well as WebProNews’ Facebook page. The article in question was about Porn sites participating in the internet-wide SOPA protests. This was its lead image:

As you can see, the young lass in the photo is rather buxom, and her assets aren’t exactly hidden away. But as you can clearly see, no nudity in the classical sense. No more skin is shown in that photo than in a bikini shot the average college girl posts after Spring Break. Nevertheless, Facebook removed the entire article from both my personal account and the WebProNews account. They also temporarily suspended my account and gave me the whole community guidelines lecture. All for the above photo, let me remind you.

Facebook and breasts have already been in the news this week. Breastfeeding activists who say that Facebook has removed countless breastfeeding images of theirs scheduled “nurse-in” protests at Facebook offices around the world.

Facebook’s policy on that is that breastfeeding photos are allowed as long as they don’t show “an exposed breast where the child in not actively engaged in nursing.” The activists claim that Facebook is unable to keep up with their removals and are unjustly taking down images that do not violate the policy.

It’s totally understandable that many photos get removed in error. Just imagine the volume of photos that hit Facebook every day. Mistakes should no doubt be expected.

But could a laxation of policy alleviate a bit of the problem? If Facebook lightened up, just a bit, could it prevent images like my (clearly not nude) lingerie girl from being removed unjustly?

I’m fully aware that it is Facebook’s right as a company to set up their policies in any way they choose. And trust me guys, I don’t want to turn Facebook into YouPorn. I just want Facebook to stop acting like nude pregnant body art is obscene.

What do you think? First, what do you think the line is when it comes to images on Facebook? Secondly, how big of a problem is the fact that photos are being removed in error, having not violated Facebook’s stated policies?

Should Facebook create more specific guidelines differentiating nudity from pornography? Let us know in the comments.

  • Mike

    For what it’s worth, that was, and still is, my favorite picture in any article we’ve written in the past 12 years.

    • Phil Up

      It is sick that anyone would want to see these images anywhere, but in the bedroom. Whether you want to accept it or not, any form of nudity provokes sexual thoughts now a days. I mean this for the pregnancy art photos, breast feeding photos and all other forms of showing ANYTHING that should only be seen by the spouse.

      • anonyMouse

        who said you or any other person(s) should be allowed to make that determination for me?
        You can keep your happy happy joy joy PG-13 rated world.

      • http://www.bd-shop.co.uk Barney Douglas

        As an internationally published professional commercial photographer I shoot the female art nude form very regularly. There is a world of difference between art and pornography. Facebook’s attitude and that of some of the posters here is exceptionally narrow-minded. A simple “office-safe” tag is all that is needed.

        • Phil Up

          As an internationally published professional commercial photographer, you should be ashamed of yourself. I agree that there is a difference between art and porn, but one of the facts is that if men didn’t want or need to see nude women these woman could keep their clothes on. Why do they want to see it? Because it’s SEXY! There is way too much freedom of expression in this country.

  • Mike

    I would also add that while I’m fine with banning breast feeding pictures because it’s gross and weirds me out, censoring hot girls in lingerie and bikini shots is plain wrong and borderline un-American.

    • Lynda Smith

      You think breastfeeding is weird? I have to laugh! What in the world do you perceive as the primary function of breasts? A revealing glimpse of
      the maturity level of the writer is clearly evident in this statement.

    • http://www.bd-shop.co.uk Barney Douglas

      The OP of this part of the thread should remember that the breast is a functional mammary gland which sustained him through the first part of his life.

    • Glenn Smith

      I think your statements are about as un-America as it’s possible to get! (And I’m English!)

      I breast feeding is wierd or grosses you out, then that says a lot about you! You’re the one with the problem! Grow up! When you’ve actually seen a pair of breasts then you’ll realise that they aren’t there for your satisfaction, breast feeding is what they are designed to do! Whilst you persist in your childish ways, it’s unlikely however, that you will ever get to see a pair of breasts, let alone watch your wife feed your offspring ith them!

      Take a look at the tribes in the Amazon where little, if any clothing is worn. They don’t have a word for rape as it’s never happened! That should tell you something!

    • Brandys78

      YOu would say that because you are a pig.

  • Kathleen

    I think that neither should be allowed on Facebook. I applaud Facebook in it’s decisions. While the art on the pregnant woman is a beautiful picture it’s not appropriate for Facebook… put a link to the site but it doesn’t need to be on Facebook. The other definitely doesn’t need to be on Facebook either and if you choose to look at pictures of women dressed like that and unfortunately when women choose to allow themselves to be seen like that then it needs to be done on sites where the right demographic is met not on Facebook. I definitely don’t want to see any of that and I’m sure that I am not the minority.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      It’s unfortunate for a pregnant woman to allow her body to be used for art? I guess I just don’t understand how that could be offensive to anyone…ever.

      • Kathleen

        Suppose you re-read the posts before you comment back? I said that “the pregnant woman is a beautiful picture”… the unfortunate is that women allow themselves to be seen as sex objects…aka… the other picture that you posted where I replied and said “The other…and unfortunately when women choose to allow themselves to be seen like that…”

        • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

          apologies, I did misread that. But still, not sure that a lingerie photo is “unfortunate.”

      • Nathan


        Its not unfortunate at all for her to use her body as “art”. But it is inappropriate to be posted on facebook. Even though it is “art” it is still nudity. Talk to a porn star, many of them consider what they do an expression of art. Now I realize that this picture isn’t porn but to allow nudity in any form on facebook shouldn’t be done. Why you ask? Where do you draw the line? What’s considered art to one person may be lewd to another. Many peoples moral compasses are off or different. So you can allow some and then not allow others. If you allow any it can easily get out of hand and then its turns into porntube.com. Plus, many kids have facebook. It needs to be a place free of nudity. That also includes breastfeeding.

        • Matt


          “to allow nudity in any form on facebook shouldn’t be done”

          The lingerie model definitely doesn’t count as nudity I’m afraid. And the painted pregnant woman is arguably even more covered up!

    • Lynda Smith

      I agree.

      • Lynda Smith

        Also…there is a lot of beautiful art that is not appropriate for
        younger participants. I am saddened that there are many people are so focused on satisfying their own less restricted preferences at the expense of children. Our children deserve to be protected by a less self-centered adult public and their welfare should be everyone’s primary objective.
        If T & A is what people want, there are websites that provide just that. A website, open to children, is just not an appropriate forum.
        A lot of Americans need to “grow up” and put the greater good ahead of their own desire to have this kind of picture available in every possible forum.

        • Anne

          Lynda, nudity is not obscene. Obscenity is obscene, and I want my kids protected from it. But I also want them growing up accepting the human body as simply a body, not a sexual object. Art (not sexual art) and breastfeeding are normal; I don’t want my kids thinking there is something wrong or shameful about a pregnant female form or a woman breastfeeding her child. I am very disheartened by the fact that so many people posting here equate nudity with obscenity. That is very sad.

          • Nepeta

            I’m going to repeat what Anne said. It needs to be said more often.

            Nudity is not obscene. Obscenity is obscene, and I want my kids protected from it. But I also want them growing up accepting the human body as simply a body, not a sexual object. Art (not sexual art) and breastfeeding are normal; I don’t want my kids thinking there is something wrong or shameful about a pregnant female form or a woman breastfeeding her child. I am very disheartened by the fact that so many people posting here equate nudity with obscenity. That is very sad.

          • Matt

            Here here!

        • Brandys78

          THANK YOU LYNDA SMITH. Take the nudity to porn sites.

    • http://None Russ

      I agree. Of course, we’ve all seen worse, but it there nowhere one can escape it?

    • Helen

      Kathleen, very well said and I totally agree. In my opinion, allowing any type of nude photos will lead to allowing all kinds of nude photos. My sincere hope is that FB keeps its policies in place.

    • connie morris

      Kathleen–I agree 100%. Facebook is not the place for any of this.

    • Brandys78

      You are absolutely right Kathleen. Neither should be on facebook. You can roll your eyes about kids seeing it all you want but I’m a mother and I don’t want my children to see it. I don’t want to see it! Right now there are bare butts of women all over facebook are you gonna argue butt feeding? lol I wish the shoe was one the other foot and it was male’s private parts all over facebook, you men would be having a cow!!!!

  • LevelHeaded

    Since Facebook is a private organization, I suggest immediately unleashing Planned Parenthood and emasculated Congressmen on them. That will make them think twice about their anti-free expression, anti-choice, and selective nipple policies.

  • http://getaclue.sorosmonkeys.com DemocratsareSocialistCommunist

    if you wanna feast your eyes on images containing nudity there are a plethora of venues you can go to so you can look at nudity and the like. as for facebook…its good to see a company have some sort of moral standard on at least some level.

    • Mark

      I don’t think anyone’s looking to ‘feast [their] eyes’ and yes, there are many places people can, and, indeed, do go if they want to ogle something that titillates or provides an aid to sexual affirmation. I could recommend many ; ) However, I think you’ve missed the point. A breast or a nude body (depicted in an appropriate context!) is perfectly natural; it’s who we are as humans. People don’t go to Facebook to ‘feast’ on nudity – but, equally, when visiting Facebook it’s depressing that a company can judge prestigious, culturally important artworks and, yes, a picture of a pregnant woman (shock horror) outside the ‘norms’ of society. Morals are subjective, they’re relative rather than innate, and it’s sad day when that line is drawn against humanity in the favour of the few who prefer a chaste life at the expense of actually living.

  • Ryan

    It’s not a “moral standpoint”, it’s prudishness to avoid a shitstorm. Erring on the side of caution. Still no fun though.

    • http://www.ientry.com/ Josh Wolford

      I agree. But the equivalent shitstorm on the other side (people sick of having relatively tame photos removed constantly) could be remedied by a little lightening up on Facebook’s part. I guess it’s pick your poison.

  • http://www.webpronews.com/ Mike McDonald

    I have no problem at all with Facebook not allowing nudity. I agree, in fact that nudity should not be on Facebook.

    That said, the girl in Josh’s article is not nude.

    Nor are the girls in the images on facebook.com/Chickipedia” rel=”nofollow”>Chickipedia’s updates (which I look forward to on a daily basis).

  • Johnny Boy

    Was the giraffe done by Craig Taylor?

  • Johnny Boy

    SORRY!!! Craig TRACY!
    http://www.craigtracy.com. A true artist.

  • Malcolm Boura

    Iit is a lot worse than just a ludicrous.restriction of free speech lacking any rational justification. There is strong evidence that prudery such as this results in widespread and often serious harm, mainly to young people, it is not coincidence that the USA has ten times the teenage pregnancy rate of Denmark. Attitudes have consequences and prudery is child abuse.

    • Lynda Smith


    • Lynda Smith

      Malcom, what you wrote is contrary to the law. Children do not have the maturity to process sexual content. Girls are learning how to value themselves, boys are learning how to value women. They are all in a learning process. I personally believe that women who post revealing pictures of themselves lack basic self respect. Your entire comment is ridiculous.

      • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

        Boys, being one myself, generally learn how or whether or not to value women either from their father, assuming he is around or, from the actions of the mother herself.

        But you are right, it is easier to shield a child until they become of age so that once they hit the world and have the blinders removed, they have no idea as to how to handle it but at least one doesn’t have to deal with that while they are growing up.

        • Anne

          “….once they hit the world and have the blinders removed, they have no idea as to how to handle it but at least one doesn’t have to deal with that while they are growing up.”

          True–many parents don’t want to deal with this at all, therefore their kids grow up with unhealthy attitudes or ignorant ones.

  • Ashley

    Josh, I see your point. Removing the pictures of breast feeding and pregnancy is rude. However, I will say that if the woman would really like to have the image on face book, she could cover her nipples or at least move the picture’s frame so that they are not showing. that would solve facebook‘s issue with that. As for the young lady in just her bra and panties, I also don’t see what difference that has compared to bikini shots. I do feel that young ladies that choose to put their bodies out on display like that should have these photos in personal albums that are only for friends and not open for the public, however, it is their choice to have them as such.

  • http://www.jumbocdinvestments.com/ ChrisCD

    I wasn’t going to comment, but I applaud the folks standing up for Facebook in this case. There are lots of beautiful works of art in the world, that doesn’t make them appropriate for all avenue.

    There is also a big difference between the pregnant women and the other. Frankly, the other doesn’t belong on a site where children are likely to be. Frankly, the only breasts I should be looking at our my wife’s. If you aren’t married you shouldn’t be looking at anyone’s.

    Prudish, no it is called honoring what belongs to someone else. If you get your kicks out of that short thing, fine, but I don’t want to see it pop-up in my public stream. So I appreciate Facebook taking a stance. And those photos of bikini clad gals shouldn’t be there either.

    cd :O)

  • http://www.faceformers.com Brenda

    The remedy to all of this hoopla is to ditch Farsebook (as I call it) all together. There are far more graphically obscene things than nipples. Honestly, why are we so crazy weird about a nude body. It just creates taboo and more weirdness. However, Farsebook can do whatever they want because they own the space and we don’t. Its a free service…FREE…so why are we even complaining really.

    I have a free to use website with rules as well. If someone doesn’t like my rules, they are not forced to use it. I do allow photos of body art on nudes because it so happens that I am in face and body painting industry :)

  • Janie Toney

    I think if you don’t like Facebook’s policies, why are you on there??

  • Tony Whittaker

    Several thoughts:

    1) I find it bizarre that anyone should think that a baby feeding is a sight people should be protected from, either in public or on Facebook. (Bizarrely, it is often young red-blooded men who have a problem with this.) So if people want to have pics of themselves feeding their babies, it is one of the nicest things around.

    2) However Facebook’s problem, I guess, is that once they make a loophole, people will find creative ways to take other stuff through the loophole too.

    3) Cultures vary too. One person’s nice pregnant body-painting, or other arty pose, is another’s edgy or unacceptable material. UK is in general more relaxed than USA. Other parts of Europe even more so. But Facebook is a worldwide network. Some in Africa, certainly Mid East, may have very different perceptions.

    And of course, Facebook includes many who are not far into teen years.

    If there’s a formula that allows discrete baby-feeding pics but can be practically policed to prevent anything else, go for it Facebook. But I suspect it is harder to set definitions than we think.

  • http://www.officefreaks.com Joi

    First of all… the picture. WOW. Some people’s talent levels make mine want to crawl in a corner and weep.

    As for Facebook’s policy, unfortunately with society as it is (and with so many babies on Facebook), the line has to be drawn. If nudity were allowed, let’s face it, we’d have some 15 year olds pushing the envelope. Then think of the trouble people could be in if they saw underage… ack, I don’t even want to think about it. Suffice to say, “Whole new can of worms.”

    The picture does take my breath away, though.

    • http://www.kennychronicles.com Garrett Williams

      This is the kind of comment I wanted to make.
      The picture is amazing and I don’t see it as sexual or offensive, but it’s true that people will test the limits if the rules allow some nudity.
      I’m really surprised at how many people commenting here consider ANY nudity to be sexual and offensive. Baths must be really disturbing to them, and forget seeing any classic art!

      • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

        So what that people push limits, it’s generally what mankind has done all through its existence, otherwise our caves wouldn’t be wired for electricity.

        That someone might misuse something or use it inappropriately is a reason to ban its use by anyone?

        I’m getting rather tired of having our lives fenced in and limited with the excuse of protecting a few from the even fewer.

        Name anything you care and coming up with a way that someone has abused it or used it to cause harm to another would be trivial so wouldn’t it be safer for everyone if we did ‘live’ in a world like the Matrix where we ‘live’ in a cocoon and only ‘experience’ the world as someone else decides?

  • http://www.armored-pc.com Martin

    I think topless is ok. Nudity is not in anyway obscene. The human body in it self is the purest form of beauty. I think tattoos and piercings are obscene and a desecration to the human form.

  • Charlize

    Wow – everyone certainly has their own opinion. Did anyone watch the Super Bowl? Did you see the super sexy commercials? In particular the one about Valentines Day and you’ve got to give to get? Wow – what did that imply? I saw it – sitting with my children 9 & 11. Children see and hear things everyday concerning nudity and other adult innuendos (that they may or may not understand). We can’t monitor it – it is a part of new age technology. What we can do is communicate with them – about how we feel, what we think and mentor them to be the best people they can be and encourage them to communicate with us. As far a Facebook lightening up concerning nudity – guidelines have to be set or there would be chaos. Employing people to follow the guidelines is a large feat. Do you think there is one master Facebook Image Oz that goes through all the photos and says “Remove It – guidelines not met” I’m going to say the answer to that question is probably no. There are MANY decision makers on any given day and as you can see from the string here the range of what is deemed acceptable under the guidelines is largely different. I personally don’t think that a woman in lingerie is nudity or offensive. Perhaps if they were making some sort of sexual gesture or had any inappropriate props etc than yes that type of thing certainly has its place. As far as a nude pregnant body – well it is nude – painted or not. Do I think its offensive or would I be appalled if my children saw it? Absolutely not but guidelines are guidelines and I guess it just depends on the nature of the decision maker!

    • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

      “What we can do is communicate with them”

      Thank you!

  • http://www.examiner.com/biblical-in-charlotte/vincent-eagan-III Vincent J. Eagan, III

    Nudity isn’t obscene? Are you serious? Both photos to which you refer ARE rather offensive, and bravo to Facebook for getting something RIGHT on that.

    • Christine

      Nudity is obsence? I don’t get it? I suppose you don’t look in the mirror at yourself EVER? You must have low self esteem to believe this remark. The human body is a remarkable piece of art in itself and to call it offensive is ludicrous. Breastfeedding is a natural thing to do for a woman. If you get “turned on” by this, then you have a very sick mind. It isn’t meant to turn anyone one…it is meant to feed a child. Does one get turned on when they watch a person eat at a restaurant? I don’t think so.

    • Anne

      Nudity in and of itself is NOT obscene! And this culture fosters needless shame about the human body and our attitudes also encourage, not discourage, unhealthy obsessions with obscenity and pornography. In countries in which, for example, breastfeeding is still seen for what it is–a way of nourishing one’s baby–little boys and big men don’t get all atwitter and weirded out on seeing it, nor do they start having sexual thoughts because they see a bare breast. It’s a normal part of life. In this country, however, men and even women have such bizarre and unhealthy attitudes about it.

      I agree that obscenity and pornography, as well as sexually provocative images do not belong on Facebook. However, the pregnant body art image and breastfeeding are none of these. I’d have no objection to my sons seeing these. However, the “lingerie” shot is another matter–that is blatantly provocative in a sexual manner.

  • Ron

    I am glad that facebook is not allowing pictures like those shown in this article. Many of us want a safe social media site to go to where we aren’t exposed to nudity. For those of us who are striving to have pure thoughts and lives, those kind of pictures immediately make that pursuit more difficult. I know that many of you have different pursuits or even different definitions of purity but could you at least empathize with those of us who want to keep those images within the confines of marriage?

    • Grayman

      Ron, you obviously work for Facebook, and are trying to defend the indefensible. Graceful, tactful images of a woman naturally breastfeeding her baby are in no way nudity, or offensive, and if those type of images impact on your purity of life, you’re a deeply troubled person.

    • Bob

      I am pretty sure there’s no nudity involved here (at least in the case of Josh’s ban).

  • Mike

    Pictures of breast feeding is not an offense, but what is offensive in these pictures is that most women who added there breastfeeding pictures show their tits!!
    They must at least think that facebook is a site that is also used by children.
    I don’t understand why this is becoming an issue as their is no meaning for a woman to expose her tit! If she wants to show breastfeeding, show it without making her tits appear in the photo.

    I know a lot will disagree, but the fact is that if they show their tits, then I support facebook, and if they don’t show then I support them.

    • connie morris

      Mike-I agree with you. I am all for breast feeding. 100%. But a lot of the pictures that I have seen are not decent and do have the nipple showing or the child pulling out on them. Facebook has regulations and I agree with them. Why would anyone want to put their breast on a picture to splash it all over the world? I don’t understand that. Leave Facebook alone and get your own private websites or send photos to your family.

  • http://www.theakurians.com General Bobby Farrell

    FaceBook is more HYPOCRITE than ‘social’ …

    YES! I’ll be very happy to document!

    General Bobby Farrell
    That Damned Akurian

  • http://www.watsons-streetworks.com Steve Watson

    I think the problem is that Mark Z. was weened too soon.

  • http:www.lifewave.com/bombayman Kishor Meswani

    There is nothing wrong in breast feeding mothers in full view, so very natural and inspiring (not exciting) aesthetic natural sentiments. I have seen a VIDEO with full frontal nudity & violence together posted by someone on my page!

    On a different note how many of you have experienced getting “blocked” over adding new contacts? On one hand we see endless people featured that YOU MAY KNOW with link ADD FRIEND and one gets blocked for doing just that! Either stop displaying such photo-listings with ADD FRIEND link or keep high-handed attitudes towards people WHO HAVE BUILT FB!!

  • Jason

    Take a look at just about any highschoolers pictures (or my friends pics), everyone these days has a giant pot leaf or pictures of their assault rifles all over facebook, with comments like “lets go smoke a fatty after class” or “damn, that gun would be good to snipe someone”, but once someone shows their tits (painted over) it’s offensive and gets removed? and what about Potville and other offensive games they allow even 10 year olds to play? Facebook, I’m not sorry, my account is deleted!

  • http://clbell.yolasite.com/ Cherie Bell

    I had one of modeling pictures taken down, because I was wearing a lacey bra that if you enlarged the photo and got real close to your screen you might get a small piece of pink flesh from my nipple showing, but on the other hand it was ok for Jessica Alba to have a full frontal nude uploaded. And to discriminate against me even more the picture was reported by someone who got mad at me. She was my husband’s old friend and my a sexually suggestive remark that I took offense to and he asked her not to talk to him that way, because it had offended me and so this woman being a porn store owner took it upon herself in an act of revenge to report my photo and the photo was taken down without me being able to defend myself. I guess it’s alright since I’m not a famous model making millions.

  • Matt

    While you are worried about Facebook, don’t forget Apple. We have been working to publish a magazine that has… wait for it… girls in swimsuit like outfits… oh no. Also, we get rejected for “Our images do not match our content” SO WHAT. Our readers don’t want boring articles either!

  • Tommy

    If facebook allowed nudity, you may just end up with underage girls photographed and placed on facebook…that may open up a serious legal matter. How would facebook know the age of the person in the picture or whether they consented for the picture to be on facebook?

  • Padre3210

    I’m going to post a picture of Michelangelo’s David on Facebook to see if they take it off, and lecture me. We all should.

    After all his junk IS all hanging out! You can fine this picture (if you want to join me)here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_%28Michelangelo%29 and
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187895-d195557-Reviews-Statue_of_David-Florence_Tuscany.html and
    http://vlsi.colorado.edu/~rbloem/david.html and

  • Leila

    I think Facebook users should be allowed to post anything they wish…including nude photos of females or males. BUT, I do think Facebook should make certain that all users viewing explicit photos are OVER 18. AT least, this should be done in the U.S….which still seems to be in the “victorian era” regarding nudity..so very different than Sweden, Finland, Germany, etc…the more enlightened countries where nudity is NOT a big deal. This is a weird country where the majority of people look at porn, where more sex crimes are committed than in any other country, and yet laws are so strict that a woman cannot even go bare-breasted in summer when the weather is hot. Just look at the tribes in parts of Africa, Indonesia and other areas. Everyone is nude, and since it’s the norm, no one cares of pays it any attention. Both children and adults are nude, and yet there is NO sexual abuse of children!! Just go to a nudist camp. You will soon see that no one pays any attention to you because everyone is the same. It’s the THRILL of the “forbidden” that causes so much crime. I say FB should be far more open-minded. If you are still so “Victorian” that you cannot view a nude person, then DO NOT use Facebook!!

  • me

    yet another american phobia, nothing new under the sun, just more incredibly narrow minded people forcing their dogmas. next step we all should were spacial suits including under shower in that way maybe someone won’t get offended, pathetic really and facebook is even more pathetic to endorse this since is a private business after all and it was founded by a supposedly intelligent human being

  • Anita

    I don’t think their policy is ridiculous at all! If Facebook an ADULT social network? No, it is for everyone. That includes young children. The picture of the painted lady, while beautiful, is not appropriate for a 6-10 year old. Your ‘lingerie girl’ is just mild porn. There is a difference between ‘lightening up’ and exposing children to inappropriate material.

  • http://matweller.com Mat Weller

    Facebook is a business and can do whatever they want with respect to controlling what’s allowed. If people don’t like it, they leave. Yay, capitalism!

    Personally, I fail to see the problem. You don’t go to work, strip nude and expect nobody to get upset, right? The whole net is wide open for the images in question to be posted elsewhere. It’s not going to hurt me if I can’t see a breast when I check in.

  • http://www.compgurus.net/ Gary C

    I think you are missing the real point. In a world of posting anything for the sake of SEO rankings, this particular computer professional and SEO Guru would like to make this public service announcement:
    The Facebook TOS does not say it will “grade” content. That makes them liable for censorship or slander. It simply states, as you quoted but yet still missed the point that the user agreed they “will not post content that: … contains nudity”
    ummm duh… The problem is not that Facebook is censoring your content. The problem is that Facebook HAS RULES.. Wahh! Get over it.

  • http://thepsychicuniverse.com Diane Ollivett-Miles

    Sorry, I am on Face Book’s side in this one. Yes a naked body can be beautifully and tastefully presented, but Face Book is used by millions of teens and tweens and is not the place to encourage those raging hormones. Their policy clearly states no nudity. What is to change. If you want fine art including nudity, there are sites for that, if you want T&A there are more than enough sites for that. If you want pure porn, Time Warner has hundreds of sites as do others for that and they do try to keep the kids out. Let’s have one lace that is reasonable free of T&A where, with parental supervision, youngsters can speak their mind, post suitable photos for family and friends.Once on the internet, always available some where to see can not be said often enough. Are these photos what you want your 10 year old looking at?

  • Nancy

    Any pornographic material does not belong on Facebook. Any medical related imagery belongs on the organization website and not on Facebook.

    I work in the child and adolescent behavior research field and data never lies. This is the realm or fact; not dogma. Our behavior as adults DOES play a major role in the identity formation of our children. It is our responsibility as adults and a society to safeguard our children from unhealthy influences; this includes Internet exposure to social networking sites and their content.

  • http://www.sciencelives.com Suzanne

    Here’s the part I don’t understand … if someone who was a “friend” posted something I personally found offensive and it appeared in my Facebook feed, I have the option of blocking them and not seeing those types of images again. It’s not that I or most people go randomly cruising around looking at public Facebook accounts. So why do people need protecting from potentially offensive images if they have the ability to protect themselves? I’m sure most people when they add a “friend” have an idea of the type of things that friend would post … and if you think they might post something that offends you, don’t “friend” them. Simple.

  • http://www.prophecyhour.com Pastor Dan Catlin

    Well the truth is in we that are moral have worke up in a society that does not think inmoral terms…What planet are you on teh picture of the gril reclining is strongly sugestive, I mean are you blind.
    Children teenagers emulate what they see in media in other places, do you want your daughter posing in this manner? Wake up people before the whole world goes down…

  • http://www.cyber-key.com/SocialSEO/ MJ Taylor

    It sounds as though Facebook is too conservative. I think I should be able to post what I want and my friends can censor me by unfriending or by peer pressure if they are offended. Personally, I am not likely to post anything racy, but I don’t care for censorship. I’m more bothered by businesses with “personal’ profiles than highly “personal” photos. 😀

  • Anne

    I see nothing wrong with the pregnant body art or photos of breastfeeding, which is, after all, a totally natural function, not obscene or “titillating” (pun intended). The photo of the gal in the skimpy lingerie is different. That is meant to be sexually provocative, and while I won’t say it’s obscene or pornographic, I don’t think it should be on such a public venue such as Facebook. I wouldn’t want my young sons (young but old enough to understand the pose) to run across that while online. (That’s not to say they can’t and probably won’t find other ways to view women in scanty clothing–but I don’t want Facebook to make it any easier!)

    IMO, “intent” is the issue as to whether something is simply nudity, nature, art, obscenity, or pornography. The “come hither” pose and the style of the apparel worn in the lingerie shot has an implication the other photos do not. The comparison is similar to National Geographic vs. Playboy, and one would hope that most people get the difference. Both the author of this article and Facebook.

  • Pluschap

    Personally, I’d like to see them put filters on the language people employ. My 85 year old father is a retired pastor, and it pains me that he sees some of the four letter words that my Facebook friends (including family members that I can’t just unfriend!) use.

    But I’m far from demanding that Facebook conform to my standards. It really doesn’t matter if we agree with Facebook’s standards or not. It’s their game, they get to make up all the rules, and we have to play by their rules if we want to play. If the rules get too ridiculous, nobody will want to play, but for now the rules serve to keep out the outrageous behavior, at the cost of alienating a few who find them too illiberal. Oh well.

  • LOL!

    Facebook isn’t an art site. Let them post on places like Deviantart.com instead. Facebook was supposed to be about connecting to friends. Not showing pictures of tits. And besides… Taking a picture of naked bodies and painting them just to call them art isn’t art. If it’s supposed to be about showing the beauty of pregnant women… Why paint them up? Just take a picture.

    This is just a lightly dusted excuse to show naked women under the guise that it’s “art”. People throw the term art around so much these days that it’s lost all meaning. I could take a picture of some chick blowing a guy and say it’s art. Should it remain on a site that disallows nudity? Nudity is nudity whether it’s being called art or not…

  • KryptoniteBalls

    Something I think people are failing to realize is how Facebook functions. There’s something called “privacy settings”, where people can set up who sees what when they post an update, image, or video. If the writer, Josh, posted that scantily clad image and he has his privacy settings so that only his friends could view it then why should Facebook feel the need to swoop in and censor the photo?

    I would like to they would allow their more private users to make judgement calls about what their friends should see. As for public profiles, I can understand the more strict policy and as the author said…we don’t want Facebook to turn into YouPorn. Which I don’t think breast feeding, pregnancy art, and lingerie modeling will do.

    • KryptoniteBalls


  • http://www.entwebds.com John

    More studies than can be counted have shown that the opinions of the author of this article are ill-conceived. Images that invoke sexual feeling (which includes images of bare breasts and certainly sexually charged photos of buxom lasses in lingerie) are by definition obscene. Period.

    Nudity is not of itself obscene; however, neither is it something to be flaunted or publicly displayed. Nudity in the confines of marriage is anything but obscene, but there is a purpose for sex, and the purpose is not purely or even primarily gratification.

    What I find offensive is the lack of self-respect to keep private things private.

  • http://wbpersonalsecurityproducts.com william

    FACEBOOK has obvious concerns pertaining to questionable displays of the human form, as tens of millions would certainly alter the appearance and original purpose of facebook….the web is full of pornographic material and FACEBOOK is merely attempting to prevent and alleviate any slide into that realm…The photos were/are lovely, but I can see the valid concern, hence feel their action is ok, as long as adequately explained to public.

  • Brutus

    Facebook’s guidelines are fine. You seem to be asking that they make them so vague that eventually the most lurid pictures argue their way in. As others have note, there are plenty of other sites to post or peer at naked woman. I do love the naked pregnant mom picture but don’t need to see it in someone’s fb post.

  • Julian Davies

    I am in total agreement with Facebook on this. If they relax their stance then it will be more obscene pictures next so I am afraid I agree with them in setting a standard and sticking to it.

    If you wan to post adult related pictures then go on an adult website. Facebook is a family orientated website.

  • http://wontek.com/ WONTEK

    You have got to be kidding, this is beautiful art..

  • http://www.gettysburgvacationrentals.com/ Dr Adam

    I had the GREAT idea to repost your article link on facebook and let the thumbnail show the Giraffe belly in question… (ha ha.. FU fb)… well too bad for me the article only showed one thumbnail! (the lady with the laptop and the kids)
    Well that’s that’s a major bummer!!!

  • http://docsheldon.com Doc Sheldon

    While I agree agree that the body painting image is tasteful and appealing, I do understand Facebook’s position.

    I see it as necessary to simply say “no nudity”, as the degree of nudity, painted or not, becomes highly subjective. While many people might not raise an eyebrow at the site of a woman breast-feeding her child, others might see it as inappropriate for public display. Personally, I think “nudity” has been made synonymous with “sexually suggestive” by society-at-large, which is our own fault. But that process took centuries to get to where it is today, and it won’t change quickly. From Facebook’s standpoint, with such a tremendous volume of images to deal with and such a broad field of interpretation, it becomes a necessity to draw a clear line, in order for it to be a manageable task.

    There are kids of every age on the ‘net, and in Facebook. The younger ones probably don’t think twice about seeing a boob or two, but the adolescents may see Demon Sex in nearly ANY image. So again, it is just easier for FB to eliminate as much as possible that could be seen as suggestive. The sad part, of course, is that such action simply reinforces the notion that there’s something “dirty” about the nude human form.
    Sort of a Catch 22.
    In the end, I suspect that less potential harm exists from censoring such images than might exist from allowing general nudity. And if you allow any nudity, the line drifts quickly.

  • Chickmelion

    I think in all fairness the virus that spread through this site like wild fire early late November to early December, I believe might have a bit to to with this serious clamping down… That was a week straight of some hardcore nasty stuff flashing up on the status updates of a lot of my friends… It targeted the nerves of every age group you could think of… from news announcements and pic of Justin Beiber being sliced to pieced… to some triple rated “x” images of a variety of religious figures across a few religions.. right down to hard core porn… it was wicked stuff… and no doubt Facebook was inundated with
    hate mail and complaints…. do you suppose perhaps their current stand is as stiff because they are looking to recover face from this awkward moment in their history?

  • http://www.laymanwebdesign.com Obdurate

    Don’t we have enough nudity on the adult sites? Do we have to open up everything to photos of nudity?

    Can we have just one place where we don’t find it….. Please…..

  • John

    Since Facebook is a website and the webmaster can decide what they want done on their site, then whatever they say is what people have to deal with, but if they take things too far, they will loose visitors and that will hurt them.

    I see nothing wrong with the photos above, or breast feeding photos, or anything educational.

    I think facebook should just be strict with the public profiles, but if it’s private among friends then what is the big deal.

  • http://www.e-marketingpartner.com Bob Weber

    Pornography is notoriously difficult to define while nudity is relatively easy to define. The beautiful pregnant woman wearing only body paint is, by definition, nude. The woman in lingerie is,again by definition, not nude. I doubt we will see a change in this from Facebook because they have went with the easiest possible definition to enforce, and when you have millions of users that is the smart move. If Facebook were actually to adopt a more subjective view it would create a firestorm of people claiming EVERYTHING was pornographic and become a huge logistical nightmare for Facebook.

  • http://www.ibdkcmo.com Ray

    It’s inappropriate when members have no desire to view nudity on Facebook. There are more appropriate sites that people who want to view nudity and there’s no shock value if they choose to view it. The commentator is way off base on this one. Facebook isn’t a porno site. Other sites that are exclusively about nudity is more appropriate because people know what they’re going to see. Besides, Facebook has the right to ban anything they choose. It’s their business policy, if you don’t like the policy, don’t have a Facebook account. duh!!

  • Frank

    Cool. You mean posting nudity is a shorter and easier way to remove your account? They make it so stupid to remove yourself and now it’s easy! People… get out and socialize in person.

    • http://docsheldon.com Doc Sheldon

      Now, THAT’S thinking outside the box!! 😉

  • Walt Timms

    I guess I should stop looking for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Facebook page anytime soon.

  • Roy

    IMHO Facebook has pretty prudish standards, and I’d like to see them lighten up a bit.

    However, they have to draw a line somewhere and it could be argued that the line gets even “blurrier” and harder to define (& thus enforce) if they relax it.

    AND… Facebook is still Zuckerberg’s private playground, so you have to accept his TOS if you want to play there.

    I just don’t understand where he gets a team of like-minded Victorian spinster-biddy censors from. Who would want that job?

    Everything has it’s day in the sun – or it’s 15 minutes. If enough people become annoyed at Facebook that there’s a need/want/desire for a replacement then it will happen soon enough, and Facebook will join MySpace in the bit-bucket of irrelevance.

  • Me

    Someone once told me that the difference between pornography and art were the staples. Personally, I think the painted body pregnancy photo was artistic. But, I certainly don’t want to visit Facebook to see waggling penises, open snatches or hairy butt-holes. Boobs? What the hell… there’s plenty of guys I know whose man-titties put mine to shame but I would definitely draw the line at folks engaged in “coitus” 😉

  • http://www.jkershaw.info James Kershaw

    I don’t see anything wrong with exposing the naked body for art’s sake. The degree of inappropriateness is determined by the mind of the viewer and society’s rules and religious teachings. Some people try to make a show out of it by engaging in sexual behavior and even try to sell the movies/photos for profit. I’ve seen a lot of these movies. Some aren’t too bad but most of them are really bad. These days it seems you can’t find any good porn because nothing is left to the imagination. I don’t waste my time.

  • pb-box

    the next ist Porno and then Pedo´s

  • http://www.csparanormalresearch.com Angela Ashton

    They have moved several of my images and I don’t post anything vulgar or pornographic. The biggest thing for me is I keep getting grounded. I don’t think I ever got grounded as a child. I have over 1,000 friend requests waiting in my queue so I rarely request anyone. Facebook suggests friends daily and on the rare occasion I do click one. I was grounded for 14 days and as soon as that was lifted and I clicked another and am now grounded for 30 days…that’s 44 days I can’t request a friend, post on their wall or message anyone not on my list. SERIOUSLY? Isn’t this a social networking site?? Not only do I run a business from my page and need to send messages to customers at times, but I also run a social networking business that promotes Facebook. I think they need to stop running it like an elementary school and let it run for what it’s supposed to be….a social networking platform. It’s getting ridiculous.

  • TheUser

    F*** Facebook I don’t need their useless crappy service… I hope they get nowhere like MySpace…

  • Gary Sloughfy

    So we have people that are closet viewers, that only want it in their bedroom..And, People that believe Naked/Nude women should be posted everywhere. 1st one- Stop being anal. 2nd one- That means you shouldn’t have a problem with men putting pictures of their cocks everywhere, right? Or are you just closed minded?
    The REAL problem Josh? With MILLIONS of people posting pictures DAILY, how can ALL of them be looked at, and judged, whether appropriate or not? The internet, is like a book, a TV, the walls of the house, etc. In other words, with a public site, like Facebook, where YOUNG people are members… Ask yourself this, HONESTLY- Would you allow your 11 year old daughter, to hang a poster in her room, of a big stiff cock? Or, the 11 year old son, to hang a poster, a close up of a ladies hands spreading her pussy lips, allowing FULL view for him and his friends? There must be a limit, to what is allowed on some sites. You DO SEE in day to day life, and children see it too, women in very skimpy clothes(swimsuits & etc). You DON’T see them walking around NUDE.
    As for me, I loved the photo! Hell, having been into art for DECADES, I love the human form. It’s just…impressive. But it comes down to the basic, is she nude or not? If nude isn’t allowed, then it should be taken down. Maybe Facebook needs to come up with a filter, for ‘adult’ related material.

  • http://cass-hacks.com Craig

    One may wonder wonder whether or not there is a correlation between the US and the UK having the most sexually repressed and repressive societies also having the highest number of serial killers, the UK having more than the rest of the world combined, except the US and the US having about 3 or 4 times the UK.

    The more people try to ‘protect’ children from the world, the more they need to be protected from each other when they grow up.

  • http://www.howtobecomeanaffiliatemarketer.com Andre Daniel Rice

    Anyone who wants or sees this as anything sexual to me has been influenced by their surroundings to a blinding degree. A naked body is only part of sex and sexual desire. Therefore the question then becomes, why is a naked body that is expressed in a way non sexual being looked at as being just sexual. It seems a lot of us are operating on animalistic modality that has no control, respect or appreciation.
    I agree that Facebook’s policies seem a little politically correct concerning the photo. It’s only perverse humans who will see this as sexual. Children will not. Says a lot for our sexual education and perceptions, a lot of which is forced upon us by media.

  • SCWinner

    I support the FACEBOOK position. The rules are set…you should know the rules when you join…go someplace else to see or post things that FACEBOOK does not allow! That’s not “censorship” on FACEBOOK’s part…it’s simply setting a level of expectations by all parties who join & then enforcing those rules. Way to go FACEBOOK!

  • Jason

    No nudity means no nudity. Seems like the line is pretty black and white to me. What this is, is another classic example of a liberal writer trying to gray a line.

  • bob

    I think if people want to look at nude photos or post nude pics, that’s great. The art photos are beautiful. However, when it comes to porn, I don’t need or want others to choose that experience for me. I am capable of determining what, where, and when I want to look at porn, not just because someone on FB thinks it’s cool. That’s what can make some of those images demeaning or offensive especially to women because they are generally the main topic of porn photos. Porn has its place, it can be fun for men and women alike, but it becomes abusive when it is used to trick people into clicking on bad links (click jacking, or it contains malware, viruses, or is used in a phishing attack. Using porn to trick or hurt people IS wrong and shouldn’t be allowed, thumbs up to FB for making the effort even though some legitimate pictures may have been removed in the process.

    So some immature guy posts some dirty pics on FB, what does that say about him? Similar to the “religion is like a penis idea”; it’s fine to have one but don’t take it out and wave it in my face. If people want to view porn, fine, but don’t push it on everyone, we are quite capable of choosing our own, thank you.

  • http://www.endlessemergency.com Robert

    Facebook’s policy is ridiculous. However, what’s more ridiculous is Google / YouTube’s policy of allowing animal sex videos, like dogs having sex one million views plus, which they won’t remove despite repeated reports so their nasty content pops up among your site’s youtube offerings and then Google thinks (gets complaints) you have adult content so your site is moved out of their listings for moderate content into adult.

  • Jon

    At what point did people start feeling entitled to telling Facebook how to run their business? It’s a free service. You either accept how they run their site or move along. Facebook can censor whatever they want.

  • Storm

    Defining such things would mean that Facebook had to make value judgements about artistic merit. Something that the average reader of this column is also apparently incapable of doing.

  • typomonkey

    Well, she agreed to the site’s regulations. Like it or not, it seems fair to me. Also, they gave her a warning and did not over react.

  • Grayman

    While I agree wholeheartedly with your comments, and acknowledge that Facebook is draconian in it’s approach to photos, the larger question is HOW do we convince Facebook to relax their stance. No amount of breast-beating (pardon the pun) here will make them listen, so the argument just falls on deaf ears. Let’s hope someone at Facebook at some point develops some common sense.

  • Phil

    Mike, I respectfully disagree with you on this. Pushing the limits on the age old art/nudity/pornography discourse will always be in play. With Facebook craving a large demographic I believe that they can use serious discretion. There are other venues for the righteous ‘artists’ to exhibit female breasts, painted or otherwise, and other titillating images. I prefer to not be ‘exposed’ to either cheap thrills or naked art on Facebook. Juvenile, worn arguments to the contrary are just that IMHO.

  • dorseyw

    I personally don’t want to see nudity or pornography on Facebook. God created the human body, nudity is for husband and wife in marriage, not for everyone to see a persons nude body. I believe in morals, children look at Facebook.

  • http://cannes-or-bust.com/ Michael in Cannes

    Josh, I hate to break it to you but the problem is not with Facebook. It’s with the puritanical turn that American society has taken, where breastfeeding is considered at the very least embarrassing and obscene in some quarters. Don’t you remember Nipplegate? The reaction to that was laughable, yet is now apparently mainstream.

  • http://www.lovecoachjourney.com/ Nikki

    While I totally agree about protecting children — there is a simple solution which allows adults to share what they want and to protect children. One solution was mentioned — have an “office safe” option like they have on StumbleUpon. The other solution is for parents to be aware of who and what their children are connected to on Facebook. Monitor your own children – not the other adults. If I post something about a relationship topic on an account — and I do this a lot — then people have the option NOT to connect with me on Facebook. If someone sends me a friend request and I think they will be offended by the content I post, I send a short message before accepting their friend invite. Why not put an age blocking system on Facebook or a block like BlogTalkRadio uses. Users can choose not to see results for mature or unrated content — its just not this complicated. If you don’t want to see lingerie pictures – then don’t connect with people who post them. I get tired of seeing people post pictures looking down their shirt – so I delete them from my friends list if there are other things I don’t like or delete them from my newsfeed. Takes less than a minute and solves the problem.

  • http://www.BirthHypnosis.net Sarah Johnson

    As a birth professional I am very angry at Facebook’s attitude to any images related to breastfeeding.
    Breastmilk is not just “best” for babies, it is the normal choice and only women who have serious problems with breastfeeding need to choose formula milk. The constituents of breastmilk are completely inimitable and even change with the age and needs of the baby, which formula does not.
    I belong to a range of groups discussing breastfeeding and supporting new parents. The key word here is “supporting”. The most important issue around breastfeeding is that of acceptance and the slightest suggestion that it is in some way “dirty” really does put off thousands, maybe millions of young mothers who could be feeding their children properly. The subliminal message which mothers-to-be are getting from Facebook is that breastfeeding is somehow “strange” and this is a deeply powerful and damaging concept.
    In addition we need the freedom to show pictures where a baby is latching on to the breast correctly or incorrectly because many Western women have never seen breastfeeding done – they have no more idea how to do it than you would if someone gave you a bicycle for your birthday and you had never seen anyone riding a bicycle.
    The sexualisation of breasts as though they were a primary sexual characteristic instead of a secondary one – well, to me this reveals the fact that Facebook is run by young guys who weren’t adequately breastfed as babies, frankly. I think they have absolutely NO idea how much human damage they are doing.

  • http://www.australianholidayguide.com mark oliver

    People in the United States have always had a weird phobia or words and images of nudity and sexuality. They are happy to show graphic violence, but no nudity. So, I can show a scene in a movie where I blast a girl with a shotgun as long as she is not naked. That is just crazy.

    Here in Australia it is funny to see American TV shows with all the bleeps and then hear a similar conversation from Europe or Australia uncensored. We see many films on TV with sexual content. The United States is one of the least free media countries, which again goes against the ‘Home of the FREE and land of the brave’ dialog.

    Grow up! It just doesn’t matter. If you are worried about anything – censor the useless violence.

  • Anne

    What, are our comments being censored now? I posted a comment this afternoon, which was published. But now it’s gone! Maybe because I intimated that both Facebook and the author of this article don’t know the difference between a sexually provocative photograph of a nude or nearly nude woman and one that’s not?

  • Grandmum

    Lets just concider for a moment that my 6 year old grand daughter is looking at her mothers facebook page with her Mum and comes across the picture in question.
    I can tell you right now. I would be offended. There are TOOOOOO many other sites out there to share this kind of subject matter on. I applaud facebook that they are sticking to there rules.
    If you have a problem with them ~ then maybe MY SPACE is your PLACE.

    If you know the rules to the game and wanna play then don’t complain if you are penalized for breaking the rules while playing the game….

  • http://gfashion.infored.mx/ Jerry

    Every body likes nudity
    What about the fashion business. Is that obscene?
    Facebook and other sites are just ridiculous.

  • Susan

    When anyone uses a particular website, they agree to that website’s terms of use policy. Facebook’s policy states that nudity is forbidden. It doesn’t qualify that word “nudity” as obscene nudity or painted nudity, artistic nudity, or anything else. Nudity is simply nudity. If you don’t agree with Facebook’s policy, then stop using their service. It is as simple as that.

    I’m not saying that you can’t petition Facebook to change their policy — just that you can’t legitimately complain about the removal of pictures containing nudity of any kind.

    Many website policies state that if you don’t agree to abide by it, then don’t use the website services. Many policies furthermore state that they can change the terms at any time, that it is your responsibility to keep updated on any changes, and that if you disagree with the changes, you must terminate your use of that website.

    Yes, by the phrase “and other obscene material” one can infer that Facebook considers any type of nudity to be obscene, but Facebook doesn’t qualify their use of the word nudity — it is simply “nudity”. Besides, the word obscene describes an opinion that would vary from person to person. That word needs to be clearly described in the terms — I have not taken the time to reread Facebook’s terms again, so I don’t know if they defined obscene or not.

    In any case, though, nudity is simply nudity in their terms (as the above article has quoted).

    It sickens me to see people complaining about something that they had legally agreed to in the first place. Just as ignorance of the law is no excuse from being prosecuted if you break it, you should never enter into a contract without fully reading and understanding it first.

    • Susan

      Furthermore, if the quote of Facebook policy has the correct punctuation, the “other obscene content” does not refer to nudity at all, for there is no comma after “drug use”. (I reviewed the above article right after my initial post.)

      This article states:

      ‘Facebook’s current policy says that the user “will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.” It goes on to say that a photo can and will be removed if it “contain[s] nudity, drug use or other obscene content. If the photo attacks another individual or group, it will be removed as well.”’

      If “other obscene content” was describing “nudity”, then there would be a comma after “drug use” as well.

  • Michael Cross

    Personally, I think they should have a sanitized version for kids, but its not like that’s going to happen. That being said, I like the fact that Facebook has policies on nudity. Yeah, breastfeeding is natural, nudity is natural, sex is natural … but it doesn’t mean everyone wants to see it. The fact is, if you don’t like their policy, find a different site. There’s nothing keeping you on Facebook if that’s what you’re looking for. If you want to look at naked pregnant women, women breastfeeding, or damn near anything else natural or unnatural, just Google it and go.

  • http://thefoothillspaper.com David DeMulle’

    We have the license for a music arrangement and we notified facebook that it was licensed to us and where should we send the license materials? They still pulled our upload stating “It is possible that you are using copyrighted music!” Well damn, that’s why we notified them that we did.

  • Stewart Rosenkrantz

    I’m sick of anyone who thinks they’re superior enough to determine what I can see. The only pornography is in the eye of the censor. They can’t stand that anyone can see these images. They’re just uncomfortable with sex.

  • http://www.helium.com/users/492551/show_articles Connie Kirkpatrick

    You are asking FB to become the moral police in situations such as this. Granted each item, article or photo, video or ??? should be taken on its own merit and judged accordingly. I had pics of my pregnant body taken with all three of my pregnancies. With each one I was gorgeous. :) I would not change the decision then. Course my ex has them hidden away or finally burned them. But, I loved showing off my pregnant body. I use to wear a bikini to go swimming and sunbathing. Those that objected were horrified by their own bodies, so why not mine.

    My point is to each his or her own. But, FREEDOM of SPEECH cannot be censored. Everyone has their rights.

    I do understand the strict rule. The FB authorities would be busy all day screening photos. There would be no time for anything else. Why not make an adult only content? Too complicated and to costly?

    Put pasties on those nipples and no one will complain. LOL A joke.

    Thank you for letting me share.

  • kera mchugh

    Linda Smyth.. “basic lack of self-respect”? because I might actually like my body enough to have a photo taken of it in which not every square inch is covered, or that might suggest that i have healthy sense of my own innate sexuality? Granted, there’s a very fine line between pornographic and artistic images, and it’s often quite subjective, but hardly your place to determine someone’s level of self respect based on a photograph.

    ChrisCD.. “belongs to someone else”??????? what century do you live in?

    Leila – totally logical solution – facebook seems capable of forcing us to do all kind of other things, why not force underage users to not be able to see the photos, problem solved (until they go change their age, of course).

    I don’t get this idea that the human body is obscene. Seriously, we have some screwed up ideas here in north america. Thank you, mainstream media.

    Yep, facebook is free, why are we caring so much about their policies? Because, they seem to feel entitled to do whatever they feel like with the information with share – including make BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN ADVERTISING – so maybe we should have a little more say in how policy is structured? Essentially we are stockholderd – tho we’ll never see a dime in dividends – but it’s OUR data that they are trading on.

    This issue will never be settled… but it sure does make for interesting comment streams!

  • http://www.chimineasonline.com Randy

    Nudity disguised as art is still nudity, and therefore provokes sexual thoughts. If it is viewed in a sexual manner it is therefore porn. No matter what your personal opinions are.

  • http://www.itprojectmanagementsingapore.com Peter Fowler

    I think that removal of any content in error is a concern as clearly the process or mechanism being used to filter and make decisions on suitability is flawed. This is a fundamental issue that Facebook should deal with immediately. On the subject of general appropriateness of images – I’m all in favour of allowing anything that is generally accessible through other publications such as newspapers, quality magazines etc. What’s the use in Facebook standing alone in a world of acceptance of such images? It does nothing to add credibility to the Facebook organisation, quite the opposite. If they are so concerned with moral standards then they should look elsewhere in how they manage their business. I hear things from other major IT organisations about Facebook that really concern me – breaches of our rights potentially. Sort these out Facebook!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/aragum Hans Upton

    We run a successful Community support page (“Arugam Surf”)
    This page attracted more than 100,000 Likes.
    A few times innocent surf photos were removed and once the entire page was blocked by FB.

    Below is the last incident, which we reported back in October last year.
    To this day, no response or answer has been received from Facebook.
    Text of our mail below:

    Dear Sean & Ms. Penelope,
    (We hope you are still with FB ),

    Re.: www.facebook.com/aragum

    Our remote, poor and troubled Arugam Bay Community has never forgotten your assistance just under a year ago.
    Indeed, our Community support pages are quoted widely and we have now already grown to over 60,000 Likes.

    There is just one issue which we need to resolve:

    Yesterday, an innocent photo of a Surfer Girl in a (OK: Tight) bikini on her own board -was removed by one member of your staff.
    I, as the creator and administrator, have been warned and blocked (again?).

    Whilst we respect your rules and guidelines none of us can actually understand your decision.

    Is it really the case, that a photo believed having been taken at an International Surf Competition, in a very conservative Country, violates your rules?

    In this case, events like our forthcoming lady’s Beach Volley Ball Commonwealth games 2012 will be at risk to be reported etc.

    Please clarify this matter for us, as we highly rely on Facebook these days.
    In a sort of Military Dictatorship situation it is essential to communicate to the free world.
    That is often done with seemingly unrelated posts and photos to attract wider attention. But the underlying purpose is to get a much more serious message across.
    (You will not know, but the Military demolished all of our houses and businesses last week in a crack down. We still consider what we can do without being shot or imprisoned……)

    Kind regards

    Hans Upton,

    Arugam Bay
    Eastern Sri Lanka

  • http://sunnyfun.com Tom Mulhall

    I have a link to a photo that facebook deleted for “nudity” even though as far as anyone knows, Mary Clare could have been wearing a tube top, bikini top, dress, etc. behind the computer. It doesn’t even show cleavage!

    Facebook has long had this nudity and breast phobia and many times acts like 12 year old boys tittering in a corner looking at woman in old National Geographic Magazines. And since Facebook has no customer service department, there is no way to correct their mistakes or appeal decisions. I was banned from posting for 7 or 30 days, I forget which for posting this non nude “nude” photo.

    Tumblr, Twitter, Google, Yahoo and many more sites are able differentiate between pornography and nudity, why can’t facebook? They already know if you are 18 or older, and they even let facebook pages be 18 and over pages. So it shouldn’t be hard.

    Facebook says they don’t allow hate groups either. Yet there are I Hate Israel sites and I hate US sites. So basically, facebook doesn’t enforce their rules except for their fear of nudity and breasts.


  • William

    Having had a sexual addiction, the buxom reclining beauty would have caused me problems at one time. The tastefully photographed pregnant woman would not have turned me on in such a way. It would have been just what it was meant to be a real ‘spiritually’ human moment. That is my experience. With that said, there are people who would(and will) “get off” sexually with the tasteful pregnant pose. But those types will “get off” with well endowed women fully clothed. How about the thought of removing all nudity, semi-nudity…Let’s just allow an avatar of a woman with a long sleeved blouse and floor length skirt with her hair in a bun.

  • Kris

    I think it’s just a matter of policy because of the fact that they do not want to get in a position where it becomes an argument and they’re suddenly having to make determinations on what’s “art” and what isn’t. I personally don’t blame them for having an across the board policy.

    Also, think about this, the only reason they even know about the photos is because one of your friends found it offensive enough to report it. That’s how they review photos in the first place.

  • Zorro

    This is ridiculous, seeing any part of a body is seen as something bad, but we are all allowed to view killings, murders and human body being cut up in movies and TV shows like CSI or Bones.

    This makes no sense at all, it is OK to desensitize our kids to horror and make them into killers, but heaven forbid they see a breast.

  • http://www.mortgage-investments.com Norman

    I don’t have any problem with anything Facebook does as I don’t have and never will have an account.

    I seriously believe one of the reasons that the Western world has fallen behind China is the billions of productive hours wasted looking at “friends” party, holiday, baby etc. pictures.

    If I want to contact friends I can send them an email. If I have taken some nice pics or a video I can send them the link to my flickr or youtube a/c. Or I can even pick up the phone and call them. There’s a novel concept.

    But as for checking in 10 times a day to see what my friends are doing… please, I don’t have time to waste like this.

    Why on earth do people want to share their private lives with strangers and become targeted by advertising?

    For the record I am an international businessman with homes and friends in four countries. And I STILL don’t need Facebook to stay in touch with them.

  • Kris

    Ironically, at least on porn star has a topless photo as her profile photo. Here: Luana Borgia

  • http://www.platinumprotradingsystem.com John

    Thank you for an interesting article. I hadn’t read the TOS and wasn’t aware of that policy. Guess I’d better not post those naughty pics of myself that I just took on the webcam.. and definitely not the video.

    To my mind, Zuckerberg’s painfully puritanical position is preposterous, potentially, if not positively pathetic, and probably the result of getting laid too little. Although one would think he wouldn’t have that problem given his financial circumstance. Whatever the case he is obviously a very confused man.

    When I see a nude woman I see one of the most stunning examples of God’s natural beauty in existence. That picture in particular is lovely given that she is one, embellished by wonderful artwork, and two, pregnant. How much more lovely can it get than that?

  • john

    I think FB cannot be strict enough. As one working with FB on a daily basis I’m tired of all those idiots using FB as a way to promote porn or using penis profile pictures. I can fully understand their policies regarding this matter and I would do exactly the same to protect my companies best interests. And this comes from a very liberal person but on FB there is just no space for anything like this.

  • http://www.funkybumpmaternity.com Sinead

    I am shocked by this. I blog regularly on my site and, with it being a maternity site, many of my articles are about breastfeeding with naked/semi-naked pictures featured as part of the article. So far nothing has been removed from facebook but I had no idea that they would class the images as offensive in any way, given that it’s all part of human nature.
    It does seem to be political correctness going, once again, to the absolute limit.

  • Really

    If I painted my body similarly and took a walk on Madisson avenue or walk my kindergarten to her classroom, would that be viewed as nudity? Unless we are saying painting our bodies is now replacement for clothes. Let’s not have arguments just for the sake of arguing and to get comments on a blog. I am 100% sure parents would be outraged?

  • http://www.skyghosts.com KEVIN

    I believe that Nudity itself should NEVER be illegal or banned in ANY form for it teaches all to be ashamed of themselves and their bodies in it’s natural state. Also it damages a healthy sexual attitude and severe cases causes dysfunction sexually. Pornography should be defined as “The nude graphic depiction of a sex act.” NEVER JUST NUDITY ITSELF…..

    • Justin

      Completely awesome point. People seem to either forget about this aspect or want to ignore it all together because of their prude upbringing.

  • Anonymous

    The picture is totally gross. It belittles pregnant women. Only husbands should see this. It is private!

    Breast feeding is very natural and good for babies, but it should only be done in private! I do not want to see a woman breast feeding while walking down the street.

  • http://handy-crafts.biz BERNADETTE STENGEL

    I vote to keep it zipped, hiked up, uptight and outta sight! I don’t need to see what everyone has. Keep it friendly and even spiritual and intellectual. But we don’t need to be assaulted by any form of nudity. Yes, I voted to keep more freedom on the ‘Net, but that opinion is to help small business. Otherwise, please keep your nudity to yourselves. Thanks. Outta Jacksonville, Florida

  • Dell D.

    Personally I could care less whether or not Facebook allows nudity. And I find both photos quite likable. However I am really sick of whiny liberal babies complaining that they can’t do anything they want anywhere they want, while shouting down anyone who doesn’t agree with them. Facebook has the right to set any rules they wish for membership. If you don’t like the fact that Facebook doesn’t allow nudity start your own site or go somewhere else.

  • Ande Anderson

    I am glad to see the Facebook enforcement of their restrictions. There are not enough people pushing for ‘Morality’ and ‘Decency’ when it comes to the Internet.

    • Justin

      We don’t need any more of people’s “MORALITY” pushed on us, especially on the internet. There’s enough in this overly social conservative country as it is with all of ‘certain religions’ leading the charge.

  • Nick

    For Facebook to be as profitable and successful as it is, it is required to be adhere not only to the West’s ideals of acceptability but to the world in general. By this token, I am not surprised that they take such a conservative outlook. It opens more doors in the long run.

  • Dan

    Isn’t our society already turning into a strip club? Even pathetic excuses for parents ALLOW their KIDS to have stripper poles in their basements and dress up their 3 and 4 year old little girls to look like hookers & they call it a “beauty pageant!” We’re sliding down a slope of sleaze and our children are paying the price! If I log onto facebook and start seeing nudity,”Art” or not, I’m history! Can’t you find naked women in enough places now-a-days? Go ahead, watch your Internet porn if you like but leave Facebook the hell alone!

  • http://www.rogersservicegroup.org Herbert M. Rogers Sr

    Like all good government controlled media outlets. Facebook bows to pressure from the government.
    I see them losing this battle because some where a New Facebook type will come along and use a Age restriction waring and let you post the types of pictures or video you are discussing.

  • http://ripsychotherapy.com Mike A.

    Just another reason why Facebook is leaning on the edge of obscurity but just doesn’t know it yet.

  • Marie

    Hi Josh,

    I was a breastfeeding mother many moons ago. One day, I was on a family vacation, and took my little 8-month-old son into the living room, covered him with a blanket (except for his head) and nursed him so that no one in the adjoining kitchen/dining room area could see any hint of breast.

    My sister-in-law, who had bottle fed her kids, looked at me in disgust. “How long are you going to keep up with that?” she asked. As if I were making a porn movie in front of her. I also got a lot of people telling me that they would have breast fed, but this or that, as if my breast feeding were a guilt trip on them. It wasn’t — I was bottle fed and I turned out okay. Just that it was my choice.

    I replied that I would continue to breast feed until he stopped wanting it (which turned out to be 18 months of age). My Dad piped in and said, “I remember my mom breast feeding me.” She shut up.

    It’s really difficult, as a woman, to have my body parts being viewed as disgusting. After all, men go around topless and no one tries to put them in jail or sneers at them. There was an interesting court case in Maine years ago, where a young woman drove around on her riding lawnmower, mowing her lawn, topless. There were trees between her house and the neighbors, but they still complained and she was taken to court for public display of nudity. Due to the laws in Maine, she won the case. So it’s legal to do topless lawn mowing here.

    Due to cultural norms, I would probably not venture to mow my lawn topless. But it’s really sad that our bodies are subjected to such scorn, just because we had the misfortune to be born a woman. The breasts give life to babies, and yes, they are part of sexy time. But it’s so ridiculous to ban them from the world. I guess the Europeans are laughing at us now (again).

    Keep up the good writing!


  • The Spnz Recruitment Team Leader

    I think you are ridiculous to take the position you are taking! What about young children that access Facebook either directly or casually watch with parents? Please be socially responsible. It is not just about you. Think of others, otherwise live on an isolated island and do as you please as this won’t affect anyone else.
    I like what you publish in gneral but you have just discouraged me from reading you stuff in future. Everything has consequences, even potentially losing a potential client. In your private space do as you please, but in the public arena be socially responsible!

    • TheReign

      Shut up, its the parent’s responsibility. Better station someone at every bridge in the country – to make sure no one jumps off. Its our responsibility! Plllllllll

      • bro

        you shut up

  • Bob

    It seems to me that it has been somewhat lost in this discussion that if you are letting your child access Facebook, you aren’t doing your job as a parent in the first place.

    Typical, bullshit, Classic nitwit American mentality… I can’t/won’t parent my own children, so I need the world to police itself for me… for them. After all…. it’s about the childreeeeeeen.

    Here’s a little 411 for you… Facebook doesn’t allow children to have accounts as explicitly stated in their TOS.


    • TheReign

      Beautiful response

  • TheReign

    Legalize it!

  • bro

    Well people have different points of view, america, europe, asia.. so i think facebook is doing the right thing to close that kind of thing. if you’re not agree, just go to pornbook ha2.

  • http://www.daniel-bauer.com/workshop/workshops_es.html Daniel

    Really obscene is that everything concerning sexuality is seen as obscene.

  • J.taylor

    There are children on facebook…like it or not they are there…I say no to any type of nudity. It is not necessary on facebook.

  • Ed

    I think that Facebook’s views are valid,why should everything or every site,be involved in nudity,there’s sex sites for that,let these people go on them,Or better yet,let these people make their on sites!I am tired of going on sites and you click on a link you think is safe,only to be brought to a damn sex site.Oh!everybody will say freedom of speech,I say to Facebook,hold to your believes,HELL,the damn government DON’T follow rules,in fact they break them everyday!

  • Justin

    I think Facebook is just a somewhat lax representation of the prude, social conservative society that we live in. Imposed Christian values run amok that pervade everything from politics to company policies. In my opinion, the entire country needs to lighten up on things like nudity and personal freedoms. One reason I support candidates that will lessen the focus on keeping certain things too socially conservative and granting more personal freedoms.