Transgender and non-binary users will be able to show off their bare breasts on Facebook and Instagram, but women who were born female and want to “free the nipple” will be out of luck, according to Meta’s advisory board.
The Oversight Board of Meta, an independent body of experts that Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has referred to as the company’s “Supreme Court” for content moderation and censorship policies, has ordered Facebook and Instagram to lift a ban on images of topless women for anyone who identifies as transgender or non-binary, which means they see themselves as neither male nor female.
“The same image of female-presenting nipples would be prohibited if posted by a cisgender woman but permitted if posted by a non-binary individual,” the board stated in its decision.
A “cisgender” person is anyone who identifies as the sex or gender that they were assigned at birth.
The board cited a recent decision to overturn a ban on two Instagram posts by a couple who identify as transgender and non-binary and posed topless but with their nipples covered — only to have the post flagged by other users.
The image was removed from Meta, but the couple won their appeal, and the photo was re-posted online.
The board stated that Meta will rely on “human reviewers” who will be tasked with “quickly assessing[ing] both a user’s sex, as this policy applies to “female nipples,” and their gender identity.
The proposed change is in response to complaints that the previous policy discriminated against users who identify as genderfluid.
The board added that there will be “additional nipple-related exceptions based on contexts of protest, birth giving, after birth, and breastfeeding which it did not examine here, but also must be assessed.”
A spokesperson for Meta told The Post: “We welcome the board’s decision in this case.”
“We had reinstated this content prior to the decision, recognizing that it should not have been taken down,” the spokesperson said of the post by the American couple.
“We are constantly evaluating our policies to help make our platforms safer for everyone.”
The rep added: “We know more can be done to support the LGBTQ+ community, and that means working with experts and LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations on a range of issues and product improvements.”
Facebook has in years past been accused of oversexualizing breasts.