Nipple censorship protesters inflate giant boob outside Facebook HQ


On Friday, dozens of activists gathered outside of Facebook’s office in London to protest against the social media platform’s nudity restrictions. To get the company’s attention, they brought with them a giant inflatable boob. 

According to the BBC, the demonstration was led by Vicky Martin, who is a medical tattoo artist specialising in recreating nipples on women who have undergone a mastectomy. The Facebook page for her business was recently suspended by the platform for violating community guidelines. The platform’s anti-pornography and nudity rules ban the depiction of uncovered female nipples. 

People first started demonstrating against these rules and calling them out as sexist censorship back in 2013, when topless photos from a film about the “#freethenipple” movement were removed from Facebook. In April of this year, activists launched “#WeTheNipple”, protesting outside Facebook in the US in June and asking the company to lift their nudity rules in the name of artistic expression. 

The group – part of the National Coalition Against Censorship – claimed that the current ban on nudity “imposes the beliefs of some Facebook users on the entire world, stifles artistic expression, and enforces gender discrimination by permitting images of male nipples while prohibiting female nipples”.

Similarly, Martin’s inflatable boob was adorned with the slogan “This is art!” as she called for Facebook to change their rules. “It’s about giving women rights to be able to show other women that they look complete again after such a long journey,” she told the BBC. “It’s about us being able to show that this is art. It’s not pornographic at all, it’s beautiful.”

Martin organised the protest after she challenged Facebook’s suspension of her page and claims that she did not get a response. A Facebook spokesperson has since told the BBC: “Vicky’s profile shouldn’t have been suspended — this was a mistake and we are sorry for the upset this has caused.”

According to Facebook community guidelines, female nipples can only be depicted in the context of breast-giving or the birthing process, as well as the recent addition of “health-related situations (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness or gender confirmation surgery) or an act of protest.” Clearly, this should have included Martin’s business page, and clearly Facebook aren’t paying much attention to their own rules.





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