Instagram and Facebook to bare breasts? Meta reviewing censorship policies

01 Feb 2023 08:08am
picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIC
picture for illustrative purposes - FILE PIC
KUALA LUMPUR - Meta's oversight board is currently recommending some big changes to its censorship policy regarding nudity.

The board which comprimises of an advisory group of journalists, academics, and lawyers funded by Meta but operating independently — has asked the tech giant to update its policy with "clear criteria that respect international human rights standards."

In Connect 2021, CEO Mark Zuckerberg had introduced Meta, which brings together apps and technologies under one new company brand. Meta currently owns Facebook and Instagram.

Meta employs both human moderators and AI moderation to monitor posts. However it is said that AI is particularly inept at reading an image's context.

According to the board, the current policy is confusing and impractical for "moderating content at scale." For example, the guidance Meta gives its moderators about removing posts for violating its sexual solicitation policy is "far broader" than what it shares publicly.

The discrepancy leads to confusion among its users and moderators (who then are liable to incorrectly remove posts) and proves to be "unworkable" in practice.

The board further elaborated that the restrictions and exceptions to the rules on female breasts are extensive and confusing.

"Exceptions to the policy range from protests to scenes of childbirth, and medical and health contexts, including surgery and breast cancer awareness. These exceptions are often convoluted and poorly defined." the board was reported as saying.

It was also reported in 2018, Facebook executive Monika Bickert had told the media that its policies around bare chests on its platforms were generally about safety.
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"Fundamentally our nudity standards are about safety. It's very hard for us to determine the age of a person depicted in a nude image. It's also very hard for us to determine consent," she was reported as saying.

"We welcome the board's decision in this case," a spokesperson for Meta has said in an international news portal.

It is not immediately clear how the company will put into place the board's requested overhaul of its community guidelines. The boards recommendation could in theory revamp Instagram's and Facebook censorship guidelines, but it is not completely clear how or if Meta will impose it.

It was also reported that Meta will respond to the board's decision within 60 days