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Facebook's On Line Standards for Images

Wednesday, 23 October 2013  |  Essili

Selling sexy lingerie as we do, you would expect us to be somewhat liberal in our outlook. So it might come as a surprise to learn that we were all shocked this week.  In fact we were more than shocked we were outraged.

I first heard of the contentious topic when listening to the lunch time news and was so angry I just had to share it with my colleagues. The good old BBC had raised the issue of Facebook rules following the discovery that Facebook were allowing graphic images of the beheading of a woman. This issue had already been covered earlier this year by the BBC in a May 2013 article where it was stated that Facebook had changed their rules to ban such violent images - but clearly someone changed those rules again in the meantime.

Now I doubt that I could find many civilised, sane or rational people who could provide a valid justification for showing images of a beheading. So the shock that Facebook should, even for a moment, think this was right was almost overwhelming.  

With many public condemnations including one from the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, Facebook has today announced another change to their rules regarding graphic images of acts of violence. Let's hope this time no one changes the rules again.

But there is a second shocking part to this story, one that could easily be overlooked in the natural outrage over the showing of violent images and that is the banning of images of breast feeding. One of the most peaceful, gentle and natural acts of humanity is thought too shocking to be shown, while someone within Facebook found justification for allowing images of a woman being beheaded.  What does that say about the moral code behind the thinking? 

Apparently it is the exposure of the female nipple that is the basis for the banning rule of images of breast feeding. There is more about this issue here covered by The Guardian.

It is undoubtedly difficult to set rules regarding nudity in on-line images because there are different values world wide and the female form is and always has been sexually appealing but these rules must be intelligent and logical with context also taken into account.  Let's have some grown up thinking by the rule makers.

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