Meta’s own Oversight Board has told the company to change its Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard to better respect the identities of transgender people.
The review came after Instagram deleted two posts posted by the same account which is maintained by a US-based couple who identify as transgender and non-binary.
Both posts featured images of the couple bare-chested with nipples covered. The image captions discussed transgender healthcare and said that one member of the couple will soon undergo gender-affirming surgery to create a flatter chest.
A series of automated alerts, as well as reports from users, the posts were reviewed multiple times for violations of community standards and the posts were removed believing that they were soliciting sex because they contained boobs and a link to a fundraising page the couple were using to pay for the surgery.
The Oversight Board found that removing the posts was not in line with the company’s community standards and that its policies are based on a binary view of gender and it is unclear how the rules apply “to intersex, non-binary and transgender people, and requires reviewers to make rapid and subjective assessments of sex and gender, which is not practical when moderating content at scale.”
The Oversight Board also said that Meta’s restrictions and exceptions to showing female nipples are “extensive and confusing, particularly as they apply to transgender and non-binary people.”
The Oversight Board said that Meta should, “define clear, objective, rights-respecting criteria to govern its Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard, so that all people are treated in a manner consistent with international human rights standards.”
It also recommended that Meta should “conduct a comprehensive human rights impact assessment on such a change, engaging diverse stakeholders, and create a plan to address any harms identified.”
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