A U.S.-based couple identifying as “transgender and non-binary” won an appeal against Facebook and Instagram Tuesday, which restores two posts that exposed their bare breasts, after an oversight board overturned the decision made by the social media platform’s owner, Meta, to remove the content.
Reversing the decision will allow only “trans and non-binary” users to have free rein to post pictures of themselves topless without concerns from the tech giant censoring their content thanks to the board’s reversal.
The board overseeing Meta, which owns both social media platforms, commissioned independent researchers that ordered the social media platforms to lift a ban on topless images for every user except biological females.
“The same image of female-presenting nipples would be prohibited if posted by a cisgender woman but permitted if posted by an individual self-identifying as non-binary,” the board’s decision reads.
The board recommended Meta change its Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity Community Standard so that it is governed by clear criteria that respect international human rights standards.
The current policy prohibits images containing female nipples other than in specified circumstances, such as “protest, birth giving, after birth, and breastfeeding which it did not examine here, but also must be assessed.”
Board members said the policy text is based on a “binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies.”
“Such an approach makes it 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,” it said.
The board said Meta would rely on “human reviewers” to “quickly assess[ing] both a user’s sex, as this policy applies to ‘female nipples,’ and their gender identity.”
A spokesperson for Meta told The New York Post that the platform welcomes 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. “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.”