Joke's On You, Facebook - That's A Testicle Tree

from the nipple-bulge dept

A few years back, we wrote about the brouhaha concerning Facebook banning photos of women breast feeding their babies, under a strict "no female boobs" rule. Rather than learn from that mess, and realize that not all images of breasts are created equal, Facebook seems to have become even more ridiculous over time. Witness the hilarity of the situation that The New Yorker's cartoonists were put in -- when Facebook blocked one of their cartoons by Mick Stevens:
As a joke (though some people took it seriously), they had Stevens "redraw" the cartoon with clothing. I won't post it here and ruin the joke (or, non-joke, which makes it a joke) but go check it out. In trying to figure out why the original got blocked, they were eventually directed to some "rules" concerning images, noting that on the forbidden (fruit) list where:
Naked 'private parts' including female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks; male nipples are ok.
Yeah. So, as the folks at The New Yorker pointed out, it appears that this (zoomed in) part of their image (according to Facebook, NSFW, but according to pretty much everyone else, probably fine) is "the problem":
Meanwhile, this other part meets Facebook's okay-o-meter:
The good folks at The New Yorker argue that they really don't think the first pair of dots above legitimately fit the criteria for being banned, but they've chosen not to fight it:
Now, we could have fought the ruling on technical grounds, because, let’s face it, these female nips, by any stretch of the imagination, no matter how prurient, are just not bulging...

But rather than fight the battle of the bulge, let’s point out, that while female nipple bulging, or F.N.B. for short, is a potentially serious problem, with as yet no known cure, it also has no known victims. That is, unless you count freedom of expression, common sense, and humor.
Now, this is all just a bit of a humorous reaction* to silly overblocking by Facebook, but it does actually raise some legitimate concerns, considering how central Facebook has become in our lives. For many people it is a key platform for expression, and as such, it takes on greater meaning and importance. Yes, as a private company, they have every right to set the rules that they want to set, no matter how arbitrary or asinine. But, you begin to worry about so many people relying on Facebook as the most important way in which they communicate, when they can run afoul of such obviously ridiculous "rules."

* Random aside: a few months back I got to see three New Yorker cartoonists host a discussion/speed drawing contest, in which they talked about what life was like as a New Yorker cartoonist, and it may have been one of the funniest things I've ever seen -- by far beating most, if not all, of the stand up comedy acts I've seen over the years. If you ever have a chance to see these guys speak, do not miss it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Saleh (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    Shame on you Techdirt!

    Some of us read Techdirt at work. In the future, please be sure to label such prurient content with an NSFW warning.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    NSFL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Nipplegate

    The "no nipple" policy gets stupider and stupider. A FB friend of mine was just banned for three days for uploading some female nipples. The fact that these nipples were uploaded over a year ago (it was album art for something released on his netlabel) either means that Facebook's Nipple Prevention Team is working through some serious backlog or that nipples are back to being Priority No. 1, possibly due to shareholder pressure.

    In response, this picture began appearing on many people's profile as a sign of solidarity.

    NOTE: PICTURE COMPLETELY SAFE FOR WORK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Shame on you Techdirt!

    Well, you get my "funny" vote.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    NHCyclist, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Nipplegate

    Even better - if you go to the New Yorker Cartoon page on Facebook ( Nipplegate ) there is a link to their story on Nipplegate that includes a smaller version of the "Nipple" cartoon. Can't post it as a cartoon but Facebook helpfully includes it as part of link! (Of course, since it's scaled down so small it's hard to see the offending nipples...)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    considering how central Facebook has become in our lives. For many people it is a key platform for expression,


    That's a big part of the problem right there. Never mind how stupid the "wrong kind of dots" issue is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Nipplegate

    What happens when you get banned for three days? Can you log in but not post stuff?

    Anyway, another thing that makes facebook similar to highschool. If you break dress code you get detention. If you post a nip shot (girl only...facebook must be gay) you get banned.

    All the cool kids got detention so it must be cool get banned. The New Yorker has never been as cool as it is today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Jezsik, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    You should see the cartoons The New Yorker WON'T print!

    If you like The New Yorker cartoons (and even more so if you don't), you must see the two volumes of rejected cartoons with commentary by the artists and editor. "The Rejection Collection: Cartoons You Never Saw, and Never Will See, in The New Yorker" and "The Rejection Collection Vol. 2: The Cream of the Crap."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Indy, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 3:58pm

    Expression...

    "For many people it is a key platform for expression,"

    That has, and always will be a problem.

    Don't rely on corporate holdings to express yourself. You'll never get your message fully across.

    Facebook has filled a role, but hopefully it is not the penultimate role for human technical expression, and we move on to truly free platforms that neither censor nor filter our voice, but let us ultimately control what we see.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    KMA (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Nipplegate

    As Forest Gump would say; "Stupid is as stupid does." So I now feel compelled to point out that there is no such word as "stupider". The correct term is more & more stupid! So who is "stupider" now???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    Isn't that special.

    Church Lady country - where killing is good, but nipples are obscene.

    You don't have to be totally insane to live there, but it sure helps you understand.

    The whole world is laughing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Nipplegate

    A policy as stupid as this deserves the word "stupider."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Nipplegate

    Nipplegate? Is that from duke nukem forever?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Isn't that special.

    yeah, I always found it perverse that sex(hello hot coffee mod) gets Adult Only rating andpull it from the shelves level outrage but beating cops to death is only worth an Mature rating and only gets baby-jesus-weeps level outrage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 13th, 2012 @ 5:15pm

    Re: Isn't that special.

    yeah, I always found it perverse that sex(hello hot coffee mod) gets Adult Only rating andpull it from the shelves level outrage but beating cops to death is only worth an Mature rating and only gets baby-jesus-weeps level outrage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), Sep 13th, 2012 @ 11:11pm

    OMG! Don't they realise that without nipples boobies would be pointless!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 3:59am

    Re:

    A-ha! Epic win, dear sir. How the heck it doesn't already have a LOL besides it? Could it be you were too subtle?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Qûr Tharkasdóttir (profile), Sep 14th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    Precedents

    It's not that long ago that a Danish user got in trouble with the FB censors for posting "L'origine du monde", a painting by Courbet currently exhibited at the Quay d'Orsay Museum.

    Q: do people really need FB? Just read today that FB is losing users in the age range 14-24 at a dramatic rate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Lamdba, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 6:08am

    Wait, women have nipples?? I thought only men had nipples!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 10:16am

    Do remember you do not ever have any right what so ever to use the platform of someone else, that is their private property, want to express yourself, go get your own site and then advertise it, Facebook and any other site on the net has the right to censor what ever it wants it what ever way it wants on its own site

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Re:

    So... since you clearly have no right to post here, mind never posting your inanity here ever again?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This