Following the ban of the nipply New Yorker cartoon to the right, Facebook has clarified that its takedown of the New Yorker Cartoon account was a mistake and that the cartoon does not violate its community standards on "Nudity and Sex." "We mistakenly blocked a cartoon as part of our efforts to keep the site safe for all and quickly worked to rectify the mistake as soon as we were notified," a Facebook spokesperson told The Atlantic Wire. "Our policies are enforced by a team of reviewers in several offices across the globe. This team looks at hundreds of thousands of reports every week, and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and block a piece of content we shouldn’t have."
The New Yorker's Robert Mankoff surmised that the drawing got the boot in the first place because of "female nipple bulges," which the social network's policy (posted here, by Gawker) does not allow. "Male nipples are ok," however, which led Mankoff to conclude the following from what he calls nipplegate:
However, both pairs of nipple renderings above are fine by Facebook's unofficial standards, as The New York Times's Miguel Helf explained during a similar incident in February of 2011. "While the company bans nude photographs, its representatives say the company has an unwritten policy that allows drawings or sculptures of nudes," he wrote.
Though the company has taken down art before, it doesn't sound like the company has interests in a war against drawn (or painted on) nips. When it flagged a nude self-portrait last February, it also explained it as a misunderstanding. "In this case, we congratulate the artist on his lifelike portrayal that, frankly, fooled our reviewers. Each member of our investigations team reviews thousands of pieces of reported content every day and, of course, we occasionally make a mistake," Facebook spokesperson Simon Axten told Helf. Some offended reader must have reported the New Yorker cartoon as offensive and with lifelike nipples like those, who can blame the anonymous reviewer for mistaking it as real.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.