Facebook responds (briefly) to censored Breast Cancer Fan Page photos

Facebook have got back to me with the following comment, though it doesn’t cover all the points raised in previous posts, it does provide a starting point to ask further questions.

Elizabeth Linder at Facebook Communications has issued this statement:
“We recognize how important it is for people to share with their friends and family, or to provide support and inspiration for others, especially when they are going through a difficult time.  While we do our best not to intervene when women are sharing their battles with breast cancer, we unfortunately cannot govern our site entirely by intent, and thus do occasionally have to remove photos to maintain consistency with our site’s Terms of Use. Our policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for all users, including the many children (over the age of 13) who use the site. The photos we remove are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain.”

Facebook is arguing that it can’t make allowances on the basis of intent and that there is a Terms of Use policy to uphold. However, saying that removed photos “are almost exclusively brought to our attention by other users who complain” begs the question, how many people complained in this case? If any? And what about the censoring of the photo of Meredith in the fetal position? Is this still deemed inappropriate? Hopefully, Claudia Hehr will respond and I can get back to Facebook again for more specific answers on a couple of points.

Previous posts:
Facebook censors photos on Breast Cancer Fan Club Page

Q&A with photographer Claudia Hehr about Facebook nude photo censorship on Breast Cancer Fan Page

3 responses to “Facebook responds (briefly) to censored Breast Cancer Fan Page photos

  1. Pingback: Facebook responds (briefly) to censored Breast Cancer Fan Page … – The Facebook News

  2. Dear Miranda, I just saw your blog entry. The questions that you are bringing up are very important. As a matter of fact, Meredith and I have no idea who or how many users supposedly complained about our imagery. Facebook of course does not give us that kind of information. And I am especially upset about the removal of our profile picture which shows Meredith in a fetal position. That picture does not have any inappropriate content whatsoever – all female body parts are tactfully hidden. Oh, and there is another point that FB made as far as keeping FB a safe environment for the many children that are using it. We took precautions many months ago and made our Fanpage only available to users over 18.
    Miranda, thanks so much for the great work that you are doing with your blog.

    • HI Claudia, Thanks for your reply. I will try and contact facebook, once again, regarding how many people complained and will mention that you put in safeguards to make the page available to adults. Before I do this, do you know if anyone can find a photo of John Lennon and Yoko (or something similar) on facebook? Could you ask on your networks if anyone can find/knows of one. I can then put that forward for comment, as FB would need to treat like with like. I’ll hold off writing another email until I hear back from you regarding any similar photos to Meredith in the fetal position.

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