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Facebook Deletes Photo of Plus-Size Model

Facebook Deletes Photo of Plus-Size Model
May 26
16:03 2016
People post all sorts of things to social media. In a given week I’m sure to see a naked woman, a gruesome injury, or a heartbreaking video about animal cruelty pop up on my Facebook news feed.

Just last week I saw a nausea-inducing slow-motion video of a man bungee jumping with a hook pierced through his back. My point here is that these and other posts pass through Facebook’s censorship process (which has been tightening lately) unscathed.

That’s why it’s so shocking that Facebook deleted this picture of plus-size model Tess Holliday:

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 6.53.10 PM

The photo was posted by the Australian group Cherchez La Femme to advertise an upcoming talk show entitled “Feminism and Fat.”

“It’s going to be an absolute knock out of a night, full of discussion and debate. We’ll be joined by a stellar line up of women, and we can’t wait to see you there,” writes Cherchez La Femme. The show is scheduled for June 7th and will feature panelists Jenny Lee, Elyse Lithgow, and Melissa D’or.

When she isn’t posing in front of the camera, Miss Holliday advocates for body positivity. Facebook’s complaint that her image violated its “health and fitness standards” and showed “body parts in an undesirable manner” only exemplifies the need to speak out against body shaming.

635895187565148608879195473_body-shamingIn case you aren’t familiar with the word, “body shaming” refers to shaming someone based on appearance, usually a person’s weight. Here are a few examples:

  • She would be so much prettier if she would just lose weight.
  • That guy is so fat! How does he have a girlfriend?

Facebook’s harsh words were no better than body shaming: “Ads may not depict a state of health or body weight as being perfect or extremely undesirable. Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves. Instead, we recommend using an image of a relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike.”

I (and others) argue that seeing super-skinny models all day on social media is far more likely to make one feel bad about his or her own body than seeing a plus size model. If anything, Miss Holliday makes me feel relieved.

Facebook changed its tune Monday after Cherchez La Femme appealed against the network’s rejection.

Here’s Facebook’s weak apology:

“Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad.”

trumpThis is not Facebook’s first experiment with censorship. Numerous conservative comments have been deleted in recent months and some users have been temporarily banned for posting messages in support of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Facebook has even started a censorship program in Germany to delete unfriendly comments targeting Muslim refugees.

Facebook’s biased staff deleted a topless image of an Aborigine woman earlier this month, deeming it “inappropriate.” Meanwhile, that same staff has no problem with the plethora of Kim Kardashian nudes popping up throughout the network.

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April Kuhlman

April Kuhlman

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