Facebook Not OK With Breast Cancer Survivor's Mastectomy Pictures

Illustration for article titled Facebook Not OK With Breast Cancer Survivor's Mastectomy Pictures

Yo, remember that time TIME had a boob on its cover (an appealing, attractive, child-rearing boob, natch) and it was as ubiquitous on Facebook as that "You've Been Hit By The __ Truck" thing on people's walls in 2007, and Forbes reported that Facebook was claiming some bullshitty loophole like it was OK because the kid was serving as "a human pastie"? Well, they've censored yet another Facebook user's photos, and this time there's not even a nipple to cover.

When 40-year-old Joanne Jackson, a former youth worker mother of two in Yorkshire, England, was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy last June, she posted revealing glamour shots of herself to Facebook as well as a number of breast cancer support websites in order to send an inspirational message to recently-diagnosed women. Said Jackson, "[The mastectomy] wasn't going to define who I was, and it wasn't going to make me less attractive as a woman." The eleven photos display a proud Jackson in various stages of undress, smiling confidently and revealing her scar.


She promptly received word from a Facebook administrator that the photos had been tagged as "offensive." Some of her posts have been deleted and images removed between October and February due to violating a clause on nudity, and Jackson was warned to cease and desist lest her account be shut down. Jackson retorted by taking the fight to Twitter:

Unsurprisingly, considering its labyrinthian privacy setting navigation page and ever-changing upgrades, Facebook's community standards policies have been confusingly fluid over the years; currently, they have running policies on violence and threats, self-harm, bullying and harassment, hate speech, graphic content, nudity and pornography, identity and privacy, intellectual property and phishing/spam. An excerpt from the nudity clause:

Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and imposes limitations on the display of nudity. At the same time, we aspire to respect people's right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo's David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.


This comes a scant week after Facebook's about-face on the Heather Walker snafu, in which the site removed images Walker posted of her deceased infant son Grayson, born and dead within eight hours of anencephaly, a birth defect where a child is born without parts of the brain and skull. A few hours later, Facebook apologized to the upset Walkers and agreed that they were hasty in removing the images.

'Images of breast cancer survivor Joanne Jackson banned from Facebook.' [Huddersfield Daily Examiner]
'Joanne Jackson, Breast Cancer Survivor, Has Mastectomy Pictures Banned From Facebook (PHOTO)' [HuffPo]


Image via 1000 Words/Shutterstock.

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Considering the huge number of bikini shots that Facebook quite happily allows users to post they're really not in a good position to object to this. Either allow users to post content that could be considered risque, or don't, but this half-assed policy that they currently have in place is ridiculous.