Meta Platforms’ oversight board on Tuesday overturned the company’s decision to remove two Instagram posts depicting transgender and nonbinary people with bare chests, saying that Meta needed to change its policy to make it more inclusive.
The board, which is funded by Meta but operates independently, said in a ruling that the company’s adult nudity policy is based on a binary view of gender, making it unclear how the rules apply to intersex, nonbinary and transgender people.
The cases referred by the board included two posts in 2021 and 2022 made under an Instagram account, which is maintained by a U.S.-based couple. The posts featured images of the couple bare-chested with the nipples covered and their captions discussed transgender healthcare and gender-affirming surgery.
Meta’s policy prohibits images containing female nipples other than in specified circumstances such as breastfeeding and gender confirmation surgery.
“The restrictions and exceptions to the rules on female nipples are extensive and confusing, particularly as they apply to transgender and non-binary people,” the board said.
It added that “this creates confusion for users and moderators and, as Meta has recognized, leads to content being wrongly removed.”
The oversight board, which includes academics, rights experts and lawyers, was created by the company to rule on a small slice of thorny content moderation appeals, but it can also advise on site policies.