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Facebook Bans Animated Breast Cancer Awareness Video Showing Circle-Shaped Breasts (theguardian.com) 99

Last month, Facebook deleted a historic Vietnam war photo of a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack, claiming it violated Facebook's restrictions on nudity. Now it appears that the company has removed a video on breast cancer awareness posted in Sweden after deeming the images offensive, the Swedish Cancer Society said on Thursday. The Guardian reports: The video, displaying animated figures of women with circle-shaped breasts, was aimed at explaining to women how to check for suspicious lumps. Sweden's Cancerfonden said it had tried in vain to contact Facebook, and had decided to appeal against the decision to remove the video. "We find it incomprehensible and strange how one can perceive medical information as offensive," Cancerfoden communications director Lena Biornstad told Agence France-Presse. "This is information that saves lives, which is important for us," she said. "This prevents us from doing so." The Guardian went on to report in a separate article that the the Swedish Cancer Society decided to make the round breasts square to evade Facebook's censorship of female anatomy. The group issued an open letter to Facebook featuring the pair of pair of breasts constructed of pink squares as opposed to pink circles. Facebook did apologize for banning the video, saying in a statement to the Guardian: "We're very sorry, 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 ads."
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Facebook Bans Animated Breast Cancer Awareness Video Showing Circle-Shaped Breasts

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  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:02AM (#53121631) Homepage Journal
    ...breasts ARE square. So what is the problem here?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:04AM (#53121639)

    When you replace Internet with a walled farcical version of it.

    • FaceBook. Isn't that where grandparents go see jpegs and videos of the grandkids in Phoenix?
      • FaceBook. Isn't that where grandparents go see jpegs and videos of the grandkids in Phoenix?

        The population of Phoenix is 1.513million. If we generously assume that there's at least 4 grandparents per grandchild, and that everyone under the age of 55 has a grandparent that is 85% of the population which could potentially be looked at by 4 other people each with their own accounts. That's 1.286 million grandchildren in Phoenix and 5.144 million grandparents for a total of 6.43 million accounts.

        Given Facebook has 1.71billion active users I would say that your scenario accounts for only 0.38% of Faceb

  • But Homicide Is Fine (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baby Duck ( 176251 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:10AM (#53121673) Homepage
    Meanwhile, I've reported two videos on Facebook showing actual homicide. Each time they said it did not violate Community Standards.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Could this have anything to do with the fact that on American TV, homicide IS fine while nudity is NOT? Nah, people are more than just blind lemmings who draw their ideology from the profiteering mass media. Aren't they?

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        On American TV, they usually just show the aftermath afterwards. American movies are certainly full of murder. I'm not sure how much of that makes it into broadcasts.

        Of course there are different standards for "broadcast" versus "cable". Not even sure what Walking Dead edited for broadcast TV would look like.

      • "Show a tit, it's an X. Hack if off with a sword: PG13". Nicholson, IIRC.
  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:11AM (#53121681)

    I thought it was just Japanese censorship that made them look square and pixelated. I didn't know they really were.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:11AM (#53121685)

    Facebook probably has thousands of photos posted per minute... and the review has to be mostly automated (and was at the end of the day written by humans). Even if a human is involved, they probably only have a few seconds to make a decision on the photo.

    It's not unreasonable to expect that occasional mistakes will be made and corrected.

    It seems like /. expects that the world is flawless. It's mostly made up of messy humans (even, who are occasionally tired, distracted, or overworked.)

    Mistakes are made. Mistakes can mostly be corrected.

    • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:28AM (#53121829) Journal

      I suspect also that Facebook (being a US firm) is trying to impose American prudishness on nations with completely different cultures. Not out of malice, merely ignorance of what other places may or may not find offensive.

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        I'm pretty sure most nations find breast cancer and chemical warfare offensive. The problem is the policy, not the definition of the word. What Facebook wants to block is titillating images, not offensive ones. But then they really do come across as prudes if they call it what it is.
      • The article misses a key word for both takedowns: briefly. It portrays Facebook as being unreachable by the posters, and yet tucked away at the end of the article, Facebook has reversed the decision and apologised *before* the takedown made press.

        In that light, the article and your presumption of intent really don't hold up to scrutiny.

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          It's clear that they EVENTUALLY got in contact with Facebook, but possibly only indirectly. It's not at all clear whether this happened before or after the story hit the news. Having called technical support at some companies and been put on hold for over an hour, I'm not willing to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt. I could be wrong, but I'll require at least *some* evidence before I'll believe it.

    • But isn't it funny that every time a mistake is made it is nudity that is the target? While the hate speech and violence is left alone?

      And for 'funny' read: "Piss off with your American prudishness".

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        > But isn't it funny that every time a mistake is made it is nudity that is the target?

        No, that's just your own confirmation bias.

        • by Calydor ( 739835 )

          Please show just one link to a high profile story of Facebook banning something it shouldn't on grounds other than nudity.

          Meanwhile there is this story, there's the Vietnam story, there's the Little Mermaid Statue story ...

      • Welcome to America. You can blow up a boob as long as you never show an intact nipple.

  • You'd think... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shilly ( 142940 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:19AM (#53121743)

    A cancer society above all would understand that T2 errors happen...

  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by js3 ( 319268 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:21AM (#53121753)

    Create your own website and post your videos there. We still have people who are stuck with the AOL mentality like Facebook is the only place on the internet..

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...Facebook is the only place on the internet.

      What? Are you telling me there is something outside failbook? The internet? What's that?

      • by Maritz ( 1829006 )

        ...Facebook is the only place on the internet.

        What? Are you telling me there is something outside failbook? The internet? What's that?

        He's talking about usenet. You wouldn't like it.

    • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

      Yes, I'm sure a breast cancer awareness video would reach just as big an audience if posted on some obscure website.

      As you said yourself; lots of people equate Facebook with the internet. For all practical intents and purposes, that DOES make Facebook the internet.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        > Yes, I'm sure a breast cancer awareness video would reach just as big an audience if posted on some obscure website.

        Clearly you are not aware of this idea from 1993 called hyperlinking.

        Again, you're stuck in the AOL mentality.

        • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

          Hyperlinked sites and media can be banned from Facebook just as well.
          Whether you like it or not, if you want to reach those "AOL" people, you have to go to the "AOL" places.

          • by Calydor ( 739835 )

            And WILL be if the links contain nudity.

            There was a book recently published in Denmark about the squatter movement (BZ, pronounced as 'besæt', the Danish word for Possess or Take Over). The author tried to link to it on Facebook, but that got pulled off the site because it contained a few nude pictures. Danish newspaper article: http://politiken.dk/kultur/med... [politiken.dk]

    • by k6mfw ( 1182893 )
      It's been done. Back in internet early days (1990s) someone made a webpage with showing post mastectomy photos, got into trouble because it showed "nudity." However, the woman who created this page wanted informative photos because only pictures available were very basic line illustrations. Doctors and nobody would show such photos.
  • by MiniMike ( 234881 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:22AM (#53121759)

    The group issued an open letter to Facebook featuring the pair of pair of breasts...

    Four of them? Those Swedes seem to be into some weird stuff...

  • Don't use Facebook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Artem Tashkinov ( 764309 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:27AM (#53121811)

    /thread

    Seriously. It's the Nth time we learn about that and the result is always the same.

    There are ways to publish such videos without such insane restrictions. Even youtube nowadays seems a better platform. Also we have vimeo and torrents.

    • There are ways to publish such videos without such insane restrictions.

      Of course, but that is hardly the issue here. They are trying to promote important health awareness information as widely as possible, and facebook is, regrettably, popular. It is a real shame that unenlightened prudishness shall stand in the way of such a noble purpose. And as the saying goes, all things are pure to the innocent; or in other words, the more prudish you are, the more you have to be ashamed of, clearly.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        Yeah, you couldn't do anything like referencing an outside source. It's not like the whole web is specifically designed with that idea in mind. You TOURISTS getting your panties in a bunch are so funny. Those of us for whom this stuff is more immediately relevant are not so narrow minded.

        Due to the nature of some conditions, this leads to the kinds of old geezers you would probably make fun of being much more adept at navigating this stuff than you are.

        Serious medical discussions will pretty much immediatel

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          You don't seem to understand. This was an advertisement intended to reach those who weren't thinking about the problem. Anything that requires an explicit search would not meet the goal.

          • Of course he doesn't understand. If you click on the name he uses, you will see that most of his comments seem to be jeers that he hopes are efficient put-downs. He isn't trying to understand or engage in an enlightened discussion, he just wants a howling match from the safety of his bedroom.

  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @08:28AM (#53121819)
    Facebook just issued new a new TOS.

    All humans are to be depicted as Meseeks.

  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Friday October 21, 2016 @09:10AM (#53122165)

    Facebook's "apology" is nothing but a cynical attempt to stem public anger...the kind of anger that might cause governments to act against it.

    Until an aggrieved party can access an appeal process in a reasonable time and get ridiculous situations like this taken care of promptly, Facebook remains an irresponsible gate-keeper, and its apology remains a fraud.

    We'll leave for another day the fact that Facebook is inflicting its prissy, Puritanical standards on the rest of the world. And no, the argument that "you can always stop using it" doesn't apply. It has occupied its niche in the internet's ecology completely, leaving no reasonable alternative. Practically speaking, it is a monopoly.

    • I hate facebook as much as the next guy

      "Facebook's "apology" is nothing but a cynical attempt to stem public anger...the kind of anger that might cause governments to act against it."

      lol no reasonable government will act over this

      "Until an aggrieved party can access an appeal process in a reasonable time and get ridiculous situations like this taken care of promptly, Facebook remains an irresponsible gate-keeper, and its apology remains a fraud."

      I agree Facebook is an irresponsible gate-keeper

      "We

      • People's Outrage levels always amuse me.

        Facebook autobans video equals Pitchforks and Torches. Apology not accepted.
        Clinton Campaign dumps sewage onto a street, and people make excuses. Apology quickly accepted.

        • Yeh, because we are all involved equally in both those situations.....

        • Trump's ready to sell Uncle Sam's ass to the Russians, and all the mouth-breathing moronic conservatives in America line up to give him oral.

          Pathetic!

      • LOL. If you're trying to compare Slashdot to Facebook as a communication venue, I've got a great bridge for sale in Brooklyn...I've no doubt you'll be interested in forking over the mere $300,000 cash for this valuable asset, or perhaps the deed to your house.

        And governments have already acted against Facebook, and it has toed the line. Canada's Privacy Commissioner demanded changes in its practices, and got them. India has banned parts of it outright. Facebook has also changed some of its practices due

  • Solution (Score:4, Funny)

    by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @09:53AM (#53122429)

    Ban people who submit "offensive content" complaints. Eventually, you will have a population of users who are never offended.

    • That's right, you'll end up with the person pushing the ban button as the last man standing. I've noticed that everyone seems to be offended by something. I mean, you're offended by the "offensive content complainers" and complaining about it here. Generally speaking, conservatives seem to be offended by these issues people are calling "puritanical standards", but liberals seem to be offended by non-conforming ideas (c.f. safe zones). This is a game that nobody can win.

  • It's so absurd that anything sexual is considered "harmful" somehow. It defies all logic, yet here we are, still overreacting about such things.

    I wonder if we'll ever reach a point where it doesn't matter, naked bodies are no longer shameful and we can discuss these things without blushing.

    It's frustrating that it's taking this long to purge outdated "values" from our culture.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Americans like enemies. It gives them something to beat their chests about. That's American culture in a nutshell. What you are witnessing here is the creation of a make-believe enemy (nudity) for the mere purpose of having a target for chest-beating. It's not the nudity OR the chest-beating that creates the problem -- it's mere arrogance.

      To be fair, not all Americans are like this. But clearly, the ones who are have taken it upon themsleves to speak for the rest.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )
      What is even more absurd is that circles used for educational purposes could be considered sexual.
    • by JustNiz ( 692889 )

      > It's so absurd that anything sexual is considered "harmful" somehow.... yet here we are, still overreacting about such things.

      Yep moving to the US from Europe, I couldn't believe how puritanical and apparently stuck in the 1800's the US really is when it comes to sex (which is after all a natural thing), but completely fine with sensationalizing graphic hardcore gun violence (which isn't).

      In the US, blowing someones guts out all over the camera is fine, but you better not inadvertently show their nippl

  • by no-body ( 127863 ) on Friday October 21, 2016 @10:27AM (#53122671)

    Repression of lust, enjoyment sexual expression is present in any human society on this planet. To control one of the most important drives in a species - procreation - is paramount to control, repress and pervert people in various societies (and religions) from early childhood on.

    Just look - everyone has it, any creature on this planet does it, it's part of life and it is "forbidden", controlled - no, your body does not belong to you, what you do and how you do it in your bedrooms - no, can't do this or that, it's against (fill in whatever believe conditioning is there),

    This Facebook acting is another example of this ongoing mental castration!

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Yeah... but watch these same whiners melt down the moment the sexual expression of a guy that can easily get willing participants. Then their heads will explode and they will be running around like hysterical decapitated chickens.

      Most of these "cultural libertarians" are probably flaming hypocrites.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    " our team processes millions of advertising images each week"

    No, our SOFTWARE processes millions of advertising images. If a TEAM of (reasonable) PEOPLE had done it, the video would not have been banned.

  • >the company has removed a video after deeming the images were "the o-word"
    FTFY.

    I was sad when I saw the meaning of "literally" drowning in a flood of tard, but watching it happen to "offensive" is like watching someone fall down an escalator forever.

    Soon the dictionary will just list Offensive: We have no idea.
  • Facebook is a product of America, where exposed breasts in media are considered indecent, but graphic depictions of murder are just fine.
  • What's offensive is that you creepy invasive pricks are selling the data of the world's citizens to NoSecretsAllowed etc.

    You creepy fucks.

    Also, how long until non-Facebook users sue en-masse for being collaterally recorded by multiple Facebook-creepiess-enablers as they wander around with the app installed, in earshot of us all?

  • what did you expect? It's an american company, so they are prudes and bashful. :)
    That's how it is, if you have a problem with that, then don't use Facebook.

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