Facebook relents on doll nipple ban

BY ASHER MOSES
Last updated 12:54 12/07/2010
Victoria Buckley doll
UNFIT FOR FACEBOOK: The offending photo published on Victoria Buckley's Facebook fan page.

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A Sydney jeweller has castigated Facebook for its "opaque" and "arbitrary" moderation system after the site apologised for censoring her images of a nude porcelain doll posing with her works.

The social networking site admitted this morning that it made a "mistake" in removing Victoria Buckley's photos, after last week sending her several warning notices for publishing "inappropriate content" and erasing both censored and uncensored versions of the image from Facebook.

"We've investigated this further and determined that we made a mistake in removing these photos," Facebook said in a statement.
 
"Our User Operations team reviews thousands of reported photos a day and may occasionally remove something that doesn't actually violate our policies. This is what happened here.

"And while we believe the doll would benefit from clothing to protect her fair skin, we apologise for the mistake and encourage Victoria Buckley Jewellery to upload these photos again if they so choose."

Facebook said "technical reasons" prevented it from restoring the photos on its own.

Buckley, who owns a high-end jewellery store in the Stand Arcade on George Street, has long used dolls as inspiration for her pieces and hasn't had one complaint about the A3 posters of the nudes in her shop window.

She says she invested thousands of dollars in the marketing campaign and worried it - along with her Facebook fan page - would all go down the drain based on an arbitrary and unfair censorship decision by Facebook.

"I'm delighted that Facebook has seen reason, and they are acknowledging that the images are acceptable," Buckley said this morning.

"However, I still haven't heard from Facebook directly. I would love to be able to repost my original images, but I'm concerned that a single complaint in the future might be grounds for closure.

"The Facebook system is still very opaque and seems very arbitrary."

This is not the first time Facebook's moderators have been accused of being too harsh in their decisions.

It comes after the site incurred the wrath of mothers all over the world by banning photos of women breastfeeding their children, calling such shots "obscene content".

Facebook has also come under fire for banning images of a British woman's mastectomy scars, published on the site to raise awareness of breast cancer.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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