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Facebook Apologizes for Banning Plus-Size Model Photo as ‘Undesireable’



Photo moderation at Facebook found itself at the center of a controversy (yet again) this past weekend after the social network banned an ad photo of a plus-sized model, saying it depicts the human body, “in an undesirable manner.”

The photo of plus-sized model Tess Holliday wearing a bikini was submitted by Australian feminist organization Cherchez la Femme to promote an event called Feminism and Fat. It was rejected by Facebook on the grounds that it violated the company’s ad guidelines, specifically the health and fitness policy. “Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves,” the Facebook Ads Team told Cherchez la Femme by way of explanation. “Instead, we recommend using an image of a relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike.”

They left the event up, but the photo was not allowed to be turned into an ad.

Facebook has since apologized for the lapse, explaining that, “our team processes millions of advertising images each week,” and that, “this image does not violate our ad policies.” But Cherchez la Femme isn’t satisfied. They claim the apology doesn’t get at the root of the problem: the guidelines themselves, which are meant to prevent content that encourages unhealthy weight loss, are flawed.

“Quite simply [Facebook] need to understand we can use images of fat women to promote women being happy,” Jessamy Gleeson, co-producer of the Feminism and Fat event, told The Guardian. “What about all the cases that don’t receive this media attention?”

But that may not actually be where this controversy ends. According to a report by the BBC, the Tess Holliday image was used by Cherchez la Femme without first securing permission.

(via Digital Trends)