NEWS

Facebook breastfeeding pics OK under updated rules

03/16/2015 03:08 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT
Score one for the "brelfies" movement.

Bowing to pressure from mothers whose breastfeeding pics were removed from Facebook, the social media company revised its community guidelines late Sunday.

The updated rules seek to clarify Facebook's definitions for "nudity" following an uproar in which it blocked images of mothers breastfeeding their children, citing policies against showing nudity.

In response, dozens of angry moms flooded the social media platform with more breastfeeding selfies, or "brelfies."

On Sunday, the company appeared to have relented.

Facebook said it continues to remove any photographs in which people can be seen "displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks."

However, the updated community standards rulebook adds:

"We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring."

Photos that show art such as paintings and sculptures depicting nude figures are also permitted.

Photos of nudity in art acceptable

The restrictions will remain for "digitally created content" showing nudity and sexual activity, Facebook said, "unless the content is posted for educational, humorous, or satirical purposes."

Posts supporting terrorist activity or organized criminal activity can be removed.

The company also communicated a firm stance against "hate speech," as well as cyberbullying and harassment.

While Facebook said it supports free speech, it bans multimedia, posts and pages that it determines may have been published with malicious intent targeting a private individual. 

This may include anything from the posting of personal information for blackmail, to bombarding a user's account with unwanted friend requests or messages. "We allow you to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them," the community standards page states.

The ban on "hate spech" covers direct attacks on anyone based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.

On Monday, the company also released a transparency report showing the number of government requests it receives for the sharing of users' account information. The report indicated a slight increase in the volume of requests it considers from governments around the world.

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