ban

Facebook apologizes for banning New Yorker cartoon

Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:58 PM ET

File / NBC News /
Facebook's team "looks at hundreds of thousands" of reports every week, "and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and block a piece of content we shouldn't have," a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement to TheWrap.

By TheWrap.com, via Reuters

Facebook said Tuesday that it mistakenly blocked a cartoon featuring bare female nipples and suspended an account used by the New Yorker.

The social network took down the magazine's cartoon page Monday after the New Yorker posted a comic depicting the biblical characters Adam and Eve in the nude, with the latter's nipple clearly sketched.

The move prompted a snarky post on the New Yorker's Cartoon Bureau blog, in which the cartoonist Mick Stevens satirically redrew the comic with both characters fully clothed and an "Not O.K., O.K." look at Facebook's policy.

Emphasizing the magazine's apparent eye-rolling, it posted a zoomed in image of both Adam and Eve's nipples indicating which is OK.

Facebook said it "quickly worked to rectify the mistake" as soon as its team of moderators was alerted.

"This team looks at hundreds of thousands" of reports "every week, and as you might expect, occasionally, we make a mistake and block a piece of content we shouldn't have," a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement to TheWrap. "We have already taken steps to prevent this from happening in the future and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience."

In its "Sex and Nudity" guidelines, Facebook purports to block "naked 'private parts' including female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks; male nipples are OK."

The policy also states that any obvious sexual activity should be pulled from the site, even if the subjects are clothed. That policy includes in cartoons and art.

However, as the New Yorker pointed out, Facebook did not take down a previous cartoon by Karen Sneider that shows a man atop a woman in bed, apparently having intercourse.

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