Facebook went on the rampage again. Did Miley flash her boobs for the zillionth time? Did a locker-room shot accidentally make it onto a public page? Nope. A stock image of a mammogram saw an entire team of editors banned from the site.
A mammogram. You know, that potentially life-saving medical procedure women have regularly to detect breast cancer. The image of a squished boob was so offensive it caused Facebook to block the admins of the parenting site, BluntMoms, and anyone else who had shared the post entitled "10 Do’s And Don’ts While Getting A Mammogram."
Editor Anne Radcliffe was angry at the way she and her colleagues were treated. "We all got punished. It wasn't just that they took down the post, they removed us from facebook until we logged back in, reviewed our personal profiles and vouched that there was no nudity in it."
The shitstorm took place only 15 hours after the image was posted to BluntMom's page, while - despite numerous complaints - images like this one (involving minors) remain in situ.
When it comes to applying its own nudity guidelines, Facebook takes a selective approach. For a time, any mom who uploaded a breastfeeding image promptly saw her account suspended. Ditto for those with post-mastectomy scarring.
Yet just as the #FreetheNipple campaign seemed to be convincing Zuckerberg & Co to come to its senses and allow such images to stand, we have the mammogram. Under its current community guidelines, Facebook reserves the right to censor any nude images that may cause "potential cultural sensitivity."
But a mammogram? It's not a political statement. It's not sexy and it's not exploitive; it's a medical fact.
"Frankly I was shocked," said Jessica Hoefer Land, who wrote the mammogram post. "Utter bullshit to deny the education of women by censoring a procedure that could potentially save a life. Facebook Is proving itself to be hypocritical on what they will and won't allow."
Which is rather unfortunate and short-sighted because the value of such posts far outweighs any potential "sensitivity."
Facebook, congratulations, you've just hit a new low.
Update: Facebook has apologized and reinstated the image on BluntMoms page.