Trans man wins Facebook victory over banned photos
A Canadian trans man who was barred from Facebook for posting an image of his chest reconstruction has been allowed back on the site.
Calgary resident Dominic Scaia recently had his breasts removed and posted some images of his new chest on his profile in December, which showed light, well-healed scarring.
However, when another user complained to the social networking site, he discovered his account had been deleted due to Facebook’s photo rules.
Although Facebook’s terms of service allow men to be shown topless, Scaia was told his photos showed “nudity or other graphic or sexually suggestive content”. Under Facebook’s rules, this includes “graphic post-surgical imagery”.
Scaia told Xtra.ca: “I’m a man, and I posted my chest online, and that should be allowed – period. There are thousands of transgendered people on Facebook, and I think the message this sends to them is your photos aren’t safe, and that’s not fair.”
After continuing to complain to Facebook, his account was reinstated.
Last week, a Facebook spokesman told Xtra.ca that a review team had reconsidered the decision and decided that Scaia could re-upload his images, which he has now done.
The spokesman said: “While we strive to apply our policies as consistently as possible, with over 350 million users on Facebook there may be instances when we fail to do this and we do our best to rectify these situations as swiftly as possible. We encourage Mr Scaia to upload the photos again if he would like to make them viewable on his profile.”
He added: “A photo of a shirtless transgendered man would not violate our policies, assuming there was no other content in the photo that violated our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.
“There are a number of reasons why photos might violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, including if they contain graphic content such as post-surgical imagery.”
Facebook was forced to back down in a similar case in May last year, when a British woman posted photographs of her breasts following a mastectomy for cancer.