Facebook has banned people from saying if they’re a top or bottom, with the new community standards preventing the discussion of “sexual positions.”
The social media giant rolled out a new content policy in October putting in place tough new rules on what the site describes as “sexual solicitation.”
The policy seeks to tackle content that “facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults” and bars “sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation.”
Facebook’s community standards bans posts about “sex positions,” “sexual preference” and many other topics involving “sexual hints.”
The list of banned content includes “sexual hints such as mention of sexual roles, positions or fetish scenarios,” meaning it is technically no longer permitted for users to say if they are a top or a bottom.
Users should also steer clear of saying “send nudes” on the platform, as the new rules explicitly ban “offering or asking for nude images.”
Facebook’s community standards says: “Do not post content that engages in implicit sexual solicitation, which can be identified by… using sexual hints such as mentioning sexual roles, sex positions, fetish scenarios, sexual preference/sexual partner preference, state of arousal, act of sexual intercourse or activity (sexual penetration or self-pleasuring), commonly sexualized areas of the body such as the breasts, groin, or buttocks, state of hygiene of genitalia or buttocks.”
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The site also warns that references to “commonly sexualized areas of the body such as the breasts, groin, or buttocks” could also be interpreted as solicitation, as well as discussion of “sexual preference/sexual partner preference.”
Facebook’s new policies were branded ‘puritanical f**kery’
The new policies were strongly criticised online, with a viral Twitter thread deriding the changes as “puritanical f**kery.”
One user wrote: “Facebook’s updated community standards are f**king WILD! Stating your sexual orientation is now literally against the rules and is seen as solicitation. Also butts are not ok anymore either. F**k this so much. Everything about it.”
Others hit out at Facebook for “drawing the line at female presenting nipples but not incels, racists, and Nazis.”
Facebook defended the changes
A spokesperson for Facebook confirmed the community standards, which previously included a vague ban on sexual solicitation, were updated on October 15.
The Facebook spokesperson defended the changes, telling PC Mag: “This change was prompted, in large part, by conversations with our content reviewers, who told us that the sexual exploitation policy did not adequately distinguish between exploitation (e.g. ‘My ex was a slut. Look at the photos she sent me.’) and solicitation (e.g. ‘Looking for swingers. Friday at 8 PM, [name of bar]. Wear pink.’).”
The company added: “We’ll be putting out the minutes from our policy development meeting at which these changes are discussed and adopted, and we’ll also publish updates to our Community Standards so that people can track changes over time.”
The Facebook crackdown comes after blogging site Tumblr announced it’s banning porn and adult content.
Tumblr’s announcement was condemned by LGBT+ users, who attacked the flawed automated system flagging content as explicit and warned it would effectively lead to mass censorship of the site’s many queer communities.