Facebook has recently come under fire for heavily curating the way news media is proliferated via complex algorithms and manipulation. As if the social media company wasn't inching closer to a dystopian nightmare with every passing moment, now Facebook is getting into the business of body policing: an advertisement for a group that used an image of plus-size supermodel Tess Holliday was rejected with Facebook claiming that the picture "depicts a body or body parts in an undesirable manner."
More specifically: Cherchez la Femme, a feminist group in the UK, attempted to promote a Facebook listing for a body positivity event, using an image of Tess Holliday (looking like a platonic ideal of human perfection, as per usual).
Ironically, the group's promotion was rejected by FB on the grounds that the image violeted their health policy. According to the Huffington Post: "The social media site warned that using an image of Holliday to advertise an event called 'Feminism and Fat’ could make viewers feel 'bad about themselves,' causing many to question why they assumed a photo of a plus size woman must be negative."
“Facebook has ignored the fact that our event is going to be discussing body positivity (which comes in all shapes and sizes, but in the particular case of our event, fat bodies), and has instead come to the conclusion that we’ve set out to make women feel bad about themselves by posting an image of a wonderful plus sized woman,” said Jess, a producer of the Cherchez la Femme group.
Screenshots from Facebook's response to the rejection of the post show's some of the backwards thinking of the social media giant:
Facebook has since reached out to Huffpo to issue a semi-apology:
“Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads,” the statement said.
“This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad.”
Notably, Facebook did not apologize for the policy itself.