Facebook apologizes for deleting picture of plus-size model

Facebook is apologizing for deleting a picture of a plus-sized woman after saying the picture depicted the model’s body “in an undesirable manner.”

Cherchez La Femme, an Australian feminist group, posted the picture of model Tess Holliday wearing a bikini as an ad for its upcoming event, “Feminism and Fat.” The picture was deleted shortly after it was uploaded for supposedly violating the platform’s “ad guidelines.”

“Ads may not depict a state of health or body weight as being perfect or extremely undesirable,” a member from Facebook’s Ads Team told the group. “Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves.”

Rather, Facebook politely recommended to use an image of a “relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike.”

The message ignited a firestorm of negative comments from within the group and other Facebook users.

“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,” the group said in a comment. “We’re raging pretty hard over here.”

Messages in the group supported the organization. “Sorry to hear of the Facebook incident. I support body positivity,” a person wrote.

Facebook backpedaled for the rude comment. “Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, so we occasionally make mistakes,” it said in a statement. “To be clear, the image complies with our advertising policies. We have now approved the image and apologize for any offense this caused.”

Facebook regularly encounters issues with its sprawling community and judgement of pictures. It recently has deleted (and later apologized for doing so) pictures of a woman giving birth, a topless Aboriginal woman, and a picture of a cancer patient’s breast.

https://staging.digiday.com/?p=179623

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