Are we getting any closer to freeing the nipple?
The days of censoring female nipples on Instagram and Facebook may be numbered.
The past few years have seen celebrities and activists alike call for change in the way women's bodies are censored on social media platforms, particularly when it comes to displaying chests, breasts and nipples.
The standard for Facebook and Instagram (both part of META) has been to prohibit images of bare-chested women unless in a number of circumstances.
According to Meta's community guidelines, the exceptions include photos taken in the context of breast-feeding, birth-giving, after-birth moments or for health-related situations. These include post-mastectomy images, breast cancer awareness and photos following gender-affirming surgery.
The nipples and chests of men on the platform have never been censored.
Instagram and Facebook's policy on censoring female nipples has long been the subject of criticism. Activists take issue with the inherent sexualisation of female nipples, while many others point to the rather binary definition of gender in the company's policy, and the ambiguity this gives rise to. For instance, it is currently unclear how the policy applies to intersex and non-binary social media users.
Now, however, it seems that the days of censoring female nipples on Instagram and Facebook may be numbered.
According to The Guardian, the oversight board at Meta has called for an overhaul of the policy.
Off the back of the removal and subsequent restoring of a topless photo by a trans and non-binary couple (though their nipples were covered), the board has said that the current policy is "unclear".
Their finding stated: "The policy is based on a binary view of gender and a distinction between male and female bodies."
The board now recommends that Meta define "clear, objective, rights-respecting criteria" for their nudity content moderation policies to ensure "all people are treated in a manner consistent with international human rights standards".
Meta now has 60 days to respond to the board's recommendation.
In the past few years, a number of celebrities have landed their voices to the #FreeTheNipple movement, including Rihanna, Florence Pugh and Miley Cyrus.