Dear Facebook, we thought we were friends

Dear Facebook, we thought we were friends

Last week our Naked Wanderings Facebook page got blocked again because of violating the community standards. This was the 3rd time and we fear that next time we’ll be banned forever.
But they were right, we did violate their standards. We posted a photo which contained 8 nipples. No doubt that it were the 4 female ones that have upset someone in Silicon Valley.

 

Some time ago we wrote a complaint to Facebook asking what is wrong with the display of the human body. Also then they directed us to their community standards page. Without further explanation.
So we decided to write an open letter this time.
If you agree with us, please share this letter so maybe, hopefully, we might reach the right people.

 

Dear Facebook,

 

We have been friends for a long time. Since you were young, we paid you daily visits and fed you with pictures and texts. We played games with you, we told you where we were, what we were doing, what we were eating and what our cat looks like.
And you gave us a lot in return, you provided us with hours of entertainment, helped us find long lost friends and helped us keep in touch with new friends, sometimes from the other side of the world.
We had a great time together.
But lately, you’re starting to get a bit on our nerves. Maybe it’s puberty kicking in, but somehow you’re not telling us the whole truth anymore. You started hiding parts of the world, important communities such as ours… The nudists.

 

From the very beginning we saw that you were going to become something huge, something world changing. You gave people the opportunity to discover things and ideas the regular media never told them about. You gave people a voice, a way to express themselves and to show the world what else is going on. Finally all censorship was gone. We thought.

 

The reason for this letter is that you, again, went silent on us. This time for 7 days.
You did explain us that we, again, violated your rules, which clearly say: “We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks. We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple”.
Yes, there were nipples, of which 4 female, so we agree that it was against your rules but that doesn’t mean we agree with your rules.
The exact reason for our ban was below photo.
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To us, this photo represents 4 people having a great time time on the beach. It represents friendship, fun and equality, some of life’s most precious values. Clearly you have a different opinion.
Actually, we thought that your readers, our friends, would appreciate such an image of joy among the many other images and movie clips of people hurting each other or themselves, of pain, misery and populist propaganda. And we’re sure that our friends enjoyed it. But you didn’t.

 

Your standards also state: We restrict the display of nudity because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content – particularly because of their cultural background or age.”
Your global community is so diverse that there will always be someone who’s sensitive to someone else’s content. Some good examples are religion or political opinion. And going back to our photo, we’ve been to places where exposed male chests, female arms and stomachs, even female hair is considered offensive. Are you planning to ban those too? 

 

In times when nudism slowly becomes appreciated by the majority, we regret that you have decided to silence us, one of the most serene, peaceful and loving communities (Have you ever heard of a riot in a nudist camp?).
And we’re not a small community either. Recent statistics have shown that about 10% from the world population has a nudist mindset. 10% ! To give you a reference, the whole European population is also 10% of the world population. Just saying.

 

By simply banning certain content, you give people the false idea that nothing offensive will appear on their screens, even though everyone is offended by different things and you are not able to ban everything from the first minute (for example the image above has been on our page for several months before you noticed it).
Wouldn’t it be better to let people decide for themselves whether they want to see something or not? We imagine that there must be ways to categorise all content, so people can enter in their settings which types of content they want to see and which not. This could be an idea, right?

 

Please don’t take this letter too personally as many social media companies have started to restrict their content in order to protect their visitors against… well… against who or what? Against the nudie couple who wants to share their holiday photos? Against the nudist resort who wants to make some publicity? Against the nudist organisation who wants to show the world that we are not just a bunch of freaks? Against the nudie bloggers (yes, us) who want to share their thoughts with the world?
We believe that people are able to protect themselves, as long as you give them the opportunity.

 

We hope you’ll consider our thoughts.

 

Your friends,
Nick & Lins

23 thoughts on “Dear Facebook, we thought we were friends

  1. Really nicely written – I couldn’t agree more.

    I have several bans behind me on Spotnaked for similar reasons. It is crazy that you can offend people with violence, politics, hate and other offending stuff – but not tolerate a very decent picture of naked people.

    Thanks for your post

    1. Nothing improper with the photo, but some people will be offended and Facebook has a right to make the rules. I think they should allow it.

  2. I am an advocate of personal liberty. Therefore I believe FaceBook has the right to enforce whatever silly rules they wish, and I’m sure all the Facebook users agreed to abide by the rules when they created their accounts. If you don’t like the rules don’t use Facebook. This topic is discussed often on nudist forums without causing the slightest change in Facebook’s policy. I think you’re beating a dead horse. Im quite happy without a FaceBook account.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. There are hundreds of bookface pages that show censored pics of women (not men) because they can. Don’t like bookface rules? Don’t make them rich.

    2. I can agree to an extent. It seems your approach is to either abide by the rule or don’t use the service. How about another option? Change the rules! That’s what others have done in our culture. Instead of people complaining so much and leaving it a “topic of discussion,” everyone begin to complain to Facebook or petition Facebook or however one choose to do it. Ideally, nudists/naturists need to organize themselves and officially address the issue with Facebook, if possible showing how it affects revenue (showing how many nudists use the service) or could (if every nudist decided not to use the service). That’s just my 2 cents. I am all for everyone abiding by the rules as you say but when the rules are being unfair and unreasonable, it’s time for a change.

  3. Facebook are well out of order here. This is a nice, inoffensive photo showing a group of happy naturists: harms no one and anyone who is “offended” by it really needs to get a life and possibly some counselling.
    Yes you can show violence and abuse, but ordinary passive non sexual nudity is outlawed.
    GROW UP FACEBOOK!

  4. I think your best bet is to get organized and invite as many nudists to join your cause as possible and aim to show Facebook that nudists are organized and want to see change. If you could show Facebook how it benefit them or cause them a loss, especially financially (maybe by sheer number of nudists who are users), that may help. The issue is, how many people are willing to actually stand up and be counted?

    1. Even though this letter is directly focusing on facebook, we do know that they are not the real problem. It’s only a company that’s trying to make profit. Yes, at the moment they have a lot of influence, but how long will that last?
      The bigger problem is the majority behind it who’s against nudity or (even worse) who doesn’t care about other people’s rights. As long as facebook thinks that more profit is made by leaving nudists out than by including them, they will forbid nudity.
      And also from a commercial point of view, the nudists are not very interesting. Where’s the money to be made? Some resorts will pay for publicity, but that’s it. There’s no expensive type of car that the nudists drive, there’s certainly no clothing line, in fact very little of the nudist lifestyle can be turned into big bucks. Which is, in our opinion a very good thing.

  5. Yes it’s their platform & yes they have “community standards” which we agreed to, but they need to change their community standards as they don’t fit all parts of the community…

    And FB recently stated that they would be making changes and asking for input from users about nudity/other things they see in their news feed which they would use to make changes so a user could decide for themselves whether or not they see nudity etc in the feed… Hurry up Facebook!

    In the meantime let’s use the hashtag #FacebookMustChange

    1. We are sure that the general opinion about nudism/nudity would change if the media would stop making such a big deal of it. But it seems like it will be pretty hard to convince the media. So actually we should start with convincing the people and eventually the media will have to follow…
      But once in a while we like to complain and send an open letter to facebook 🙂

  6. I have to agree that I too find it strange if not offensive that Facebook is quite happy to allow Racial/Religious/Gender hatred along with threats of violence on pages with no worries at all but ban Gods natural work of art. By perpetuating this Body Image Problem Facebook are adding to the increasing number of suicides caused by Body Image Issues.

  7. Yes, you are right. I don’t like Facebook policy too.
    But commentators are right too: there are some rules at Facebook, and you have accept them or not to use Facebook. For example I just found https://seen.life/. Want to try. It seems, there are no same “community standards” 🙂

    1. Of course there are many options beside facebook where nudists are welcome. No doubt about that. But then we are again differentiating ourselves from the majority. If we want nudism to be completely socially accepted one day, we have to aim for the big ones 🙂
      Just think about it, if facebook had existed 20-30 years ago, no doubt that they would have blocked gay content as well. And even though there are still many people offended by e.g. pictures of 2 men kissing, facebook would be in so much trouble if they would block those pictures. We hope that one day the same will happen for nudist content as well.

  8. What really annoys me is that they don’t seem to censor posts that extol extreme violence, but ban pics of natural normal people.
    I have complained about a number of posts which really are offensive, because they portray gratuitous violence. In reply they say thanks but they do not go against their community standards!
    I assume that one of their “community standards” is any photo that shows genitals, nipples or butts.
    Ridiculous, I was born naked, I do sometimes wonder if they were!

      1. Hi Nick & Lins, i love your views, and like you, i too have been blocked and banned too many times. Can you please drop me an email as I’d like to share your story with our audience in New Zealand!
        -Mike
        editor@gonatural.co.nz

  9. The City of Ft. Collins, CO, just declared that their law against the exposure of female nipples was unconstitutional. It discriminated unfairly against women when men could take their shirts off without violation. This is progress and FB needs take notice.

  10. A well constructed argument presented in the letter, one I support fully.
    I have had bans for posting photos on our resort page despite being Farce Burke advertisers.
    I had an advert for my book The Uncovered Policeman pulled mid-campaign because the image (cover) caused offence.
    Madness!
    One error in your intro, the images are checked by outsourced workers, many of the based in Asian (Islamic) counties. Which may explain why nudity is considered a bigger sin against ‘Community Standards’ than some other behaviours!

  11. I have been banned for nudity quite a few times – each time a little bit longer and now I gave up. My first picture in a “secret group” for nudists was showing me naked in all details. So I started to censor pictures with big smileys but still got banned for nudity – no genitals, no ass but one could guess that the evil was hidden behind the smileys. It is a pity – Facebook has no problem with showing videos where people get beheaded, women get stoned, animals get tortured but a happy naked human being, the way we are born, does offence Facebook!

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