Why Does Facebook Censor Gay Images?

Written by scott on January 31st, 2015

Facebook Image

Michael Stokes is a well known photographer with a thriving business. His beautifully staged images of physically fit men are familiar to many. He’s also a photo collector and historian who recently produced a book with Taschen on WW2 photos of soldiers at ease and quite naked.

Stokes has a large following on Facebook, with more than 260,000 likes, but he says the experience there has been befuddling and frustrating. Stokes says that, according to Facebook’s own standards, he has not broken the rules of what’s allowed and yet photos repeatedly get censored. He suspects homophobic users are reporting his page and trying to get him banned, but the inner-workings of Facebook’s moderation system are opaque. Most recently, Stokes’ account was blocked from posting altogether, only to be reinstated after appealing.

Complaints to Facebook are regularly met with apologies and reinstatements, only to have his work removed again. The Advocate contacted Facebook for comment about Stokes’ case and received what is becoming a fairly standard explanation from a spokesman: “We mistakenly removed a post from this Page after it was reported to us. As our team processes more than one million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. We apologize for the inconvenience that it caused.”

Authored By Christopher Harrity- See the Full Story at The Advocate

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2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Brian says:

    As a former quality management professional who specialized in business process management, I can state unequivocally that this points to a process breakdown where Facebook has no control over standardized training for their staff, no feedback from management on what is not acceptable and where the line is drawn, no audit process to verify their employees are following written procedures and guidelines, no process for holding employees to those standards, no process/procedural/guideline improvement procedure, and/or management which does not perform due diligence in ensuring their business process is being followed, or any combination of the above. Simply put, if Facebook were an ISO9000 company, it would lose accreditation and likely not be recertified.

  2. scott says:

    I agree. As anyone who has ever run afoul of a Facebook block can attest, they are running a huge company on essentially a skeleton staff. It is extremely difficult to get in touch with anyone when you get blocked, unless you create a national firestorm. And yet they’ve made themselves essential to doing business these days.

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