2 min

Facebook censors trans man’s photo – again

Facebook apologized for deleting post-op chest pic and then deleted it again. What gives?

WHAT GIVES? After initially banning Dominic Scaia for uploading this pic, Facebook apologized and encouraged him to reupload the image. On Jan 29, Facebook deleted the image, despite its earlier promises.

UPDATE, JAN 31: Facebook released the following statement to Xtra:

“The removal of Mr Scaia’s photos was in no way intended to target him personally. Instead, it resulted from the fact that monitoring content and responding to user reports across a user base of over 350 million people is a complex process that requires the work of a large team of reviewers. While every effort is made to ensure consistency in reviews, there may be instances when this does not happen and we attempt to resolve those issues as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience caused and are taking steps to try and ensure that this does not happen to Mr Scaia again.”


JAN 30:
In the battle that never seems to end, Facebook has once again censored a post-op photo of Dominic Scaia’s bare chest — the same photo that got him banned from Facebook in December, for which he later received an apology.

Earlier this month, Facebook said it re-evaluated its policy concerning graphic imagery after Scaia’s top surgery photos were censored. Scaia is a female-to-male (FTM) transsexual.

In what was considered a victory for transgendered rights, a spokesperson for Facebook told Xtra on Jan 15 that Scaia could re-upload his photos, citing the importance of raising awareness about trans issues. Five days later, Scaia received a personal apology from Facebook, admitting the company’s “errors.”

But on Jan 29, Scaia noticed that one of the photos he had posted to the Facebook group, “Stop Transphobia on Facebook – Un-ban Dominic Scaia” was missing. The photo was also missing from his profile. Scaia then received a message from Facebook telling him the photo violates the site’s terms.

“Are you kidding me?” says Scaia. “We just went through this whole thing, and I thought it was over. I thought this wasn’t going to happen again and obviously it’s because someone reported the photo.”

Facebook users are encouraged to monitor their friends’ photos and to report pics that violate the terms of use. According to Facebook’s Help Centre, the company reviews all items reported by its users.

Scaia thinks Facebook needs to re-evaluate how it monitors photos and that Facebook employees should be educated about transgendered issues, including what an FTM post-op chest looks like.

“This isn’t just about me,” says Scaia. “I don’t want this to happen to another guy, and it could very well happen if it’s happening to me again.”

Scaia says he felt happy and relieved when he was told two weeks ago that he could re-upload his photos.

Now, he’s just frustrated.

“It’s definitely not over — not if this is going to continue to happen,” says Scaia. “This is ridiculous.”

Scaia has sent Facebook a message demanding to know why his photo was removed, but he has yet to hear back. Xtra also contacted Facebook, and a spokesperson said they were looking into the matter.