1 min

Facebook “re-evaluates” decision to censor trans man’s post-op chest pics

"We encourage Mr Scaia to upload the photos again," says Facebook, after saying pic was too graphic

Credit: courtesy of Dominic Scaia
Facebook has re-evaluated its decision to censor a Calgary trans man’s post-op chest pics. A spokesperson told Xtra late Friday that Dominic Scaia is free to reupload the pictures, citing the importance of raising awareness about trans issues.

In a partial victory yesterday, Facebook reinstated Scaia’s account after he was banned on Dec 20, but the site warned Scaia not to re-upload his post-op chest pics because they violated the terms of service for containing “nudity or other graphic or sexually suggestive content.”

But since yesterday, Facebook has changed its tone. In an email sent to Xtra on Friday evening, a Facebook spokesperson had this to say:

“I went back to our team here to ensure that we were being consistent in our review, and upon further consideration, the team has concluded that the photos do not violate our standards for graphic imagery and can be allowed. While we strive to apply our policies as consistently as possible, with over 350 million users on Facebook there may be instances when we fail to do this and we do our best to rectify these situations as swiftly as possible. We encourage Mr Scaia to upload the photos again if he would like to make them viewable on his profile.

We continuously re-evaluate all of our policies to make sure that they remain relevant and useful, and our policies surrounding graphic imagery are no exception. These have continued to evolve as we’ve seen how potentially graphic content can be used to create awareness and educate users about a particular issue. Last year’s protests in Iran – and even today’s crisis in Haiti – are poignant examples of this.”

During an email exchange between Facebook and Xtra early Friday, Facebook implied that Scaia’s photos were banned not because of nudity, but because of the post-surgical scarring:

A photo of a shirtless transgendered man would not violate our policies, assuming there was no other content in the photo that violated our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” a Facebook spokesperson told Xtra. “There are a number of reasons why photos might violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, including if they contain graphic content such as post-surgical imagery.”

Read more about Dominic Scaia’s story in our earlier coverage