Social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) has admitted that its earlier decision to block an ad simply because it featured a plus-sized bikini-clad model was a mistake.
Facebook initially tried to defend its stance claiming the image is in clear violation of its policy that bars an image of the body or any part thereof to be depicted in an undesirable manner. Facebook then tried to justify its act saying it is against its health and fitness policy.
The ad in question features a beaming Tess Holliday, a plus sized model and is designed to promote ‘Feminism and Fat’ under patronage from the Australia-based group, Cherchez La Femme.
“Ads like these are not allowed since they make viewers feel bad about themselves,” the Facebook ad team revealed in a letter to Jessamy Gleeson, Cherchez La Femme producer who is also the organizer of the event.
Jenny from the social networking company’s ads team had instead suggested posting an image of someone engaged in a physical activity such as ‘running or riding a bike’ would perhaps be more appropriate though the move apparently backfired.
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“We’re raging pretty hard over here — both because Facebook seemingly has no idea that plus-sized, self-describing fat women can feel great about themselves, and also because we haven’t been able to boost the original damn post,” wrote Jessamy Gleeson on the group’s Facebook page.
Interestingly, Facebook too is against any move that promotes unhealthy weight loss measures.
Facebook later tendered a written apology to the group citing it was an unintentional slip up.
“Our policies are in place to protect the community from offensive ads. This is not the case here, and I’m sorry for our incorrect review,” said a Facebook team member in a statement to the group. “We process millions of ads per week, and there are instances that we incorrectly disapprove an image.”
Gleeson though stated that she isn’t satisfied with Facebook’s apology and said it shouldn’t have taken international media attention to make Facebook review its stance in the first place. She also urged the social media company to re-examine its policies regarding women’s bodies, with help from ‘feminists and body-positivist activists’ if needed.