Plus-Size Bodies “Undesirable” on Facebook
Facebook recently walked right into a controversy it didn’t need when it rejected an ad that featured an image of plus-size model Tess Holliday, calling the image a violation of its “health and fitness policy.” Holliday is a plus-size model and body positivity advocate. Facebook’s censors weren’t quite ready for the storm that followed.
They had picked the wrong fight with the wrong group of feminist activists. Cherchez la Femme was trying to promote an event to discuss the intersection of feminism and fat activism. Telling these folks that an image of Tess Holliday is “extremely undesirable” was a bad move. It created a perfect opportunity to grab headlines around the world and deliver their message about fat shaming and body positivity.
Faster than you can say “community standards” Facebook reversed its decision and apologized, saying:
Our policies are in place to help protect the community from offensive ads that can damage their experience on our platform. This is not the case here and I’m sorry for our incorrect review.
This situation provides a pretty good example of “concern trolling,” where body shaming is dressed up in the guise of concern for a large person’s health. Someday, perhaps such rudeness will be a violation of community standards.
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May 29, 2016