Romper

Facebook Censored A Breast Cancer Awareness Video, & The Reason Why Is Really Silly

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

In case you haven’t heard, it’s breast cancer awareness month. That means fundraising events and educational videos all over your news feed. Apparently, the latter is not acceptable by Facebook’s standards. According to the Guardian, the social media network has come under fire for censoring an educational breast cancer video published by a cancer awareness charity organization.

The "Breast School" video, which aimed to show women how to conduct breast exams on themselves, featured animated images of breasts. Facebook took down the video, with an explanation that read: "Your ad can not market sex products or services nor adults products or services."

A Facebook spokesperson later apologized in a statement to Romper:

Facebook did not immediately respond to Romper's request for comment.

The video was put together by the Swedish Cancer Society, a not-for-profit group owned by parent company Cancerfonden, in the hopes that it would educate women and enable them to self-examine. According to the Verge, a Cancerfonden spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse, “We find it incomprehensible and strange how one can perceive medical information as offensive. This is information that saves lives."

The Swedish Cancer Society then penned an open letter to Facebook explaining a humorously revised approach to their educational ad: square breasts, square areolae, and square nipples.

Facebook has been highly criticized for its seemingly inconsistent rules on nudity and censorship. Earlier in October, it removed an article about mammograms because of the cover image that depicted a breast surgery. In regards to its photo censorship policies, Facebook said it restricts certain images for sensitivity reasons.

But in 2013, it removed photos of breast cancer survivors and in 2015, it censored images of breastfeeding mothers. So it seems that Facebook's policies are not uniformly applied. With as much power as Facebook has over what we see on the internet, all we can do is hope that Facebook (and people everywhere who find breasts offensive) continues to learn from these incidents.