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Screengrab via Swedish Cancer Society/YouTube

Facebook censors cartoon breasts in cancer awareness video

This is getting a little ridiculous.


Jessica Machado


Posted on Oct 21, 2016   Updated on May 25, 2021, 6:10 pm CDT

Earlier this week, the Swedish Cancer Society posted a short, animated breast cancer awareness video to Facebook, where a cartoon woman shows how to give self-breast exams. 

Suffice it to say the nonprofit organization was miffed to find out that Facebook swiftly took the video down. The platform thought the cancer society was marketing sex products or services.

Facebook later apologized, saying in a statement to the Guardian

“We’re very sorry, our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologize for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ads.”

Regardless, the Swedish Cancer Society posted an open letter on Facebook yesterday, joking that it will appease Facebook’s standards by making the cartoon breasts square instead of round. 

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“After trying to meet your control for several days without success, we have now come up with a solution that will hopefully make you happy: Two pink squares!” the organization writes. “This can not possibly offend you, or anyone. Now we can continue to spread our important breast school without upsetting you.”

Facebook has come under fire for censoring breasts many, many times before. In September, the platform censored the iconic naked “napalm girl” photo from Vietnam, and it has removed other images advocating for mammograms, breastfeeding, and various women’s health issues. 

Perhaps one of the best ways to fight the system is from within. There are several Facebook groups, like Boobs Are Not Offensive, protesting the platform’s treatment of the nipple. 

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H/T The Guardian

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*First Published: Oct 21, 2016, 12:13 pm CDT