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Facebook temporarily blocks “The New Yorker” over cartoon nipple

A bare breast in one of The New Yorker‘s cartoons apparently violated Facebook’s terms of service.


Fidel Martinez


Facebook, like most of America, must not get The New Yorker’s cartoons.

The social network platform temporarily banned the publication’s cartoon page after a Mick Stevens illustration violated their anti-nudity policy.

On Monday, New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff wrote a pithy blog post entitled “Nipplegate” explaining that their page was banned from Facebook because Stevens’s drawing depicted a bare-breasted woman.

According to a document uncovered by Gawker in Feb. 2012, this is a violation of Facebook’s anti-nudity policy, specifically a guideline that bans “naked ‘private parts’ including female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks; male nipples are ok.”

Mankoff admitted that Steven’s cartoon did violate that rule, but also pointed out that another cartoon by artist Karen Sneider broke a different Facebook standard on images, one that bans any images that depict sexual activity. The posting of that illustration on Facebook did not result in The New Yorker’s page getting banned.

The New Yorker at first tried to “get back into Facebook’s good graces” by having Stevens redraw the cartoon with the two individuals fully clothed. By modifying the original illustration, however, Mankoff felt that a good deal of the humor would be lost.

Instead of appealing the decision, the cartoon editor chose to critique the social network:

“But rather than fight the battle of the bulge, let’s point out, that while female nipple bulging, or F.N.B. for short, is a potentially serious problem, with as yet no known cure, it also has no known victims. That is, unless you count freedom of expression, common sense, and humor.”

Facebook has not commented on the incident, though they have restored The New Yorker’s cartoon page.

Photo via Alejandro Mallea/Flickr

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The Daily Dot