Monday 23 October 2017

Spotlight on: social media's policies on pictures

The focus is on social media's policy on pictures.
The focus is on social media's policy on pictures.
Activists have begun protesting outside the Presidential Palace.
Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

Several bloggers and photographers have received worldwide attention after they protested the removal of innocent images of their children by their chosen social media platforms.

Photographer Jilly White's Facebook account was banned for 24 hours after she posted a picture of her daughters recreating the cheeky 'Coppertone' ad from the 50s. In the ad, a girl's bathing suit is pulled down at the back by a small dog. The image, which she posted on the Coppertone Facebook page, was determined by Facebook to be a violation of the rules on 'nudity and children'. The image was removed following a user complaint on the basis that the image was 'pornographic', a suggestion which angers White.

"I despise pornography and anything to do with it. I would never ever post a pornographic photo. I am anti-porn." Following her account's reinstatement, White reposted the image with a giant smiley face covering her daughter's behind (which was also reported, but allowed by Facebook). Facebook responded to the incident, stating that it has "a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved."

It continued: "It is hard. With over one billion people using Facebook we have to put in place a set of universal guidelines that respect the views of a wide range of people. These policies are designed to ensure Facebook remains a safe, secure and trusted environment for everyone. We aspire to respect people's right to share content of personal importance."

Instagram, an app owned by Facebook, blocked 'Mummy blogger' Courtney Adamo's account after she posted a picture of her daughter pulling up her top to reveal her bare front. Several users were reported to have flagged the image as a violation of the site's community standards. She received warning emails from the site, which Adamo dismissed as "a joke". Speaking to The Huffington Post, Adamo explained why she thought the emails "must have been a joke". "I've never posted nude photos of my children. I've always posted what I believe to be the most wholesome and pure photos of my family."

And singer Rihanna has fallen foul of Instagram's nudity rules more than once, resulting in several temporary bans from the site. Instagram and Facebook recently announced they would cease the removal of photographs of breastfeeding mothers under the nudity guidelines, saying: "We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we're glad to know that it's important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Instagram and Facebook."

'Respect the riders'

Tour de France rider Geraint Thomas has reportedly complained about members of the crowd standing in the road with their backs to the speeding cyclists, to take 'selfies'.

The Team Sky rider described the act as "the new pain in the arse".

"I think people need to realise we take up the whole road... There's not much racing on British roads and people don't understand how fast we're going and how close we get ... There have been too many accidents with riders hitting spectators, we don't want to see that but it could easily happen."

Other cyclists have weighed in on Twitter, with BMC's Tejay van Garderen calling it a "dangerous mix of vanity and stupidity".

An official warning was issued on the Tour De France Twitter account. It tweeted a photo of a bicycle crash with the text: "This is what happens when you risk everything for a photo. Respect the riders!"

Sixty-three of 276 abductees flee boko haram and are back home to safety

Sixty-three women and girls abducted by suspected Boko Haram militants have escaped, according to sources.

A local journalist reported that they seized their chance to escape when their captors "went out to fight". A total 219 of the 276 abducted schoolgirls are still missing, 83 days since they were captured. Activists behind the #BringBackOurGirls movement have begun protesting outside the Presidential Palace. Villagers have appealed to the United Nations to intervene, claiming militants were "running amok".

Amnesty International claimed military commanders had advance warning of the abduction in April but did not have sufficient manpower to prevent it.

Topless FGM protest

Female members of a feminist protest group in the UK staged a topless protest against female genital mutilation (FGM) during the third stage of the Tour de France.

The stage started in Cambridge and finished in London last Monday. Protesters stripped down for the protest, wearing just paint on their chests that read 'Stop FGM'.

Police officers tackled the 'Femen' group members outside the Palace of Westminster and covered them with high-visibility jackets.

Speaking to the Guardian, Femen founder Alexandra Shevchenko insisted that the UK had "some of the highest levels" of FGM in the western world.

The World Health organisation defines female genital mutilation as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons".

First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent

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