COMMENTARY | Breast cancer survivor Joanne Jackson is haggling with Facebook to be allowed to keep her post-mastectomy photos on the site, the Yorkshire Evening Post reports. Facebook considers Jackson's bare chest to be pornography because the site doesn't allow images of breasts.
But breasts are just what Jackson's photos don't show. They show a scarred chest where breasts had been. Anyone with a shred of common sense would realize she wasn't sharing half-naked photos to offend. She should be thanked, not chastised and shamed.
Instead of worrying about kids seeing a naked female chest, Facebook should be concerned about negative body image messages it's communicating by making Jackson remove the photos.
Don't get me wrong, we need boundaries. The trouble is censorship often punishes innocence with guilt. It has to be handled on a case-by-case basis. It's also difficult to police because what's deemed offensive is subjective. I've seen Facebook images that I find nauseating. If I don't like them, I don't look. I don't impose my preferences on others.
Facebook is essentially an adult site. I expect there will be some things kids shouldn't see. If I allow my kids to use adult social networks, it's up to me to monitor how they use it. I'm also responsible for setting a good example about how I use it, too.
Facebook should tend to the more obvious violations and leave the dubious ones alone.