The New Yorker’s Facebook Page Censored

All About Eve

Nélida Nassar  09.11.2012

Facebook’s censorship team closed temporarily the page of the famous “cartoons” magazine the New Yorker.

Throughout the world, The New Yorker magazine is reknown and recognized, for the quality of its reporting, the depth of its investigations, its team’s sole dedication and complete verification of  fact and fictions in its cultural sections and drawings.

This is precisely why one of its humouritic cartoons landed the New Yorker on  facebook censors list.  By clicking on, the message that appears states that the page has been temporarily closed and prohibited.  The culprit is a pair of breasts.

The offensive crime could be encapsulated in a drawing composed of few lines and two points by the artist Mick Stevens.  The breasts belong to a naked woman sitting under an apple tree next to a naked man, with the following caption: “Well, it was original.”  This innocent drawing unfortunately fell under “facebook law against nudity and sex.”

To retrieve the page and out of its “boobgate” the New Yorker announced that it was removing the offending drawing, and have republished it after artist Mick Stevens has modestly covered his characters’ private parts.  “However, adding clothing caused a loss in the humor ethos that was so important in the drawing” notes the magazine who ironically is asking its readership, to help identify all the offensive double-points (used to suggest a pair of breasts).

If Facebook has copyright and conditions for publishing, their rules are vague and can be summarized in these words: “The user undertakes not to publish” content inciting hatred or violence, threats, pornography, nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”

But the social network Facebook has also another set of law stipulations or charts, including a version used by a provider that has been published by the website Gawker on  This chart describes and details in 13 pages, a series of examples where the exemptions to the rules are listed and that should be followd by Facebook team of censorship.

Under the chapter concerning “nudity and sex” the provisions spell out what is prohibited in these terms: “Any obvious sexual activity even if the private parts are hidden with bare hands, clothing or other objects, drawings and art included.  Kissing and petting are allowed, even homosexuals relationships between male-male, female-female are permitted.  Naked genitals are prohibited, including breasts and buttocks, men’s nipples are allowed.”

Originally Published in Berkshire Fine Arts

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