The New Yorker, a bastion of longform journalism and literary fiction that also happens to tell jokes and include some smutty cartoons on the side, had its Facebook page dedicated to those sexy smudges temporarily banned. Why? Because nipples.
We’ve included the image to the left. For his part, illustrator Mick Stevens redrew the offending cartoon with clothed characters. The New Yorker’s Bob Mankoff objected to the re-draw, saying that “the gain in clothes caused too great a loss in humor.”
According to Facebook’s guidelines, first discovered by (who else) Gawker, prohibitions include images that display “Any OBVIOUS [sic] sexual activity, even if naked parts are hidden from view by hands, clothes or other objects.” (Managing Editor Nathan Pensky just went into conniptions because Facebook doesn’t use the Oxford Comma in its un-sexy guidelines.) “Cartoons/art included. Foreplay allowed (Kissing, groping, etc.) even for same sex (man-man/woman-woman).”
We’re going to go ahead and stop them right there. First of all, if we define “foreplay” the way every teenager defines foreplay, Facebook just said that it is perfectly acceptable to depict fellatio, cunnilingus, and who-knows-what else, but not plain-Jane missionary position sex. And then, to top it all off, the company throws an “even” before explicitly allowing images depicting homosexual relations, implying that people should have wondered if it was okay for a couple of dudes to be shown kissing one another.
Moving on, Facebook also prohibits “Naked ‘private parts’ including female nipple bulges and naked butt cracks; male nipples are ok.” This rule is what really got The New Yorker in trouble, as its image – quite obviously – displayed “female nipple bulges.”
As Mankoff puts it:
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.
We’re just happy Facebook didn’t decide to ban our PandoDaily account after resident illustrator Hallie Bateman drew a tiny dong for a story about Burning Man.
[Image Credit: The New Yorker]