Facebook has apologized after the backlash caused by the social network’s refusal to run an advertisement featuring a plus-sized model in a bikini.
Tess Holliday is one of the models that posed for an Australian feminist group called Cherchez La Femme. Last week, the group was outraged by the fact that Facebook rejected a promo for an event advocating body positivity, lashing out on social media.
Melbourne-based Cherchez la Femme is a feminist talk show covering news, popular culture, and other current affairs. For the next month’s episode, the producers thought of talking about body positivity in a live show titled “Feminism and Fat.”
But when CLF producer Jessamy Gleeson wanted to promote the event on June 7, her ad request was rejected by Facebook because it apparently “encouraged an idealized physical image.”
Gleeson appealed the decision at Facebook, confused about the reasoning behind it. It turns out that response of the social network was unchanged, saying that “the ad wasn’t approved because the image contravened their ‘health and fitness policy.’”
Instead, she should use an image portraying a “relevant activity, such as running or riding a bike,” Facebook’s reply continued. But Gleeson was not going to have any of that.
Holliday is a self-described “body positive activist,” and one of the top plus-size models awarded by Vogue Italia. But her fame and the things she stands for were apparently overlooked by Facebook, who “ignored” the fact that CLF’s program is aimed at encouraging body positivity.
“We’re raging pretty hard over here,” Gleeson said. “Both because Facebook seemingly has no idea that plus-sized self-described fat women can feel great about themselves, and also because we haven’t been able to boost the original damn post,” she added.
Faced with the backlash, the social network later apologized for its mistake, claiming it had been an oversight by an advertising review program, which works with both automated and manual analysis.
A Facebook spokeswoman explained that “our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads.” In the end, the social network admitted the image did not violate its ad policies.
Meanwhile, Holliday said on Twitter that she had enough of “defending my body in the plus industry when colleagues of mine who are smaller are praised for being ‘good role models.’”
Image Source: View the Vibe