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Is Facebook Removing A Picture Depicting A Breast Cancer Survivor’s Tattooed Chest?

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

Circulating message claims that, due to its rules on nudity, Facebook keeps removing an image showing the intricately tattooed chest of a breast cancer survivor who had a double mastectomy.

Brief Analysis

When the image was posted to Custom Tattoo Design’s Facebook Page in February 2013, Facebook did remove it several times because it was considered a violation of the company’s policy on nudity.  The ban caused a great deal of protest from Internet users. However, Facebook quickly backtracked and agreed to allow the image to remain on the network. The image has continued to circulate on Facebook since February and is no longer being removed.

Example

Hello Everyone, This Tattoo was done for a woman who had breast cancer ! Facebook keeps removing the post in 24hour as an offensive photo do to nudity. However we feel this woman is both brave and strong so were going to post it anyways and ask for your awareness and support ; Please like and share this photo quickly to show your support for this and many other women who have lost so much. ( Kind Comments are welcome ) thanks !

Breast Cancer Survivor - Tatoo

 

Detailed Analysis

This message claims that Facebook keeps removing an image depicting the intricately tattooed chest of a woman who had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. According to the message, Facebook is removing the picture because it is considered a violation of the company’s policy on nudity. The message applauds the bravery of the pictured woman and asks that users share the image to show support.

When the image was posted to Custom Tattoo Design’s Facebook Page back in February 2013, Facebook did remove it repeatedly, citing a violation of its nudity policy. Custom Tattoo Design then posted the above message to ask for support and protest against the ban. The image went viral as a result.

However, Facebook soon backed down and agreed to let the image stay on the network. Fred Wolens of Facebook Policy Communications explained the change of policy to The Huffington Post, noting,  “Mastectomy photos don’t violate our content standards and are permitted on the site.”

Since then, the image has been shared many times and posted on many different Facebook Pages. As it promised, Facebook is no longer removing the image.

The woman in the image is Inga Duncan Thornell. She notes in a blog post:

This tattoo was a collaboration between Tina Bafaro, the tattooist, and me to cover the scars from a bilateral mastectomy.  It took one Sunday a month over two and a half years to complete.

The tattoo image was featured in the book “Bodies of Subversion: A Secret History of Women and Tattoo“.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer