What reason was given for your ban?
Violating sexual and nudity guidelines.
Why do you think your post(s) was censored?
I am a tattoo artist, specialising in 3D nipple tattoos – this form of tattooing is most commonly known for recreating areola/nipples for the breast cancer community after their mastectomy surgery. These brave survivors allow me to share their tattoos on social media in order to raise more awareness among people who may benefit from these tattoos – unfortunately, social media has an issue with female nipples and interpret my tattoos as something that is inappropriate (don’t get me started!) so my posts are constantly removed and my account suspended and shadowbanned.
Were you able to appeal and what was the response?
I always appeal decisions, sometimes posts are reinstated but more often than not, they remain removed and I have to ‘do my time in Facebook jail’ with the suspensions and restrictions placed on my account.
I started a campaign in July 2020 called Celebrated Not Censored, to bring these ridiculous, outdated and sexist ‘guidelines’ to light. The campaign originally started to raise awareness of the censorship of areola/nipple tattoos, but the more I spoke out about these issues, the more people came forward with their own censorship stories and I quickly realised that this is a huge issue on many many levels.
What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?
Having my account suspended, restricted, shadowbanned and posts removed has a huge impact on my business. Social media is a vital tool for any business; having my reach restricted directly impacts my small, independent business. It also prevents me from raising awareness of this wonderful form of tattooing and sharing the information many people are seeking. Many people are unaware of the options available to them after mastectomy surgery, top surgery or any kind of breast surgery – social media is an essential tool for my business to showcase my portfolio and show people what is out there for them.
Areola tattooing plays a vital part in a person’s healing journey; promoting emotional and physical confidence and allowing people to move forward in a positive way for themselves.
What’s one thing you want people to know about this topic?
ALL bodies are beautiful!!