You might have to say good bye to Peach emoji, Facebook and Instagram will now remove posts containing what they describe as “commonly sexual emojis or emoji strings”.
BBC journalist Thomas Fabbri and sex worker website XBIZ discovered that the new language was quietly added to existing policy sometime between September 7 and October 23. According to the updated section in the Community Standards to be removed, the content must also “implicitly or indirectly (typically through providing a method of contact) offer or ask for nude imagery, or sex or sexual partners, or sex chat conversations.”
Facebook is looking to enforce a wider ban on “sexual solicitation” on the platform.
According to these new rules, eggplant or peach emojis cannot be used with sexual statements about being horny. In addition, users cannot post photos that use emojis to censor nudity and cannot refer followers to pages where porn is viewable — yes, this latter rule means that linking to an OnlyFans or JustForFans page in your bio is grounds for removal.
Stricter guidelines around sex-postive content made emojis essential to sexuality professionals to specify, organize, and advertise the type of content they were producing for their audiences without including words that would get them shadow-banned or removed.
Ultimately, the consumer suffers because they can’t find the perfectly legal content they’re looking for.
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These rules are in stark contrast to Facebook’s position on regulating hate speech and harassment. The ban on ‘explicit’ emojis is another step towards censoring sex speech on Facebook and Instagram. While the motivation is good it is an attack on freedom of expression from a platform that protects alt-right publishers, misogynists and conservative politicians. Hate speech is protected, while our ability to express our sexuality is being restricted.
Stephanie Otway, a Facebook Company Spokesperson, responded to a request for comment to Refinery29, “Certain emojis will only be removed from Facebook and Instagram if they are used alongside a request for nude imagery, sex or sexual partners, or sex chat conversations. We aren’t removing simply the emojis.”