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Facebook Took Down Elbow Photo Because It Looked Like a Boob

by Hazel Chua

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, the elbow boob existed. It was an innocent thing – nothing but a joint, but Facebook saw fit to take down any images of it because, well, it looked too much like a female breast.

Facebook Elbow BoobOkay, so that sounds like a really twisted fairy tale of sorts, but the story is 100% true. It’s also one tale that ends up making Facebook’s content filters seem like a bunch of incapable code. (Is there such a thing?) Because apparently, it can’t tell the difference between an actual breast and a woman’s elbow.

The image was originally posted by  Theories of the Deep Understand of Things who wanted to test Facebook’s image filters. Looks like their theories were proven right (or was that wrong?)

Either way, I admit that the image is pretty misleading, and people with imaginative minds can choose to go with the ‘alternate’ representation of the elbow. It has been confirmed that this image only shows the woman’s elbow and nothing more, but Facebook took it down anyway.

So I ask you: Should they have kept the image up?

[via Geekologie]

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Comments (35):

  1. aim2free says:

    They should not have taken down the picture in any case❢
    It’s not their damned business to judge what other people may care for❣
    It’s not their damned business to judge or censor what people see as fun❣
    It’s not their damned business to judge what people see as beautiul or fun❣
    That would be despotism❢
    Despotism does not exist in a civilized world❣

    • Bearfoot says:

      Our freedom of speech and such only applies to the GOVERNMENT not to private individuals. Private corporations are free to do what they wish wish censorship.

      And guess what? That really looked like a breast to me.

    • Tomalak Geret'kal says:

      Contrary to what you might believe, it’s THEIR website (there is no “right” to use Facebook) so, actually, yes, it IS their business to pick and choose whatever the heck they like on THEIR website. Despotism is when you do not allow them that freedom.

    • Someone says:

      Well, the interesting thing is here, is that they, to protect themselves legally, should have LEFT IT UP. By removing it, they become content providers and not merely purveyors of what others put there and thereby escaping responsibility for what people post. By removing it, they accept responsibility for content. I’m surprised their lawyers let them do this, or put the filters in action that did it.

  2. john sparks says:

    I think the picture should be taken down. People with elbow fetishes get off on this kinda thing. What were they thinking posting elbow porn????

  3. Mike Deloit says:

    The real question is why do 6 out of 10 females with a camera and a Facebook account turn into softcore porn stars?

  4. Red says:

    I think the real question here is:
    Why would anyone want to post a picture of themselves in the bath-tub on facebook?

    Regardless of if the elbow really looks like a boob, the picture is suggestive in a way, that makes it dubious to post on facebook anyway.

  5. realitycntrl says:

    Seriously? People really think that looks like her breast? If so, then that’s one really big, misshapen breast and she should see about getting that looked at. I was a bouncer in a strip club for 2 years and have seen all different sizes and shapes of breasts, and none that looked like that.

    If Facebook wants to take it down, that’s their business and nothing can be done about it. They have the right to take down any photos they feel aren’t acceptable for their site. It says so when you first sign up. So, I’m not even sure why this is a debate.

    • Bearfoot says:

      let’s see.. roundish flesh covered area with red nipple like dots in the center. Yep.

      Remember, this censorship is done by machine. They are far from perfect.
      You think I would’ve said otherwise if I didn’t really think it?

  6. no says:

    This image is only misleading if you’re 10 and have no idea how breasts work. This photo show nothing even remotely mammary-esque. No tits that big would be firm enough to stand up that way.

    • Bearfoot says:

      And computer programs, which are what took the picture down, have intimate knowledge of human anatomy?

  7. Pratyush Rohilla says:

    Well, the interesting thing is here, is that they, to protect themselves legally, should have LEFT IT UP. actually, yes, it IS their business to pick and choose whatever the heck they like on THEIR website. Despotism is when you do not allow them that freedom.

    • Bearfoot says:

      Do you honestly think that this is despotism? Taking down a iffy picture is hardly that. And guess what? They have that right. Freedom from censorship in the US only applies to government censorship. THERE IS NO LEGAL DANGER FOR FACEBOOK AT ALL IN THIS CASE. THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO CENSOR IN THIER OWN WEBSITE.

      IF you truely feel that way then I would advise closing your facebook account if you have one and never using it.

    • Hmm says:

      Its funny that your comment is just a copy paste of earlier comments up top, why bother posting?
      They have to consider what content and pictures that was uploaded. Do you think people will go to Facebook, or any websites for that matter if it was littered with gore pictures of dead bodies, necrophilia and the likes?
      Filters are necessary, especially considering the target demographic.
      Think logical, not some inane babble to sound smart.

    • RustyShackleford says:

      They don’t have to do anything to protect themselves legally. They can do whatever the heck they want. Users CHOOSE to use the service. They don’t have any legal obligations. They could choose to filter pics of anyone that isn’t blonde, if they want to, and you can either use the service or leave.

  8. Warkupo says:

    Whatever, it totally looks like boobs upon first glance. You can pretend like it doesn’t and get offended, but we both know that it does.

  9. Matt says:

    Why do I have this urge to suck on her elbow?

  10. Lynn The Atheist says:

    That Awkward Moment Your Elbow Looks Like Tits, I’d like you to meet That Awkward Moment Your Friends Thumb Makes You Look Like A Tranny.


    • Bearfoot says:

      And the akward moment when you realize your last post seems to make you an expert in transsexuals…

  11. IleWieszOOsmiornicach says:

    There is a flagging form on Facebook. If anyone finds a photo or a post inappropriate in any way (nudity, violence etc.) they can click a button and inform the Facebook authorities about it. And that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is an automated script that removes any photos that a computer deems not appropriate. It’s completely uncalled for.

    • Bearfoot says:

      I beleive they, like Youtube, have both.

      Do you know how many people you’d have to hire to police Facebook? They’d be spending far too much money. Better to have a script do it and then to have someone look at it later.

  12. RustyShackleford says:

    It’s reminiscent of the color pattern of a boob and it’s in the right proximity to the head. There is no clothing to be found in the picture. The filter is more intelligent than most of the people who have commented. Who cares if it got misidentified?

    • Bearfoot says:

      The OMFG they’re taking away our rights even thouh freedom of speech doesn’t apply to private citizens and companies like I think it does crowd…

  13. Ryan says:

    The picture obviously was meant to be humorous, and it doesnt really violate any of facebook’s rules regarding nudity. Sure facebook has the right to edit their own site’s content as they see fit, but it isnt right for them to say that one picture of a girl with her arms exposed is ok, but another’s isnt because they dont like how her elbows look. It reminds me of hearing about Victorian times and how curvy table legs were considered profane and ordered by the monarch to have coverings over them. WTF facebook? Bottom line is Facebook should quit being such (p)ussies. Let the girl post her picture of her elbows that look like boobs. Its harmless fun even for 5 year olds (who are too young to be on facebook anyway). And anyone who is offenced by the picture or deems it inappropriate should GROW THE FLICK UP AND GET OVER IT. Also to those who argue in favor of facebook on basis of their rights, should recognize that the real question isnt whether they had the right to remove it, but whether or not if they SHOULD have.

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