Facebook has been asked to stop taking down mastectomy photos by a group of petitioners, after it emerged that censors have been removing pictures of women and men who have had mastectomies.
Revealing photos of men and women displaying mastectomy scars are part of the healing and awareness-raising process for some breast cancer survivors, and therefore, a petition on Change.org is asking Facebook to stop censoring the photos, reports New York Daily News.
Two of the affected Facebook groups are The SCAR Project, a series by professional photographer David Jay that depicts young breast cancer survivors bearing their mastectomy scars, and Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer, which has posted "survivor portraits" of women's nude bodies covered in paint.
Facebook censors often remove photos posted on The SCAR Project's page and several times have banned Jay from posting for 30 days.
Jay said women find it extremely supportive to go and look at these pictures.
The issue is apparently that the photos show breasts and sometimes nipples, which violates Facebook's policy against nudity.
Scorchy Barrington, 53, created the petition last week after reading a tweet from Jay saying he had been banned from Facebook. So far, it has racked up nearly 9,000 supporters.
Facebook does not have a ban against mastectomy photos, but does have a policy against nudity that some of the photos may violate, the company said in a statement.
In response, Facebook issued a statement, saying it has "long allowed mastectomy photos to be shared on Facebook, as well as educational and scientific photos of the human body and photos of women breastfeeding."