Facebook to New Yorker: no nipples in your cartoons!


75 Responses to “Facebook to New Yorker: no nipples in your cartoons!”

  1. teapot says:

    OMG BB – could’ve warned us with a NSFW warning! The IT dept is gonna go nuts when they find out I’ve been looking at nip close-ups.

  2. Donald Petersen says:

    Man, bad day for my Internet today.  The earlier post about the Skepchick shirt (which I totally dig) led me down a rabbithole over at Skepchick’s site, and I just blew a couple of headache-inducing hours reading up on last year’s “Elevatorgate” controversy (about which I was formerly blissfully ignorant and am now less-blissfully informed).  Between that and the ginned-up controversy over Professor Adrienne Pine’s breastfeeding during a lecture, I don’t think I could stand another “-gate” for the rest of the fiscal year, especially ones involving nipples.

    Nipples.  Man, we’re an eighth of the way through the twenty-first century and people still get shocked, scandalized, and/or grossed-out by nipples.  I’d thought we’d gotten past this during Farrah Fawcett’s prime, but then we get distracted by things like Reaganomics and trading arms for hostages and recalcitrant tribes in the Middle East, and just when we think we’ve made a little progress in racial/gender/LGBTQ equality and/or gas mileage, we turn around and discover that nipples are once again sinful.  Heaven forbid we expend too much attention and effort trying to fix this, lest we lose much of our progress in other, more vital issues, like the ones I just mentioned.

    Sorry, folks, I’m just brought down by all this.  May we enjoy some more permanent progress soon.

    • blueelm says:

      *back pat*

      There there. One of those -gates led me to withdraw from almost all of the internet and use boingboing as the main source for my addiction. I highly recommend it!

  3. rattypilgrim says:

    Here we go again. Man’s nipples, no problem. Woman’s nipples, pornography.

  4. Pat Eisel says:

    Will someone make the pencil eraser joke that I can’t seem to get together? 

  5. C’mon this is comedy of the highest order. On accident you can pull up pictures and comments of the most filthiest and degrading nature in creation. Dot nipples are a source of prudish concern on Facebook? This is sarcasm 2.0.

  6. theophrastvs says:

    Not to defend Facebook’s prudish behavior in the least, but if you take any image that some Supreme Courter declares “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [obscene] but I know it when I see it” and dissect the drawing: “U” of a penis separated over here, “V” of female genitals selected and translated by themselves over here…  then it just shows how context is everything  (hot throbbing context)

  7. pjcamp says:

    The link is worth clicking through. Apparently, Gawker and New York Magazine have no sense of humor. Or maybe they’re wearing a welder’s mask over it.

  8. No wonder I’ve had so much trouble getting my BATMAN & ROBIN Facebook page off the ground.

  9. 10xor01 says:

    So does Facebook apply the same policy for it’s users everywhere?  If this had been posted on a French publication’s page, would it be acceptable?

    • benher says:

      If by French you mean Instagram, the answer is “no.” My friend had her account deleted for holding up a drawing of breasts in front of herself (fully clothed.) 

      Fuck Zuck. 

  10. Brainspore says:

    This policy of blatant discrimination strikes very close to home for me. Many of my closest friends and family members happen to have nipples.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      I have more than two. Think how I feel.

      • rattypilgrim says:

         Really? If so, welcome to your twin who decided to go back.

        • Antinous / Moderator says:

          I have three for sure, maybe five. They’re quite difficult to distinguish from moles, but they’re raised (unlike my hundred or so other moles), not the typical color of any of the other moles, and in the nipple line.

          • mindysan33 says:

             Bless you and your nipples and moles, sir. 

          • rattypilgrim says:

            That’s fascinating speaking as a twin. Has no doctor ever noticed or come up with an explanation? Have you had them all your life (stupid question)? There must be a Greek or Latin word for your gift. I’m not being sarcastic.

          • Wade Sims says:

             @rattypilgrim:disqus Humans often have vestigial nipples, arranged like you might see on a sow (pig) or a bitch (d0g).  Most of the time they stay subcutaneous and don’t show or develop considerably, though they retain many of the cell structures such as lactating glands, which can appear even on men.  Occasionally genetic magickry results in vestigial organs becoming not-so-vestigial in others, so they become more prominent in certain genome configurations.  At least so I remember from my intro to Biology class… perhaps someone with more scientific understanding or Google-fu can supplement.

          • Finnagain says:


          • lev36 says:

            Supernumerary nipples run in my family. On my dad, they are quite distinct, though tiny; on my brother, tinier still. Me, I just have a slightly hairy dimple where a third would be.

        • Brainspore says:

          Like Wade Sims notes, supernumary nips are generally an expression of a recessive trait we carry from our many-nippled pre-human ancestors, not a leftover from a vestigial twin. It’s a bit like those rare cases where human babies are born with tails.

  11. Sekino says:

    That Eve just can’t do anything right, can she.

  12. SedanChair says:

    Do you think Facebook could force their cartoons to be funny, instead of just full of witty self-loathing?

  13. Fex says:

    Is this some sort of brilliant attempt by Facebook to turn the ‘Chist, what an arsehole!’ meme into a bizarre meta-joke by being arseholes themselves?

    (A refresher for those who missed it: http://boingboing.net/2010/03/30/recaptioning-new-yor.html )

  14. Reg Robson says:

    Why is the nipple the no go zone anyway? If a woman wore a baggy shirt that revealed nothing but her nipples would it be titillating? Ok, maybe it would, but would it be titillating the next week? Alright, maybe there would still be people masturbating about it on the internet, but people masturbate to everything on the internet! Eventually we need to get to the point where nipples are meh. Then we can start debating well defined treasure trails on guys.

  15. sam1148 says:

    You often hear “God didn’t make Adam and Steve, but Adam and Eve”

    Well, according to the KJV of the garden story. God made Adam first.

    The original plan of God’s was to have Adam stay at home, take care of the pets, tend the garden never leave the garden home.
    When God got home, from doing whatever Gods do,  Adam was expected to Obey His Every word without question. He also wasn’t allowed to wear clothes.

    Eve was an afterthought and things rapidly spiraled out of control after she appeared. She wouldn’t put up that, 3 ways never work as well as you hope.

  16. Boundegar says:

    It was proven during the Middle Ages that Eve had no navel.  It’s a pity theologians have not directly addressed the nipple question, but I think it likely Eve had not less than two.  In addition to Cain and Abel, she had numerous other children, and must have fed them in the pre-Similac manner.  Hence, nipples.

  17. professor says:

    Guys seriously: it’s called “Facebook” for a reason… faces and books ONLY! 

  18. SomeGuyNamedMark says:

    Judging from the political comments I sometimes see on FB they still allow a-holes on it though.

  19. I guess they would ban this   (.)(.)   too.     ;-)

  20. Why does the New Yorker even lower itself to have a Facebook page?

  21. Marc Montoya says:

    what are the folks at facebook, like, 12? (‘cuz you have to be at least 13 to be on facebook)

  22. Jim Smith says:

    What I want to know is – did someone complain, or was this done using image recognition software?

    • I’d guess complaint.  Else it would have to be pretty advanced recognition software (not that unlikely though I guess).

      Problem being that it’s very subjective.  Of course there is absolutely nothing offensive, crude or sexual about this image, but if you have a no boobs policy then how much deliberation should be expected?

      I kind of imagine the image flashing up on a FB employees screen, them confirming that it does indeed contain boobs, sighing, loosing a little of their humanity, and then hitting the block button.

      I could be wrong, but they probably don’t send these decisions to committee or have board meetings about it.  Not that boob screening wouldn’t make for an interesting board meeting.

  23. angusm says:

    Ah, nipples. They got the New Yorker banned from Facebook. They nearly cost CBS half a million dollars. Is there anything they can’t do? Fascinatingly, only women’s nipples seem to have this awesome power to corrupt and terrify.

    “I am nipple, hear me roar!”

  24. Another Kevin says:

    There is some sort of hilarous poetic justice here.  In the early days of The New Yorker, editor  Harold Ross objected to a nipple – in a cartoon by Clarence Day that depicted Eve in the garden.  (Day merely whited out the nipple and part of the contour of the breast, giving a broken line, and Ross ran the cartoon that way.)

  25. Michael Burt says:

    Facebook’s got a point.  Afterall, nipples really are not needed any more anyway right?

  26. axleworthington says:

    Facebook, like Communism, was a good idea in theory, but not so good in the real world. It was cool for about five minutes. Facebook makes sense for people with a middle school mentality.

  27. xkot says:

    I have to agree with Facebook’s strict no-nipples policy. If they allow one cartoon with crudely drawn nipple-dots, it soon becomes a nip-slippery slope.

  28. lev36 says:

    Immediately makes me think of this exchange in The Magic Christian:

    Youngman Grand, Esq.: Dad, do you think words corrupt?
    Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE: I don’t know, let’s try. Agnes?
    Dame Agnes Grand: [looks up from the television] Yes?
    Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE: Nipple.
    Dame Agnes Grand: Shh!
    [turns back to the television]
    Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE: [watches her a moment] Well, there’s no immediate physical change. 

  29. I’ve created a Facebook account under my cat’s name where I plan on testing just what is and isn’t acceptable to post on Facebook. I’m starting with Batman’s costumed nipples and going from there. If anyone is interested or wants to take part/watch the experiment, you can find the profile here:


  30. Cluisanna says:

    Yeah, except the asking her out for a coffee wasn’t the main point, but rather that he did it in the middle of the night, in a space she couldn’t leave, away from everybody else. “How DARE a woman say ‘guys, don’t do that’ after a man approached her at 4am in a hotel elevator, away from everybody else, after she had annouced she was going to bed.
    Really, these wimminz trying to take my right away to corner them in the middle of the night!”
    I am happy for you that you have enough male privilege to not understand how such a situation could feel threatening. Just trust me on this – as a woman, I would have been afraid. And not because I think all men are evil rapists, just because I know some are, and I’d much rather be safe than sorry.

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