This afternoon, in a rather more graphic attempt to recapture exploding-watermelon fever, BuzzFeed livestreamed a surgery on Facebook. So as people on the East Coast were getting lunch, the site went live on Facebook with the graphic video of a skin lift and chest reduction, performed on a man who had recently lost 270 pounds. By my count this puts us … 18 months away from a Facebook Live execution?
It was gripping, in a car-crash way, but at 26,000 viewers didn’t quite hit the audience level of the rubber-banded watermelon. More interesting is the question of why Facebook finds this sort of (undeniably interesting, to some people!) thing permissible while, in the year 2016, women are still getting their accounts suspended for showing a nipple. Even historical photos from non-Western cultures are coming under fire. As of now, Facebook’s community guidelines (reminder: rules that affect 1.5 billion people) state that “We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple.”
To recap, female nipples in most situations: bad. Male nipples graphically, surgically removed on livestream: A-okay.