Facebook’s Sex Policy

This is the first in a series of posts examining the sexual content policies of major social media platforms. (I’m hoping to alternate weekly with my supreme court series) All policy details are copied exactly from the sources provided as of the publication date. Unless otherwise noted, all emphasis has been added by me.

Remember that policy does not necessarily reflect what actually happens on a platform. At best it can be read as what a company wants their stance on content to be.


Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform no matter how you measure it. With 2.8 billion monthly active users – larger than the populations of Europe, North America, and South America combined – it reaches over 36% of the entire world.

Facebook does not allow sexual content or nudity at all, including exposed female breasts, but has a few specific policy exceptions. The advertising regulations are more restrictive.

Facebook’s Community Standards are a lengthy document with 27 sections split into 6 categories. Most areas have details of more specific content covered by that section.

The standards that cover nudity and sexual content are broken into four sub-sections, mixed under two different headings. We’ll start with the most relevant.

Category III. “Objectionable Content”

Section 14. Adult Nudity and Sexual Activity

We restrict the display of nudity or sexual activity because some people in our community may be sensitive to this type of content. Additionally, we default to removing sexual imagery to prevent the sharing of non-consensual or underage content. Restrictions on the display of sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless it is posted for educational, humorous, or satirical purposes.

Our nudity policies have become more nuanced over time. We understand that nudity can be shared for a variety of reasons, including as a form of protest, to raise awareness about a cause, or for educational or medical reasons. Where such intent is clear, we make allowances for the content. For example, while we restrict some images of female breasts that include the nipple, we allow other images, including those depicting acts of protest, women actively engaged in breast-feeding, and photos of post-mastectomy scarring. For images depicting visible genitalia or the anus in the context of birth and after-birth moments or health-related situations we include a warning label so that people are aware that the content may be sensitive. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures.

Basically: no nudity or sex because some people find it offensive, with an exception for educational material, art, and a few specific situations.

As stated in the birth section, Facebook has a ‘click to view’ content warning system to hide disturbing (but allowed via policy) images and video from users. It isn’t something a poster can choose – the content must be reported and reviewed by a moderator who then applies the warning. Facebook’s Help forum has plenty of people asking to be able to set it themselves, but so far no dice.

The “do not post” details section includes definitions for nudity and sexual activity. 

Do not post:

Images of Real nude adults, where nudity is defined as:

Visible genitalia except in the context of birth giving and after-birth moments or health-related situations (for example, gender confirmation surgery, examination for cancer or disease prevention/assessment)

Visible anus and/or fully nude close-ups of buttocks unless photoshopped on a public figure

Uncovered female nipples except in the context of breastfeeding, birth giving and after-birth moments, health-related situations (for example, post-mastectomy, breast cancer awareness or gender confirmation surgery) or an act of protest

It is worth noting that the specific exceptions for breast-feeding, post-mastectomy scarring, and birth photos are the direct result of massive public campaigns. I have no idea when or how “buttocks photoshopped on a public figure” came into play, but I would very much like to know.

Also note the banning of “uncovered female nipples.” This is a whooooole thing that I’ve been working on covering in a stand-alone post. You will hear these words again, with slight variation, in every single policy. If you’re not sure why this would be a complicated issue, consider these questions:

  • What about the chest of a non-binary person?
  • Does the areola count as part of the nipple? What if only a small part of it is showing?
  • How transparent does a garment have to be before it is considered “uncovered?”
  • If you photoshop ‘male nipples’ on ‘female breasts,’ can you post it? What if it ends up looking exactly the same as before?

They go into much more detail about their definition of sex, which is long and dry and reads like… well, like a boring policy document. Which it is. So I guess I can’t really fault them there.

Do not post:

Images of Sexual activity, including

Sexual intercourse

Explicit sexual intercourse, defined as mouth or genitals entering or in contact with another person’s genitals or anus, where at least one person’s genitals are nude

Implied sexual intercourse, defined as mouth or genitals entering or in contact with another person’s genitals or anus, even when the contact is not directly visible, except in cases of a sexual health context, advertisements, and recognized fictional images or with indicators of fiction

Implied stimulation of genitalia/anus, defined as stimulating genitalia/anus or inserting objects into genitalia/anus, even when the activity is not directly visible, except in cases of sexual health context, advertisements, and recognized fictional images or with indicators of fiction

Other sexual activities including (but not limited to)


Presence of by-products of sexual activity

Stimulating genitals or anus, even if above or under clothing

Use of sex toys, even if above or under clothing

Stimulation of naked human nipples

Squeezing female breasts, defined as a grabbing motion with curved fingers that shows both marks and clear shape change of the breasts. We allow squeezing in breastfeeding contexts

Fetish content that involves

Acts that are likely to lead to the death of a person or animal



Feces, urine, spit, snot, menstruation, or vomit

A few things stand out to me in all this:

I really appreciate that they include oral and manual sex under their definition of “sexual intercourse.” All too often we see ‘sexual intercourse’ (or just ‘sex’ in general) used to refer exclusively to penis-in-vagina activity, or to the slightly broader category of penetrative sex. As much as I wish Facebook wouldn’t ban this content, I do appreciate this progresive phrasing. 

The whole “except in case of […] advertisements” thing confuses me. As we’ll see later, the advertising rules are generally more restrictive than the community guidelines, so why “implied sexual intercourse” has an exemption for advertising is very odd. 

The carve out for a “sexual health context” is an example of the ‘educational exemption’ that will come up again and again in these policies, even as far back as the original 1955 Supreme Court pornography case. (Sex is bad, unless you’re learning something! But not if what you’re learning is what turns you on, then it’s still bad.)

Squeezing of female breasts. ::sigh:: The over abundance of detail here (as opposed to the single-word line “erections”) is a great example of the absurdity inherent in classifying the world as ‘sexual’ or ‘not sexual.’ Why do “marks and clear shape change” make a hand on a boob something that gets banned? For that matter, why should a hand, even a woman’s own, grabbing her own clothed breast, ever be classified as sexual and bad? (Yes, I have seen examples of that very thing being taken down from Facebook/Instagram under this rule.)

The fetish section is both too extreme and too mild somehow. Dismemberment and cannibalism are specifically disallowed under Facebook’s graphic violence clause, so idk why they have to be called out here as a fetish item. On the other end of the spectrum, “spit” fetish content isn’t allowed??? Spitting into someone else’s mouth may squik some people out, but in the world of fetish content it’s remarkably wholesome – how is that on the same list as cannibalism? (This is also one of the rare examples where something is technically banned by policy, but I see spit fetish content all the time. [what? I follow a lot of kinky meme accounts, you shouldn’t be surprised by this])

Section 15. Sexual Solicitation

As noted in Section 8 of our Community Standards (Sexual Exploitation of Adults), people use Facebook to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. We recognize the importance of and want to allow for this discussion. We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters or commercial sexual services between adults such as prostitution or escort services. We do this to avoid facilitating transactions that may involve trafficking, coercion, and non-consensual sexual acts. We also restrict sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content and it may impede the ability for people to connect with their friends and the broader community.

As I called out in a previous post, asking someone “wanna have sex?” on Facebook is fine, but “wanna have sex? 🍆 💦 🍑” is against the rules. The details underneath this section require both an “offer or ask” and “suggestive elements” for something to count as sexual solicitation, and as of summer 2019, those suggestive elements include “commonly sexual emojis or emoji strings.” (For you old-school pervs, other rules would also cover ASCII art such as B==>~~~)

On the surface this section is to prevent trafficking and sexual assault, which we can all agree is bad (also illegal!), and to comply with US and state laws, most of which ban prostitution.

In practice, it goes much further.

Sex workers of all kinds – full-service escorts as well as porn stars, professional doms, strippers, and sex toy manufacturers – regularly get kicked off Facebook, even if they’re not using that account to conduct business. This vastly accelerated with the passage of SESTA/FOSTA in 2018.

The intense and widespread discrimination of sex workers is beyond the scope of this particular post, but Hacking Hustling has an excellent report on the subject.

Category II. “Safety”

Section 7. Child Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Nudity

We do not allow content that sexually exploits or endangers children. When we become aware of apparent child exploitation, we report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in compliance with applicable law. We know that sometimes people share nude images of their own children with good intentions; however, we generally remove these images because of the potential for abuse by others and to help avoid the possibility of other people reusing or misappropriating the images.

We also work with external experts, including the Facebook Safety Advisory Board, to discuss and improve our policies and enforcement around online safety issues, especially with regard to children. Learn more about the new technology we’re using to fight against child exploitation.

Yep, child porn is bad, no one should allow it. (As a side note it is also highly illegal which is not actually mentioned here.) 

However, “What is child porn?” is a more nuanced question than most people expect, as evidenced by the note about removing images posted with ‘good intentions.’ In talking with some parents for this project, I have confirmed that Facebook removes nude child images from all sources, including closed private groups of family friends and direct messages. 

Because child pornography is so intensely criminalized there is relatively little of it in existence, so the same media tends to get shared over and over. Nude images shared with good intentions, if they make their way into the dark side of the web, can be extremely difficult to take back. Other places in these policies I think facebook goes way too far in the name of “protection,” but in this case I agree with the policy.

One last important note: this policy exists, but in the real world Facebook doesn’t do a great job of actually removing this and other non-consensual content. There’s been a big hullabaloo about PornHub hosting child porn lately, but according to delightfully outspoken victim rights lawyer Carrie Goldberg, Facebook and other big tech platforms are far worse for hosting and failing to remove abusive content.

Section 8. Sexual Exploitation of Adults

We recognize the importance of Facebook as a place to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. In an effort to create space for this conversation and promote a safe environment, we allow victims to share their experiences, but remove content that depicts, threatens or promotes sexual violence, sexual assault, or sexual exploitation. We also remove content that displays, advocates for, or coordinates sexual acts with non-consenting parties to avoid facilitating non-consensual sexual acts.

To protect victims and survivors, we remove images that depict incidents of sexual violence and intimate images shared without the consent of the person(s) pictured. As noted in the introduction, we also work with external safety experts to discuss and improve our policies and enforcement around online safety issues, and we may remove content when they provide information that content is linked to harmful activity. We’ve written about the technology we use to protect against intimate images and the research that has informed our work. We’ve also put together a guide to reporting and removing intimate images shared without your consent.

The distinction between discussing experiences of assault for awareness and actively promoting such experiences is a difficult but incredibly important one. The #metoo movement and other campaigns are likely the reason this section exists on its own, since this content would otherwise still be banned under Section 3. Coordinating Harm and Publicizing Crime.

The second half of this section is the “revenge porn” clause, otherwise known as Non-Consensual Intimate Images (NCII). One example of this is when someone shares sexual images of themselves with a partner, and that partner then turns around and posts those images online after they break up. The media was created consensually but distributed non-consensually, which is a sticky legal line – many, but not all, US states now have laws which make this illegal. I was glad to see Facebook had created a process for folks to report this content… except that link is broken.


I’ll end with a quick summary of the sexual content policies in Facebook’s advertising platform. These policies are separate and in addition to the general community standards. One particularly interesting difference in format is that some ad policies have images as examples to show what’s ok or not ok.

8. Adult Products or Services

Ads must not promote the sale or use of adult products or services, except for ads for family planning and contraception. Ads for contraceptives must focus on the contraceptive features of the product, and not on sexual pleasure or sexual enhancement, and must be targeted to people 18 years or older.

This one is just kind of a huge bummer to me. I’m glad they allow condoms, but the idea that pleasure is what makes something not allowed is just…. Sad. 

There is an actual problem around a lot of sex-related products being marketed very poorly in extremely spammy or sketchy ways, and I’m not sure how to reconcile that on an advertising platform. 

But I’m still depressed at the idea that pleasure = banned. :(

9. Adult Content

Ads must not contain adult content. This includes nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative.

Ads that assert or imply the ability to meet someone, connect with them or view content created by them must not be positioned in a sexual way or with an intent to sexualise the person featured in the ad.

I have a lot of thoughts on this (why is everyone in the examples white???), but this post is already 9 pages long, so I’ll keep it short: 
There are certainly a lot of spammy, scammy, shitty ads for sex-related products or services (just look at one of the porn tube sites), but blanket-banning them means we also prevent the new, better ones from gaining traction.

I know a lot of great educators, content creators, or product inventors that have been stymied in their attempts to scale because they can’t use the standard online advertising tools. (some of them can’t even find payment processors willing to allow transactions for their products, but that’s for another time) Of course, that’s probably because a lot of them focus on that forbidden topic, pleasure.

72,026 replies on “Facebook’s Sex Policy”

What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful
and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & assist other customers like its
aided me. Great job.

That you are previously below, looking through opinions and directions on how to differentiate a bad website from a superb just one, so yeah, there are several web-sites you can place into an illegitimate classification. But typically, paper writing services are usually not against the legislation. Below’s why.

If you had a unfavorable working experience having a writing service so you endeavor to share it, they can delete or won’t even publish your comment.
Any price underneath $10 is simply too very low. Give thought to this: an expert creator must have gained at the very least a Grasp’s degree. They also have expansive experience in writing, and they must’ve been through a large amount of coaching to improve their skills. A single paper can take hours for them to accomplish, they usually take into consideration this being their job.

The setting at universities is aggressive and it will become necessary to search for assignment writing assist from tutorial gurus to stay at the top of one’s course.

So, when you’re going for walks upstreams, the seem of your toes could
not arrive at the trout at all. Now, he claims, he can jig 800
toes of drinking water with a tiny lever drag weighing about fifteen ounces.
If I appear back at this plan now, it was always in the again of my
mind like some sort of force. Sasuke a hundred and twenty Rinami is what comes to our brain when we imagine of Ams
Layout. Expertly built to be true “go anywhere, do anything at all rods, the Shimano Convergence D 2-Piece Casting Rods are intended with the multi-species angler in thoughts. Solution: A spinning rod is pretty the opposite of what we connect with a casting rod, and the mastering curve additionally challenges introduced by both equally aren’t the very same possibly. Shimano’s very best-offering merchandise are its spinning reels. When you will need to get deep and go over plenty of water, very little beats stream fishing with spinning equipment. The long rod and light-weight line let you to keep almost all your line off the drinking water, greatly reducing drag. A lean-delicacies regular home would edit out the extras, hold the furnishings minimal, and let the architecture shine by.

He was timely and proficient. Had to request some corrections And that i bought my order back in a well timed fashion at the same time without having concerns. Wonderful work.

Right after the procedure we explained over, you’ll considerably narrow down your list of reviewing websites. Now, all you must do is read handful of trusted opinions and make your choice of a writing service.
The complexity of Pc science research assignment assessments maintain you on your own toes. Avail our homework help and place your treasured time and energy to other functions. We’ve got a crew of Pc specialists who can make generate leading assignments in incredibly a lot less time. Our research solvers under no circumstances shy from any of your respective queries about assignments.

Nevertheless the most vital is the writer’s Slash, that may not go decreased than one dollar for every a hundred words. Even for 3rd-environment nations. As writing essays requires time. A lot of time. No matter how skilled The author is.

I absolutely love your site.. Great colors & theme.

Did you develop this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create
my own website and would love to learn where you got this from or just what
the theme is named. Thank you!

Thorough Writing Assistance: Our gurus deliver Skilled writing support on line which might improve your grades and Total educational efficiency. The main reason is encounter and volume of assignments carried out in the previous few yrs.

When I concur that you should carry out your own personal research, my critiques is usually a valuable asset for you. They present you with a summary of knowledge that you might not be capable of finding by yourself.
The next on our listing of the highest essay writing companies is Higher education-Paper – the educational writing veteran with about a decade of knowledge. The service is trustworthy by pupils from worldwide mostly for its attentiveness and very competent team of writers.

Very good essay author. I only made a few changes. She caught some Guidance to the essay writing assignment which i failed to even recognize, which include them which was a nice surprise. Unquestionably endorse.

So, how can I go about writing my assessments? Here are some specifics about the measures I consider when looking into writing services, and writing assessments. Remember the fact that Every single company is different, so these measures can vary a little bit.

Don’t fear. There is a way! We’ll listing couple actions on how to find the very best essay writing service reviews.
Step one is to determine: what is the best Internet site for writing papers? Our assessments and recommendations will help you make the correct selection.

Eventually, the summary of the essay is there to summarise and to provide your view on the topic in addition to to reply the query from the job (Which services should really obtain funds from neighborhood authorities?

Unquestionably fantastic to work with. Most definately one among my favored writers to date. Ideal execution :)

I’ve had 4 papers performed with Essaypro and only experienced a single paper with challenges, so far they happen to be terrific.
This has become the inquiries students question them selves ahead of using the services of anyone to do their papers. It’s a tough option to make – you might want to be mindful and steer clear of ripoffs.

This is the greatest essay writing service for urgent orders of every kind. Its title reflects the accurate capacity; these writers can hurry via a paper and enable it to be appear Specialist by any deadline.

Check the worth charts and work out the ultimate Value concerning several websites. Then, evaluate the special discounts and choose the most Expense-helpful supply!

In relation to the web site, It’ll be easy to use. You don’t want it to crash in the midst of the purchasing process Which explains why it ought to be trusted. You don’t want it to crash when you’ll want to Get the order positioned. It should be steady.
Writing essay assignments, situation research or Paper writing involves loads of commitment, focus, and expertise. Under the tension of submission, it receives demanding to offer high-quality get the job done, consequently assignment writing service on the internet is a safe place.

Eventually, the summary within your essay is there to summarise and to provide your belief on the topic in addition to to answer the problem inside the process (Which services really should get cash from nearby authorities?

The main element to an incredible essay evaluate is consistency. This is often why I attempt to use a similar structure for all of my evaluations. Like a scholar, you’ll be able to take a look at any of your opinions, and know accurately where by to search out the data you require. Every single of my critiques consists of:

Following the procedure we explained over, you’ll considerably narrow down your list of examining web pages. Now, all you must do is read number of responsible evaluations and make your decision of a writing service.
If you start hunting for Superior Papers testimonials, you’ll see this is probably the oldest and many authoritative services during the business. Pupils usually assume good good quality when selecting their writers. The orders may be completed by any deadline you offer. You may search for their enable for a substantial range of subjects, as described on their get kinds. The prices selection amongst $20.ninety nine and $fifty nine.99 per webpage. True customers, who share SuperiorPapers.

We’re intending to see what a typical essay job looks like, the framework and language and, obviously, typical problems and blunders it is best to keep away from on your way to mastering essays.

I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog.
Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

At first, you’ll get to operate with writers with the most effective essay writing techniques on the market. College or university-Paper hires native speakers completely, and each writer has an instructional diploma. So, you surely received’t have to bother with your paper’s high-quality.

Assist you by having an essay so that you have time to operate on other lessons, go to work, or commit time with Your loved ones.
The technological storage or accessibility that’s utilized solely for anonymous statistical needs. With no subpoena, voluntary compliance on the portion within your World wide web Service Company, or extra documents from a third party, info stored or retrieved for this function by itself are unable to normally be used to discover you.

For all the oldsters which are prepared to buy an essay for The 1st time, I’ll describe how much is just too low cost and simply how much is too costly. Even though you had expertise in ordering content material writing, essay writing is extremely distinct.

I actually like the entire process of getting a author and environment the Guidelines for the writer to allow them to know precisely what…

Due to the fact we’re talking about the most effective essay writer service, we are not able to skip A-Author. This enterprise absolutely has a few of the greatest authors – each and every writer has worked from the academic writing area for at least 5 years.
If you start hunting for Top-quality Papers assessments, you’ll see that this is amongst the oldest and many authoritative services in the marketplace. College students normally be expecting excellent excellent when using the services of their writers. The orders might be done by any deadline you offer. You’ll be able to look for their enable for a considerable range of topics, as outlined on their order types. The prices assortment between $20.99 and $59.99 for each webpage. True buyers, who share SuperiorPapers.

When checking your paper, you are able to remain in touch together with your author Anytime by way of our on the web chat. Moreover, they will send out you “in development” drafts from the paper upon ask for, so you’re able to Verify how every little thing is going.

Howdy excellent blog! Does running a blog such as this take a large amount of work?
I’ve very little knowledge of coding but I was
hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway,
should you have any suggestions or tips for new blog owners please
share. I understand this is off topic however I simply wanted to ask.

Totally amazing to work with. Most definately one of my favored writers to this point. Best execution :)

Ordinarily, all writing services check for plagiarism in advance of providing the completed paper to you personally, but it really depends on the plagiarism Site they use.
Writing essay assignments, case research or Paper writing involves many commitment, emphasis, and expertise. Under the force of submission, it gets hard to supply good quality function, therefore assignment writing service online is a safe area.

The best essay writing services Supply you with free of charge space to explain your expectations for your purchase. This is The key component of the Directions.

Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working
with? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most
blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.

P.S Apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

My blog: RUAY

Nevertheless, we advocate for college students to examine at least 3 critiques in advance of picking a service. It’s somebody selection but really proposed by our professionals. We’ve got quite a few assessments on our website, so Be happy to check them out.

At EssayPro, supporting customers is our toughness and passion. We delight in serving to our clientele while giving you the free time you need for work, family members, or social commitments.
Writing essay assignments, circumstance research or Paper writing needs a great deal of devotion, concentrate, and abilities. Beneath the force of submission, it receives challenging to provide high-quality do the job, consequently assignment writing service online is a safe location.

The 1st essay service on our list is Proessaywriting – The most reputable organizations remarkably appreciated by college students.

Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the
pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

We now have a 100% refund guarantee if we fall short to put in writing your assignment According to the offered Recommendations or miss the deadline. You are able to visit our stipulations site to take a look at our refund coverage.

I’ll continue to keep this brief for yourself due to the fact this works in every single endeavor: Keep the language formal, meaning no contractions (I’m, don’t, and many others.
In the event you don’t see Whatever you’re trying to find on this record, bear in mind, it’s not an exhaustive record. Search as a result of our web site to see the entire variety of essays and assignments we provide.

So there you go. I believe that the process up this issue is reasonably easy and from there most students jump correct into your deep conclusion and start to write down their essay – although not so fast!