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'NSFW': Ontario woman not the first to be banned from Facebook for racy pics, comments

Last Updated Mar 20, 2017 at 7:42 pm EST

This article contains images and content that might be considered not safe for work (NSFW).

An Ontario photographer has been banned from Facebook for posting semi-nude photos of women of diverse shapes and sizes which prompted hundreds of body shaming comments.

Julia Busato told CityNews she allowed women to tell their own stories through a series of photographs. All of them posed behind translucent mannequins. Busato says she was surprised and disheartened by the response from online trolls.

“It breaks my heart,” she told CityNews. “I don’t understand how one human can say something so negative to another human being that they don’t even know. They don’t know what these women go through on a day-to-day basis and trolls and haters are telling them they are unhealthy and are going to die.”

Those same commenters also flagged the images to Facebook, resulting in four of the photographs being removed from her account, despite the fact that they didn’t include full nudity. Busato has also been banned from Facebook for one month. Her page hasn’t been taken down, but she can’t post or reply until the ban is lifted.

Despite the hateful comments and body shaming, Busato is focusing on the positive.

“Every single model has told me that the positivity and the support and the love they are getting online outweighs anything they are hearing negatively.”

While some photos from the series can still be seen, other images are still missing.

Busato is not the first user to be censored by social media sites over allegedly offensive or racy photos.

In October 2013, Canadian artist and fashion photographer Petra Collins’ Instagram account was deleted entirely due to a single photo featuring her lower body in a bathing suit with an unshaven bikini line, CBC reported. The artist addressed the issue in a powerful essay addressing society’s standards of “femininity” that appeared in The Huffington Post and her own Facebook page. Her account was eventually restored.

In May of 2014, singer-songwriter Meghan Tonjes had a photo removed from Instagram for violating their mature content rule, E! News reported.The singer protested the ban, saying the photo was tame compared to many others on the site. She claimed the photo was flagged because of her size, not the amount of skin she was flaunting. Instagram eventually restored the photo and sent Tonjes an apology.

Booty appreciation. #honormycurves #effyourbeautystandards

A post shared by Meghan Tonjes (@meghantonjes) on


In September 2016, high-profile photographer Harley Weir’s Instagram account was deactivated for five days for nude images depicting menstrual blood. According to The Independent, the photos were part of a shoot for i-D magazine, with breasts and genitals pixelated on Instagram, but streaks of menstrual blood clearly visible. Her account did not in fact violate Instagram rules and she was issued an apology for the error by the site.

Important picture #venus #codered

A post shared by HARLEY (@harleyweir) on

In February of this year Plymouth University student Emma Dyason received an email from Facebook threatening to close her account over nude photos, according to Metro.co.uk. The offending photographs show women with taped nipples, holding scrap pieces of cardboard featuring some of Trump’s infamous sexist quotes. Dyason says they were a feminist protest aimed to empower women. Facebook eventually restored her account and the banned photos.

Earlier this month, The Telegraph reported that a nude painting by acclaimed artist Charles Blackman was censored by Facebook, despite photos of art and sculptures being excluded from their nudity policy. The painting was up for auction by Australian auction house Mosgreen and Facebook stopped them from advertising a video featuring the oil painting ‘Women Lovers’. According to Facebook “The advert wasn’t boosted because it violates ad guidelines by advertising adult products or services including toys, videos or sexualising enhancement products.” A spokesperson for Facebook said the ad was reviewed again and approved thereafter.