Facebook has updated one of its policies and this one bans the use of sexual emojis. Of course, there are no emojis in the standard collection that explicitly represents sexual activity. The thing is, some of these emojis are used by social media users to represent sexual activity.
For example, the water drip, the eggplant, and the peach emojis are the most used emojis in sexual representations on social media.
Well, Facebook’s Sexual Solicitation Community Standards policy, which is aimed at sex workers who use the platforms to sell their services, has banned or limited the use of these two food emojis and the water drip. The new policy also bans a couple of other things: any forms of mentions or depictions of sexual activity; offering or asking for sex-related content, even indirectly, etc.
But there is also a twist in one of the rules which includes hand-drawn depictions. Facebook says if the content is “a hand-drawn image depicting sexual activity but does not ask or offer sexual solicitation”, then it is not violating the policy.
But not only imagery depictions are banned. According to Facebook, “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.”
The banned emojis: eggplant, peach, and water drip will still be allowed to be used in captions. But that’s it. They can’t be used in a manner that suggests or asks for anything sexual. Confusing, right? The advice is, users will have to go read the new policy themselves to make sure they don’t break the rules.
The company has explained why it brought these new rules. From the policy page, Facebook said: “People use Facebook to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. We recognise the importance of and want to allow for this discussion. We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters between adults.”
Note that the new policy extends to Instagram as well.
On the fun side of the whole thing, people are actually making fun of the policy. Some say the banning of the eggplant and peach is going to help the “banana, carrot, hotdog, taco, & donut emoji to finally make their debut”, as they can also be used in sexual insinuations.