You’re walking down the city streets or sitting through a Hulu commercial and witnessing ads for condoms or erectile dysfunction solutions – it’s no big deal, this isn’t new. However, urinary tract infections and menopause solutions are nowhere in sight, like they’re deemed taboo. Is men’s health more important than the health of other genders? We know about ED but not vaginal dryness – what gives?
The Center for Intimacy Justice is a nonprofit committed to equity and well-being in people’s intimate lives. In January 2022, CIJ published a report outlining Meta’s (formerly Instagram and Facebook) censorship of health ads for women and people of diverse genders. Actively censoring people’s right to health information eliminates resources and directly harms those who would benefit.
Meta rejected 100% of ads
The study conducted by CIJ surveyed 60 businesses serving women’s and other genders’ health. According to the report, Meta rejected ads from 100% of the businesses' ad accounts. Additionally, they suspended 30 entire ad accounts. Complex Creatures witnessed Meta’s unwarranted restrictions first-hand. Get this: Hims can advertise how to “Get Hard,” but we can’t advertise products promoting breast awareness. The “questionable” ads covered products, services, and education for a range of issues including UTIs, breast pumps, menopause, postpartum clothing, pelvic pain, pregnancy, endometriosis, fertility, sexual consent, and sexual pleasure.
Banning content which abides by Meta's guidelines obstructs our ability to access information vital to our health and wellbeing.
Like many of the businesses CIJ analyzed, Complex Creatures posts and products serve to inform, support, and optimize people’s health and their relationships with their bodies. Understanding and caring for breasts goes well beyond mammograms. Caring for your breasts can include so many things as simple as body connection and awareness, reducing PMS-related soreness and swelling, lymphatic drainage and more.
Breast health is essential to overall health. But how can we promote awareness without a fair platform?
Censoring Access to Care
We know Meta’s discriminatory policies limit essential information for women and diverse genders, but this limitation’s reach extends further. It feeds inequality and injustice while denigrating our well-being. Additionally, it fosters an unfair market - limiting jobs by limiting growth, technological advancement, and funding.
In mid-July, CIJ announced they filed a legal complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This complaint asked the FTC to act to change Meta’s oppression against sexual and reproductive health ads for women and underrepresented genders. Senators Mazie Hirono, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Peter Welch, and Representative Schiff also sent a public letter to the FTC to echo and support the CIJ.
We’re complex creatures who deserve to know and access information beneficial to our wellbeing—like how men deserve to know how to “get hard,” right?
You can make a difference. Tell Meta and the FTC to #StopCensoringSexualHealth! Sign the petition today.