Social media giant Facebook has restored an educational video about breast cancer initially banned because it believed it contains nudity, a baffled charity boss said.
Cancer Focus Northern Ireland footage shows women how to check their breasts using a plastic model and illustrates the signs and symptoms on an infographic.
It is presented by broadcaster Rebecca McKinney and launched as part of breast cancer awareness month in October.
A Facebook statement said: “Cancer Network Northern Ireland’s post was removed by mistake and has been restored to the page.
“Whilst adult nudity is not allowed on Facebook, we do make exceptions for posts which are shared for educational or medical reasons, or to raise awareness for causes such as breast cancer awareness.
“We’re sorry for the inconvenience caused.”
Roisin Foster, chief executive of Cancer Focus NI, initially said she was completely baffled by the decision from Facebook.
She said: “All we are trying to do is educate women about how to check themselves, raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and raise money for support for younger women with breast cancer.
“We know anecdotally that many women aren’t aware of all the signs of breast cancer apart from finding a lump. Nor are they sure how to check themselves or how often.”
Ms Foster said one in 10 women in Northern Ireland got breast cancer, so it was essential that these messages are spread.
“Social media is a vital part of promoting our health cancer prevention work,” she added.
When originally banning the video from the charity’s Facebook business page, Facebook said: “Some audiences are sensitive to different things when it comes to nudity.”
Ms Foster said the material was “inoffensive, tasteful and educational” and added she was perplexed at the original decision.
After the video was reinstated, she said: “It isn’t quite accurate to say that the video was removed in error as it didn’t appear on Facebook when we tried to post it and it was also turned down as a paid for advert.
“Facebook informed us that the video didn’t meet their standards.
“It’s a pity we had to go to these lengths to ensure the video was publicised.
“However, we are delighted that Facebook has seen sense, changed their mind and has posted what is a professionally made, educational and tasteful video.
“We hope that it will be widely viewed and be of real use to thousands of women.”
Ms McKinney said the video was about trying to save women’s lives.
She said: “Before getting involved in this campaign I didn’t check my breasts but I’ve since learned how crucial it is for early detection. Women need to check their breasts regularly to get to ‘know their normal’.
“This is an excellent awareness campaign as well as a fundraiser for an extremely important cause and I’m so proud to be an ambassador.”