The Washington Post

NEW YORKER CARTOONS: Facebook does a ‘180’ on ’Nipplegate’

IN THE EYES of Facebook, The New Yorker had apparently sinned.

According to Robert Mankoff, the magazine’s cartoon editor, The New Yorker was “temporarily banned” from Facebook over a Mick Stevens cartoon posted on the New Yorker’s Facebook page.

The Stevens cartoon depicts the Garden of Eden, with Eve saying to Adam beneath the Tree: “Well, it was original.”

Mankoff says the cartoon didn’t meet Facebook’s guidelines and “community standards” because Cartoon Eve is topless. The guidelines, the editor says, state that “naked 'private parts' including female nipple bulges” are forbidden.

Mankoff blogged about Monday’s decision, which spurred disbelief and derision from some quarters.

“When something is as ridiculous as the misguided Facebook guidelines,  the most effective remedy is ridicule,” Mankoff tells Comic Riffs. “Huge organizations such as Facebook are deaf to argumentation but derisive laughter makes their ears perk up.”

After those hours of derision, Mankoff says he’s satisfied: The cartoon is now viewable and the New Yorker is un-banned, and Facebook reportedly apologized for suspending the magazine’s account.

“It seems to have worked in this case,” Mankoff tells us, “because Facebook has restored the content.”

Or, in the case of the New Yorker's sin: The worm has turned.


(MICK STEVENS / courtesy of The New Yorker)

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.

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