Playboy latest to delete Facebook amid data fallout

Tiago Ramos Alfaro
Bloomberg News

Playboy announced its intention to deactivate its Facebook accounts and leave the social network amid escalating concerns about the platform’s mismanagement of user data.

The publisher said the decision follows the difficulty it has felt for years to express its "values" on Facebook, due to the platform’s policy on prohibiting nudity.

“There are more than 25 million fans who engage with Playboy via our various Facebook pages and we do not want to be complicit in exposing them to the reported practices,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.

In a Twitter post announcing the decision to step away from Facebook, Chief Creative Officer Cooper Hefner also described the world’s largest social-media platform as “sexually repressive.”

Playboy follows other users and companies joining the wider #DeleteFacebook movement – Billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. have scrapped their accounts. WhatsApp founder Brian Acton tweeted the hashtag on March 20. Facebook has owned WhatsApp since 2014.

Playboy did not say whether it would also deactivate any profiles it operates on Instagram, which is also owned by Facebook.

The social-media giant has a detailed policy on nudes, published on its community standards support website. Banned images include photographs of people displaying genitals or bare buttocks.

Facebook says that is “always working to get better at evaluating this content and enforcing our standards” and it reserves the right to remove any content.

In 2015, Playboy announced it would scrap the publication of fully-nude photography – a decision Hefner reversed in 2017.