World of Sport

Women’s rowing club banned from Facebook for ‘pornographic’ charity calendar

World of Sport


Sometimes good deeds are not rewarded. Indeed, sometimes they are punished.

The women's rowing team at Warwick University produced a nude calendar in the name of raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support but the response was far from what they had hoped for.

As a result of producing the calendar, which sold 1,500 copies and raised a very impressive £3,400 for the cancer charity, their rowing club were banned from Facebook.

The reason? The calendar, instead of being regarded as an admirable and brave attempt to raise money, was interpreted as pornography.

The 17 members of the group posed naked in their boat house and while in action along the River Avon and posted pictures on both Facebook and Twitter in a bid to drum up support.

But the girls were hit by a less than supportive response after Facebook stripped them of their page 'Warwick Rowing's Women's Naked Calendar'.

The rowers were told off for the 'explicitly sexual content' of their page and were told that they were in breach of the social media site's 'nudity and pornography' policy.

Organiser Sophie Bell responded angrily, saying: "Facebook can unpublish pages after it gives you a warning to make amendments.

"That happened to us a couple of times over the last year where they would ask us to remove certain pictures randomly because they breached their nudity and porn regulations.

"We always made the amendments and took the pictures down - even though they were no racier than the others - but a few days ago they emailed and said the page was being completely removed."

The 20-year-old added: "They say it is because of nudity but we are not violating any of their terms and all the pictures we post are not indecent images or inappropriate.

"It is awful for us because we had over 2,000 likes which provides us with a large platform for reaching out to our target market.


"We are students so we don’t have a marketing budget so we do use social media as the main way of marketing it.

"To have this page unfairly taken away is going to affect our sales for the 2015 calendar and decrease the amount we can make for charity.

"There are loads of similar nude charity calendars who have Facebook pages plastered across the site - why aren’t they being asked to takes theirs down too?

"The Facebook account for the male rower’s charity calendar hasn’t been deleted and their page is the same as ours. It is borderline sexism."

The rowers raised £600 for Macmillan Cancer Support with their first calendar in 2013 and have already shot the 2015 version, which will go on sale at the end of October this year.

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