UNITED STATES—Facebook and Instagram users on Monday, November 4 discovered that the social media platforms banned the peach and eggplant emoji when used as a sexual expression. 

The social media platforms updated their community standards language regarding what sexual expression referred to and whether it was allowed or not back in July, but it did not go into effect until September. 

Under the social media platforms, pairing either the peach or eggplant emoji with an expression of “being horny” could technically qualify as “sexual solicitation,” which can lead to the individual’s account being flagged or banned. If the emojis are paired with “nudes,” as in nude pictures, or any sex chat conversation such as asking for a sexual partner, a consumer could find their account deleted. This could be due to the rise in spam accounts who message a large number of random accounts asking for sex or attempting to gain more customers for their adult sites. 

Facebook has the following community rules and guidelines posted on their website for all users to see:

“Do not post:

Attempted coordination of or recruitment for adult sexual activities, including but not limited to:

Filmed sexual activities

Pornographic activities, strip club shows, live sex performances, erotic dances

Sexual, erotic, or tantric massages

Explicit sexual solicitation by, including but not limited to the following, offering or asking for:

Sex or sexual partners

Sex chat or conversations

Nude photos/videos/imagery

Content that meets both of the following criteria:

Criteria 1: Offer or Ask 

Content implicitly or indirectly* (typically through providing a method of contact) offers or asks for: 

Nude imagery, or

Sex or sexual partners, or

Sex chat conversations

Criteria 2: Suggestive Elements 

Content makes the aforementioned offer or ask using one of the following sexually suggestive elements: 

Contextually specific and commonly sexual emojis or emoji strings, or

Regional sexualized slang, or

Mentions or depictions of sexual activity (including hand drawn, digital, or real world art) such as: sexual roles, sex positions, fetish scenarios, state of arousal, act of sexual intercourse or activity (sexual penetration or self-pleasuring), or

Imagery of real individuals with nudity covered by human parts, objects, or digital obstruction, including long shots of fully nude butts

Content must meet Criteria 1 (offer or ask) and be implicitly or indirectly offering or asking for sexual solicitation in order to be deemed violating.

For example, if content is a hand-drawn image depicting sexual activity but does not ask or offer sexual solicitation, it is not violating.

An offer or ask for pornographic material (including, but not limited to, sharing of links to external pornographic websites)

Sexually explicit language that goes into graphic detail beyond mere reference to:

A state of sexual arousal (wetness or erection) or

An act of sexual intercourse (sexual penetration, self-pleasuring or exercising fetish scenarios).”