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.
"While that has challenged our business objectives and the ability to reach our audience in an authentic way, the recent news about Facebook's alleged mismanagement of users' data has solidified our decision to suspend our activity on the platform at this time," the company said in a statement Wednesday. "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."
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."
We are stepping away from Facebook pic.twitter.com/4yFIdk2eDE— Cooper Hefner (@cooperhefner) March 28, 2018
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 (although Musk himself still has a page). 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.
-- Bloomberg News