Page 3 of the Sun is somewhat of an institution in the UK. It features a large picture of a topless lady along with a somewhat trite caption about political events ("Nicole, 22, from Essex thinks that the announced reductions in the armed forces are a concerning matter"). It's been the launching pad for a number of glamor models and, perhaps most notably, tabloid, gossip magazine and reality TV show fodder Katie Price/Jordan.
Fairly obviously having a topless model on the third page of the countries biggest selling newspaper causes a fair amount of controversy and there's been a long running and well publicized campaign to end it. It appeared that they were going to get their way; over the last couple of days Page 3 had used bikini shots rather than topless ones and the rumor mill was going crazy talking about how Page 3 was over. Campaigners and politicians gave interviews talking about it etc etc.Turn out the Sun was, to use internet parlance, simply trolling everyone.
I actually have a serious point to add to this.
If your concern about Page 3 was "nipples!" then sure, replacing the traditional Page 3 topless model with a bikini one is a victory. But if your concern about Page 3 had more depth than objecting to nipples being on display, if your objection was how it objectified women and treated them as something to ogle and fantasize about or if your objection was that the trite caption gained humor because the implication was was "Nicole, 22, from Essex" didn't think whatever the caption said it did, then how is it replacing the topless model with a bikini one can be seen as a victory (as many did when it seemed to be the case)? There's little difference between a sexualised picture of a woman in a bikini and a sexualised topless model outside of a think bit of material. The overall tone and message are the same. If your concern about Page 3 went further than "nipples!" then anything outside of removing the sexualised image of a woman from the page entirely isn't a victory.
(I'd also note that the images of Page 3 are frequently less
sexualised then those featuring clothed models. To give an example compare the (NSFW) Page 3 picture that heralds the return of the feature
to say this shot from FHM
. The topless Sun shot features a girl grinning in a non-sexual way and winking at the camera... the only obviosuly sexual aspect of it is the fact she's topless. The FHM shot features Elisha Cuthbert looking at the camera in a pretty obviously seductive way with soft eyes, arching her back against a wall and pulling and twisting the thin top she had over her bikini in a pretty obviously sexual way. I'm pretty sure I know which image I feel is more sexualised)
Let's stop the war on nipples shall we? From both sides of a political divide.