The Sun
Copies of The Sun newspaper are seen on a newsstand outside a shop in central London Jan. 20, 2015. Britain's The Sun tabloid, the country's best-selling newspaper, has decided to quietly stop publishing photographs of topless models on page three, ending a contested 44-year-old tradition of the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, The Times reported on Tuesday. Reuters/Toby Melville

British tabloid, The Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has stopped publishing photographs of topless models on its “Page 3,” a tradition that had endured for nearly 44 years, The Times reported Tuesday. The tabloid had taken flak over the years for its use of the photos.

The tabloid gave no official confirmation, but The Times, also a part of News Corp, stated that last Friday's printed edition of The Sun would be the final one to carry the photograph of a topless woman. It would be the last to “carry an image of a glamour model with bare breasts on that page," The Times reported.

The Sun resisted bringing a change to the trend that began in 1970 fearing it could hurt sales even as feminists slammed the paper for its use of the images, saying it degraded and objectified women, according to Reuters.

A source told The Times that the photos of topless women, dubbed “page-three girls,” would continue to appear on the paper’s website.

In September 2014, Murdoch called the tradition "outdated," but added that “readers seem to disagree.”

In 2012, an online petition was launched against the tabloid, urging the paper's editor to "stop conditioning your readers to view women as sex objects." Lucy Holmes’s “No More Page 3” campaign received more than 217,000 signatures.

On Monday night, the campaign organizer wrote on Twitter: “This could be a huge step for challenging media sexism. And we are so incredibly grateful to all of you who stood up and said No More Page 3.”