Facebook Accused of Cultural Censorship by Tourism Board

By Kehl Bayern / August 12, 2018

Facebook can’t seem to catch a break.

And sometimes it seems to just fall into the mess of its own accord.

From fostering hate groups and fakes news to promoting the misuse of personal data, the social media titan has struggled to navigate the new waters it finds itself in as its amazing growth and incredible reach have finally woken the dragon of regulation and kindled the fires of public outcry.

Image via Una Laurencic from Pexels.com.

So you can’t blame them if they’re a little paranoid about what’s being shown on their service these days.

Except for when it comes to outright censorship that makes no sense at all. While Facebook is happy to show you videos of kittens getting tossed into a river or someone telling you about the latest conspiracy theory, the service balks when it comes to things like breastfeeding and, in this case, Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens.

You might be asking yourself why on Earth Facebook would be deleting his work but, apparently, they trigger the service’s “indecent” flag which marks them for deletion. This became a problem for a Belgian tourist board Toerisme Vlaanderen who were promoting Rubens work.

They wrote to the social network: “The bare breasts and buttocks painted by our artist are considered by (Facebook) to be inappropriate. Even though we secretly have to laugh about it, your cultural censorship is making life difficult for us… If Peter Paul Rubens had created a Facebook account in his lifetime, he would have had an extraordinary number of people following his fan page.”

The group has even taken it a bit further and filmed a spoof mocking Facebook’s puritanical standards, telling museum-goers that if they are Facebook users they must be protected from “nudity even if artistic in nature, including paintings that feature individual body parts such as abs, buttocks or cleavage.”

Of course, this has greater implications for photography and art in general – it seems that violence and hate is AOK, but I wonder what they make of Lady Justice?

Give us your thoughts in the comments below


About the author

Kehl Bayern

Kehl Bayern is our staff news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. In terms of photography, he is interested in architecture and modern design. Kehl Bayern is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. He is based in Boston, Massachusetts and studied politics at the University of Virginia and, later, Harvard University for graduate school. He spends much of his time traveling up and down the east coast of the United States. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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