The already struggling Facebook’s algorithm is once again being criticised after it recently blocked a ‘nude’ photo of the Neptune statue, claiming it as a ‘sexually explicit’ photo, which violates guide lines.
Facebook blocked a photo of a Neptune statue, which shows a naked Neptune, holding a trident. The statue stands in the Piazza del Nettuno in the Italian city of Bologna. The photograph was used by a local writer, named Elisa Barbari, to illustrate her Facebook page “Stories, curiosities and views of Bologna.”
“I wanted to promote my page but it seems that for Facebook the statue is a sexually explicit image that shows off too much flesh. Really, Neptune? This is crazy!” Barbari told The Telegraph.
Facebook replied to her, stating, “The use of the image was not approved because it violates Facebook’s guide lines on advertising. It presents an image with content that is explicitly sexual and which shows to an excessive degree the body, concentrating unnecessarily on body parts. The use of images or video of nude bodies or plunging necklines is not allowed, even if the use is for artistic or educational reasons."
In response, Barbari wrote on Facebook, “Back in the 1950s, during celebrations for school children graduating, they used to cover up Neptune. Maybe Facebook would prefer the statue to be dressed again. How can a work of art, our very own statue of Neptune, be the object of censorship?”
Later in a statement reported by The Guardian, a Facebook spokesperson said that the censorship was a ‘mistake’. She said, “Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies. We apologise for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad.”