Artworks that have been banned by Facebook
Facebook has blocked various pictures of paintings and sculptures on display in museums and public spaces — only to apologize briefly afterwards.
Liberty Leading the People
Eugene Delacroix's painting commemorating the July Revolution of 1830 was the latest victim of Facebook's arbitrary censorship regulations. The work shows a woman known in France as Marianne, the personification of Liberty, leading an insurrection with naked breasts. That led Facebook to delete a post showing the painting. Later on, the company apologized for censoring the French national icon.
The Origin of the World
The depiction of female genitalia on this painting by Gustave Courbet from 1866 was long controversial. It was not exhibited publicly until 1988. In 2011, a French teacher's Facebook account was closed down after he had posted a picture of the painting. He sued the company, but a court determined in March 2018 that Faceboook didn't need to pay damages to the plaintiff.
Venus of Willendorf
The Paleolithic sculpture "Venus of Willendorf" was censored by Facebook as well. After labeling it as "dangerously pornographic," the company apologized for its mistake later on. The 11-centimeter-high sculpture depicts a rather fat naked woman. The figurine, created some 30,000 years ago, is seen as the most important item of Vienna's Museum of Natural History.
Facebook's prudery doesn't only target depictions of females. In 2017, an Italian author tried to promote her website on stories set in Bologna with pictures of the Neptune statue located on Piazza del Nettuno. Facebook blocked the post showing the Renaissance statue, deeming the image "explicitly sexual."
The Little Mermaid
Unveiled in 1913, the bronze statue depicting a mermaid has become an icon of Copenhagen's waterside promenade. After Denmark's former minister for agriculture tried to draw attention to a blog with a picture of the sculpture, her post was deleted by Facebook. Apparently the statue had "too much bare skin or sexual undertones." The social media giant later apologized and approved the image.