Facebook often makes confusing decisions when it comes to censoring content, banning harmless posts while allowing graphic photos and videos to remain. That happened again this week when the site took down a picture of a nude statue depicting the sea god Neptune.
Italian writer Elisa Barbari wanted to use a photo of the statue (found in Bologna, Italy) on her Facebook page. However, when she posted it, she received what appeared to be an automatic denial message from the site that deemed the pic “explicitly sexual.”
“The statue is shown from behind, not even as a close up, it’s in the distance. It’s ridiculous,” Barbari told CNN. “At first I was angry. Then I was surprised, I couldn’t understand why they don’t want to clarify. It’s absurd. In the past, I have flagged inappropriate content to Facebook myself — fake news, violence on animals… Things that really need to be censured, not art. I don’t know what to think, it’s ridiculous.”
Barbari even challenged Facebook’s ruling and received another message from the site defending its initial ban, citing advertising guidelines. However, Facebook has appeared to change its mind, and the image is now restored to Barbari’s page.
For as much as Facebook tries to clarify its censorship and privacy policies, incidents like this one only serve to further confuse users and spread distrust in the site’s judgement.