Facebook was criticised this week for banning a painting by legendary artist #CharlesBlackman OBE. The image – painted in the 1950s – depicts two lesbian lovers, and shows a shadowy boob, a bottom, and an ever-so-slight hint of vagina.
The painting resurfaced after Mossgreen, a combined auction house and art gallery, shared the image on the social media site. It ended up being swiftly removed after #Facebook censors claimed that it was “advertising adult products or services”. Since then, Mossgreen has continued to post numerous images of the painting on their Facebook page as an act of protest.
“This is a very beautiful image that is not overtly sexual in any shape or form,” said Mossgreen’s chief executive, Paul Summer. “It’s like going back to the 1950s”.
Facebook went on to blame the decision on its extra strict advertising policy. “Such ads lead to negative user sentiment,” a rep told the BBC. “We have zero tolerance towards such advertisements.” When Dazed reached out to follow up on these comments, however, the site backtracked. “We have reviewed the ad again and have approved it,” a spokesperson clarified.