Facebook Apologises for Banning Renaissance Statue of Neptune in Bologna

A famous classical Renaissance statue of Neptune in Bologna has become the latest banning victim of Facebook’s ludicrous no nudity policy. The bronze statue is an early work by Giambologna, completed about 1567. This is not the first time Facebook has been accused of censoring pieces of classic art and photography. Last year, Facebook’s notoriously strict policy blocked an image of the Little Mermaid, Denmark’s national symbol when it was posted on the account of a well-known Danish MP. 

“It presents an image with content that is explicitly sexual” – FB

The work of art in question is located in the Italian city of Bologna, and was uploaded onto Facebook by Elisa Barbari, who explained that the picture – which depicts the sea god holding a trident – was deleted by the site. Facebook stated that it was shown to be “concentrating unnecessarily” on the human body.  “The use of the image was not approved because it violates Facebook’s guidelines on advertising,” the notice reportedly read. “It presents an image with content that is explicitly sexual and which shows to an excessive degree the body… The use of images or videos of nude bodies or plunging necklines is not allowed, even if the use is for artistic or educational reasons.”
Barbari responded by posting another photo of Neptune from behind, along with the caption: “Yes to Neptune, no to censorship.” “How can a work of art, our very own statue of Neptune, be the object of censorship?” she mused after it was removed. “Back in the 1950s, during celebrations for schoolchildren graduating, they used to cover up Neptune. Maybe Facebook would prefer the statue to be dressed again.”

Facebook has recently been criticised for its lack of control over “fake news” resulting in the election of Donald Trump! Facebook’s censoring policy has seen the banning of Gustave Courbet’s ‘Origin of the Universe’, Banksy’s “Napalm Girl” as well as a portrait of a woman eating an ice cream.

Facebook has since retracted the decision, revealing in a statement that the block was an “error”. “Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads,” they said. “This image does not violate our ad policies.”
Fontana del Nettuno – Foto Giovanni Dall’Orto Courtesy Wikipedia 

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