Facebook apologizes after museum complains nude statues were censored

Facebook apologizes after museum complains nude statues were censored
© Facebook/Art and History Museum, Geneva

Facebook apologized to a Geneva, Switzerland, museum after a post featuring nude statues in an exhibit was censored.

“We recently created space in our advertising policies to allow museums to more easily promote their exhibits and continue to improve on how we enforce this policy," a spokesperson from Facebook told The Hill Tuesday.

"The ad was inadvertently rejected, has since been overturned, and we have apologized to the museum," Facebook said.

The Museum of Art and History tweeted Friday that it had tried to post pictures of two statues from its “Caesar and the Rhone” exhibit as an ad, but that Facebook had “prevented us from it, because of their nudity.”

“Maybe it’s time that this platform changes its policy for museums and cultural institutions?” it added.

Museum spokesperson Sylvie Treglia-Detraz told The Associated Press that when they first tried to post the pictures there was a Facebook response saying, “We don’t allow ads that depict nudity, even if it isn’t sexual in nature. This includes the use of nudity for artistic or educational purposes.”

On the social media giant's community standards the company says it also allows "photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures."

Facebook's restrictions on art with nudity have sparked protest from museums before.

Belgian art museums sent a letter to Facebook asking the company to allow the art of Peter Paul Rubens, who frequently painted nudes, to be allowed on the website, according to the AP. This was in July 2018, before Facebook updated its nudity policy.

The previous rule banned “nudity or implied nudity, even if artistic or educational in nature.”

Facebook also reversed its decision in 2016 to remove a famous Vietnam War photograph of a naked girl, Phan Thi Kim Phuc, running away after a napalm attack.