Facebook censors images of Rubens nude paintings

Jul 25, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Facebook censors images of Rubens nude paintings

Jul 25, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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It’s nothing new that Facebook censors nude photos, but now it turns out that even classical works of art aren’t spared from the social network’s policy. Works of 16th-century painter Peter Paul Rubens have been removed from Facebook after the Belgian region of Flanders shared them in a social media advertising campaign. As a response, Toerisme Vlaanderen, the Flemish tourism bureau wrote a rather humorous open letter to Mark Zuckerberg. They have even published a comical video that mocks the “21st century social media regulations.”

YouTube video

The Facebook campaign in question is a part of a project for that showcases works by Flemish artists. However, all the images were removed from the platform because they were, apparently, violating the nudity regulations. In the open letter, Toerisme Vlaanderen retains a good sense of humor, but still points out to the problem:

“Breasts, buttocks and Peter Paul Rubens’ Cherubs are all considered indecent. Not by us, but by you. Even though we secretly have to laugh about it, your cultural censorship is making life rather difficult for us.”

According to Brussels Times, The Flemish Office has drawn up a plan for 2018-2020. The goal is to promote the works of Flemish painters from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, such as Rubens, Bruegel, Van Eyck and others. However, Toerisme Vlaanderen CEO Peter De Wilde says that Facebook is making it impossible to promote Flemish unique cultural heritage.

Met een ludiek filmpje én een open brief stelt Toerisme Vlaanderen samen met een netwerk van musea en culturele…

Posted by Toerisme Vlaanderen on Saturday, July 21, 2018

This is not the first time Facebook has censored photos of a work of art. But its policy reads that “photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures” are allowed on the platform. Still, despite the policy, the open letter and the video, it looks like the images of Rubens paintings have still not been brought back to the platform. I guess painted cherubs’ buttocks and female boobs are just too hardcore for Facebook.

[via Artsy, Brussels Times]

 

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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25 responses to “Facebook censors images of Rubens nude paintings”

  1. Youri J. Soloviov Avatar
    Youri J. Soloviov

    Rhabillons-les !

  2. Motti Bembaron Avatar
    Motti Bembaron

    Can’s say I am surprised. Show beheading, people thrown from roofs and such but NEVER show nipples God forbid.

  3. Andrew McCann Avatar
    Andrew McCann

    Why do organizations like Facebook employ people to censor material who have little of no understanding of art and the meaning that this type of painting portray. All they are doing is to deny our children the opportunity to see and understand the beauty of these treasures

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      I think it’s mostly AI these days.

  4. Brenda Jamieson Avatar
    Brenda Jamieson

    What a farce, I have reported worse than this and they did nothing.

    1. Darrell Larose Avatar
      Darrell Larose

      I reported a beheading by a drug cartel, and FB replied it didn’t go against their “community standards”

  5. g_disqus Avatar
    g_disqus

    Americans…

    1. timothyf7 Avatar
      timothyf7

      No… one person – Zuck!

      1. g_disqus Avatar
        g_disqus

        It is very good.

    2. Sean Avatar
      Sean

      No-Americans. Jessh.

  6. Olaf Hansen Avatar
    Olaf Hansen

    Facebook is a US company, what else do you expect? You may post hate or gloryfy Hitler, but an uncovered breast? Hell, no!

    1. Sean Avatar
      Sean

      Please, FB is a global entity. Don’t talk while your EU dictators forcing GPRD down the worlds throats.

  7. cameradoll Avatar
    cameradoll

    Notice the male nipples aren’t censored. America needs to get over it’s fear of the female nipple.

    1. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Zuck made the decision, not the American people. :)

      1. cameradoll Avatar
        cameradoll

        It’s a common issue in America :)

        1. Motti Bembaron Avatar
          Motti Bembaron

          Absolutely agree! It is a common issue in America

        2. Kaouthia Avatar
          Kaouthia

          Twitter’s American. You can post nudity on there just fine.

          1. cameradoll Avatar
            cameradoll

            If it is marked as sensitive material..that isn’t exactly an open playing field.

          2. Kaouthia Avatar
            Kaouthia

            Well, you can always start up your own social networking platform. :)

    2. Sean Avatar
      Sean

      So, Zuck represents all of America, while Hitler must have represented all of Europe?

  8. Charles Archer Avatar
    Charles Archer

    Violating their own terms of service.

  9. Δημητρης Πλαστηρας Avatar
    Δημητρης Πλαστηρας

    That’s why algorithms are just bias written in code

  10. Dan Levy Avatar
    Dan Levy

    And the FB marketplace can sell crack pipes

    1. Sean Avatar
      Sean

      apples/oranges

  11. Sean Avatar
    Sean

    Stop with the “Americans” crap. This is not an “American” policy (unlike the EU GDPR bullcrap, it’s the decision of a COMPANY and most likely a NON-HUMAN algorithm. There are other paintings on FB with nudity that are censored, but people tend to gravitate toward the anomaly and not the norm. That’s what sells papers.