The Flemish tourism board is poking fun of Facebook's anti-nudity policy after classic works of art that appeared on a tourism ad were reportedly censored by the social network.
Facebook removed several ads with images of Peter Paul Rubens paintings featuring nude parts of women, cherubs and Christ wearing a loincloth in his The Descent from the Cross, reported Artsy on Monday. The social media ad campaign reportedly aimed to showcase works by Flemish artists for the Belgian region of Flanders.
In response, the Flemish tourism board made a satirical video showing Flemish museum guards removing visitors from the gallery in order to protect them from nudity. Multiple museums have also reportedly signed a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking him to reconsider his nudity policy for artworks on the social media platform.
Facebook has specific community standards that entail what you can post and what you can't post. Nudity is a no-no, but contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding photos are allowed. Facebook has faced criticism before for censoring historically significant images. In 2016, the company deleted a Pulitzer-winning photo of a naked 9-year-old girl fleeing after a napalm attack, which was posted by Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg. As a result, Facebook apologized to Solberg.
"At the moment, we're looking for a date suitable for both parties. We'll invite [Facebook] for an informal meeting in one of our beautiful museums in Antwerp or Brussels," said Marcos Stupenengo, spokesman for the Flemish tourism board, in an email statement. "Art brings people together. Social media brings people together, and our Flemish Masters too."
Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
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