In a satirical new YouTube video, the Flemish tourism board is calling out Facebook for the site’s incessant censoring of one of Belgium’s national treasures: the baroque Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens.
An advertisement featuring Rubens’s celebrated painting The Descent from the Cross, which depicts Jesus Christ in a loincloth, is among those that Facebook has taken down in recent years.
In the satirical video, Facebook-branded security—called “fbi”—redirect unwitting crowds at the Rubens House in Antwerp away from paintings that depict nude figures. “We need to direct you away from nudity, even if artistic in nature,” says one Social Media Inspector.
According to Facebook’s policy, ads containing sexually oriented content, including artistic or educational nudes, are prohibited on the sharing platform. This excludes statues, apparently, though they did try to censor the prehistoric figurine the Venus of Willendorf earlier this year, after it was posted on the Facebook account of the Kunsthistoriches Musem in Vienna.
In March, a French court ruled that Facebook could not censor Gustave Courbet‘s painting Origin of the World after its image had been removed from the site. There was also an outcry when Facebook forced the removal of Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (1830) from an advertisement. (The social media site later apologized.) Read more