Facebook has rejected an advert using art featured in a forthcoming Eden project exhibition on the basis that it is “overly sexual”.
The company refused to promote artist Rebecca Harris’s page saying that the image she had chosen (above) violated their advertising guidelines by including “adult products or services, including toys, videos, or sexual enhancement products”.
"I'm still in shock about it. I really don't even have words. It's been about two hours now," Ms Harris told i100.co.uk "It's the least sexual thing... it's just the form of the body".
‘Symbiosis’, a life-size embroidered textile wall hanging, was commissioned for ‘Invisible You: The Human Microbiome’ which opens at the Eden project in May. Ms Harris had been collaborating on the piece with a professor of microbiology from UCL.
After asking the company why they rejected her art, Ms Harris was told: “Your ad was rejected because the image doesn't follow our ad guidelines. Ads may not use overly sexual images, suggest nudity, show a lot of skin or cleavage, or focus unnecessarily on specific body parts. This is also applicable to the images present on your Pages.”
Ms Harris said she had been interested in paying "around £7 per day" for the ads to boost her Facebook page’s likes, and mocked-up this version of the art on Page 3 to express her frustration.
An Eden Project spokesperson said: “Rebecca's work is set to be part of the Eden Project's new exhibition, Invisible You: The Human Microbiome, which will be launched at Eden on May 22, and showcases the fascinating world of the beneficial microbes that live in and on our bodies. We are pleased that Rebecca's striking, thought-provoking work is due to be part of Invisible You exhibition and we’re glad that it is sparking debate already.”
A spokesperson for Facebook said they didn't comment on individual cases.