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Facebook really, really doesn't want you to see this image

Posted by Dina Rickman in tech

Two weeks ago i100.co.uk reported on one artist’s struggle to get a Facebook ad published. The company had rejected the below image by Rebecca Harris on the grounds it was "overly sexual".

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The image is of a piece titled ‘Symbiosis’, a life-size embroidered textile wall hanging that was commissioned for ‘Invisible You: The Human Microbiome’, an exhibition opening at the Eden project in May. Ms Harris collaborated on the piece with a professor of microbiology from UCL.

Since our report Ms Harris has corresponded further with Facebook in an attempt to get the advert published, without any joy. She was told the image "implies nudity from the woman's bare chest through the contour map" - so she adapted it.

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Ms Harris got this response from the company:

Thank you for the new image. Unfortunately, even having the "censored" black bar over the top implies nudity to the user. In the spirit of the policy we do not allow this either. I would suggest using a different type of image to run with your ad campaign. I apologise for the confusion.

  • Facebook in an email seen by i100.co.uk

Ms Harris said the latest developments in the case were "beyond crazy" and almost "Kafkaesque", telling i100.co.uk: "It feels like I'm in a Kafkaesque circus and Facebook have the last oppressive say in what is shown in the Big Tent."

Last time we went to Facebook with the story, the company said it did not comment on specific cases. We've contacted Facebook again in case there is any update.


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