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Facebook blocks mermaid photo, says it has ‘sexual undertones’

tech Updated: Jan 05, 2016 14:36 IST

The bronze statue "The Little Mermaid" is seen at the harbour in Copenhagen on October 9, 2015.(AFP)

A Danish member of parliament, who tried to share a photo of Copenhagen’s iconic Little Mermaid statue on Facebook, received a rejection notification saying it could not be published because of rules on nudity, a BBC report said.

The rejection message shared by MP Mette Gjerskov on Facebook, which has now gone viral, says, “The image contained too much bare skin or sexual undertones”.

Facebook also added that the rules applied for images which have ‘artistic or educational’ purpose. However, it later relented and approved the image.

The social media giant had clarified its stand on nudity and its community standards in general on March 15, 2015.

“We remove photographs of people displaying genitals or focusing in on fully exposed buttocks. We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures and other art that depicts nude figures,” it had said.

Facebook said that its harsh stand “can sometimes be more blunt than we would like and restrict content shared for legitimate purposes”. But from time to time it has encountered problems over legitimate posts.

In 2012, a leaked guidelines document revealed that the company had asked its moderators to ban images of breastfeeding mothers if their nipples were exposed.

According to the BBC, Facebook had earlier rejected a Danish tourism organisation from posting an image of CW Eckersberg’s 1841 painting, Woman Standing in Front of a Mirror, later admitting that the decision over the famous nude work was an “error”.