This week, Facebook’s policies on ‘banning’ images hit the headlines after the network censored a picture of a naked Vietnamese child running through a field
The image in question, The Terror of War, was famous - and won photographer Nick Ut the Pulitzer Prize - but Facebook deleted it, even when it was reposted by the Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg.
Facebook suggested that, to some, the image might seem like ‘child pornography’.
The feud rapidly became the focus for criticism of Facebook’s strange, often unfathomable policy on account bans and image bans.
Facebook’s bans occur when someone complains to the network that an image is ‘inappropriate’ - and one of the network’s moderators in Dublin, Hyderabad, Austin and Menlo Park decides if the image breaks the rules.
But the moderators often make some rather strange decisions, leading to people, for instance, being barred from the network for discussing their own harassment, or for posting a picture of a cucumber.
Facebook says, ‘Our policies can sometimes be more blunt than we would like and restrict content shared for legitimate purposes. We are always working to get better at evaluating this content and enforcing our standards.’
Here are some of the more unusual reasons people have had their posts deleted - and even had their accounts blocked.
Posting paintings of Donald Trump
A painting of Presidential candidate Donald Trump with a very, very small penis has been repeatedly removed from Facebook.
Artist Ilma Gore claims that her image has been removed from Facebook ‘numerous’ times, and she has been threatened with indefinite bans from the service.
Pictures of cucumbers
Posting pictures of cucumbers can get you banned from Facebook - or at least if they’re cut to look like a burka.
The German page Facebook-Sperre, which highlights some of the odd bans on the network, claims that a user had a post deleted for an image where a cucumber was made to look like a burka.
Details of your own harassment
A Black Lives Matter activist was banned from Facebook for 24 hours for posting details of his own harassment at the hands of racists.
Shaun King was banned after he posted an email sent to him, which included the phrase, ‘F*** you n*****!’
He was told he had violated ‘community standards’.
Pictures of people eating ice cream
The Philadelphia Museum of Art posted the 1964 painting ‘Ice Cream’ by Belgian artist Evelyne Axell to its feed - but it was removed for ‘containing excessive amounts of skin or suggestive content’.
Art - if it has female bodies in it
Parisian teacher Frederic Durand-Baissas, 57, had his Facebook account suspended for posting a painting from 1866.
He’s now suing Facebook for suspending him over Gustave Courbet’s 1866 The Origin of the World, and hoping for £15,000.
Facebook will even censor posts about children’s books, according to German site Facebook-Sperre.
A post quoting from the Swedish book Pippi Longstocking, in which she refers to her father as ‘King of the Negroes’ was removed by the network. .
Newer editions of the books remove the term.
Pictures of mermaid statues
Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue fell foul of Facebook’s censors for nudity - after Danish politician Mette Gjerskov posted a small image of the (naked) statue.
Gjerskov called the ban ‘totally ludicrous’.