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Why Facebook’s homophobic censorship is a good thing

Outrage has ensued over Facebook's decision to remove the above image from a group page, deeming it "offensive" and saying that it "infringed publishing rules" against posing pictures of a "delicate" or "sexual" nature.

The picture is by artist Juan Hidalgo and was being used by Milan-based Visible Culture's page. It's part of a campaign called Gay Arts Look For a Home, which attempts to raise funds for a documentary that showcases more than 1,000 pieces of artwork donated by more than 400 artists in 30 different countries. Pablo Peinado, the campaign organizer, said, "I wanted to create a small publicity campaign of the documentary that we have been preparing for eight years, then I received that email [informing of the censorship]. It refers to a prehistoric code of ethics. For Facebook, a kiss between two men must be a delicate question."

Facebook has since launched an investigation, saying the picture's removal comes down to a "technical issue." I think the social networking site owes a public apology, because someone on their team saw this picture and deemed it inappropriate. That isn't appropriate, and the employee should be punished for his or her bigotry.

As it so happens, Facebook's ignorance has been beneficial for Visible Culture. Hey, they wanted a publicity campaign, didn't they? Not exactly ideal, but more people know about their documentary now than would have if Facebook wasn't run by a bunch of a buffoons.

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