We’re living in a real-world version of Springfield. That’s the only explanation for yet another instance where Life imitates an episode of The Simpsons. In an act reminiscent of the time Springfield parents protest Michelangelo’s David because it’s a nude, Facebook has blocked a photo of an Italian Renaissance statue because it’s “explicitly sexual.” A writer in Bologna, Elisa Barbari had added a picture of a statue of Neptune to her page about the city, but the social network deemed that the image violates its rules on advertising, stating that “it presents an image with content that is explicitly sexual and which shows to an excessive degree the body, concentrating unnecessarily on body parts.”
Barbari was shocked at the ruling, she told the Telegraph, saying “I wanted to promote my page but it seems that for Facebook the statue is a sexually explicit image that shows off too much flesh. Really, Neptune? This is crazy! How can a work of art, our very own statue of Neptune, be the object of censorship?” Facebook has acknowledged the error and Barbari’s ad has now been approved. The social network has a controversial history involving naked or semi-named photos on its site. “Some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content,” reads the official comment on the policy of restricting nudity. The statue in Bologna’s Piazza del Nettuno was sculpted in the sixteenth century by Flemish artist Jean de Boulogne.