Facebook is under fire again for its latest instance of image policing, and this time the victim is an art historian. She was asked to take down a picture of a Renaissance era sculpture of Neptune in the nude which she had posted on her page, because of its  'explicitly sexual' content. 

Italian writer and art history enthusiast Elisa Barbari had uploaded a picture of the 16th century sculpture of Neptune, which stands in Piazza del Nettuno in Bologna, to her page 'Stories, curiosities and views of Bologna." The picture was part of her own personal collection. 

However, she was soon notified by Facebook and asked to take down the photograph. When she refused, the company emailed her, and repeated the request, claiming the picture was not compatible with Facebook's advertising policy. 

Facebook said:

"The use of images or video of nude bodies or plunging necklines is not allowed, even if the use is for artistic or educational reasons." 

Barbari, who was baffled by the censure and the following lack of clarification said that she believes art cannot be vulgar. 

She told CNN

"In the past, I have flagged inappropriate content to Facebook myself -- fake news, violence on animals... Things that really need to be censured, not art. I don't know what to think, it's ridiculous."

In protest, Barbari wrote 'Say yes to Neptune, say no to censorship' on the image and posted it again. 

Facebook had received similar backlash previously after it banned a Norwegian newspaper editor for posting an iconic picture of a naked girl from the Vietnam war. It had removed a picture of a plus-size model that was taken as part of a campaign to address oppressive beauty standards. 

Feature Image Source: Reuters