LONDON - The quintessentially British holiday scene of a Christmas card featuring a robin redbreast in the snow was blocked from sale by Facebook after it was deemed too risqué.
Jackie Charley, the artist behind the picture, posted the image — as well as others of a squirrel and a stag — on her Facebook page late last month along with the description “making history.”
"Hilariously, Facebook has blocked my Christmas cards from becoming a product in my shop due to their shameful, sexual nature! 😂" she wrote.
"It looks like we didn't approve your item because we don't allow the sale of adult items or services (e.g. sexual enhancement items or adult videos).
“Please judge for yourself! 😉 (Can't stop laughing!) And if you'd like a pack of six at £5.99 plus postage and packaging let me know.”
Facebook blocked the image of the red and orange-chested bird when Charley tried to upload it to her crafts page, the Guardian reported.
The 52-year-old artist, who lives in Scotland, said: “There’s obviously nothing in the images themselves which is inappropriate,” the Guardian said. “Similarly, there were no ‘trigger’ words used in the cards’ descriptions that I’m aware of. For instance, the robin card was simply called ‘Robin’, not ‘Robin Redbreast’ as some people have wondered.”
The ban was lifted after the incident garnered media attention.
In a statement, Facebook said: “Our team processes millions of images each week, and occasionally we incorrectly prohibit content, as happened here. We approved Jackie’s post as soon as we became aware of our mistake, and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.”
It wasn't the first time Facebook blocked an image under controversial circumstances.
A photo of a 16th-century statue of Neptune, the Roman god of the sea, naked and holding a trident in the Piazza del Nettuno in the Italian city of Bologna was blocked for being “sexually explicit” earlier this year when writer Elisa Barberi tried to post it on her Facebook page, according to media reports.
Last year, the social network reinstated the iconic, "Napalm Girl" photo of a naked screaming girl fleeing a chemical attack during the Vietnam War after the editor of a Norwegian newspaper wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg, accusing him of "abusing your power" by removing it.
“After hearing from our community, we looked again at how our Community Standards were applied in this case. An image of a naked child would normally be presumed to violate our Community Standards, and in some countries might even qualify as child pornography. In this case, we recognize the history and global importance of this image in documenting a particular moment in time," Facebook said in a statement.
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