We all know that Facebook is a huge prude, but censoring photos of nude statues from the Louvre? That seems about as draconian as the Russian politican who demanded the removal of a naked Apollo statue from this banknote. Are we all that afraid of one or two marble penises?
German fashion photographer and Dazed contributor Peter Kaaden fell foul of Facebook's ban on nudity after posting a picture of a naked sculpture from his visit to the Louvre. Within three minutes, the eagle-eyed censor droogs at Facebook had taken down the offending image. In response to the social network's no-nudes policy, Kaaden has created safe-for-work versions of artworks in the Louvre, blurring out the offensive dirty bits for the benefit of Facebook.
"It's the Louvre and Facebook is censoring probably the most important art on this planet," he tells us. "That's why I decided to create my first non-100% photography series and make the Louvre Facebook-friendly in 2014. I think it's important to show how Facebook is working – it doesn't make sense for somebody to decide what the difference is between porn, nudity and art."
"I understand the rules of Facebook, but I think there has to be more than just one person who says no to nipples, vaginas and penises," Kaaden says. "There are horrible things on Facebook that don't get deleted because they don’t show these simple things."
Strangely, Facebook's community standards page implies that they do allow images of art. It reads: "We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo's David or family photos of a child breastfeeding." Clearly, they don't walk the talk.
"It's the Louvre," Kaaden says. "It's the most important place for art in the world. School groups with kids of every age are running around there all day 365 days a year. People from all over the world who are not even interested in art at all are standing in lines for hours to get in there and to see some stone penises and weird devil sculptures who have sex with virgin angels."
Until the social network gets with the Louvre's programme of nude devil sculptures for all, you can enjoy Kaaden's re-imaginings for a more Facebook-friendly viewing experience.
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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