Facebook is known for making some unusual decisions when censoring content on its site. Nipples and exposed bottoms are banned while graphic violence is often fine as long as it includes a warning, for example – but one recent decision by the social network was even more bizarre.
Facebook banned an artist from selling handmade Christmas cards featuring a robin redbreast because of their "sexual" and "adult" nature. In a post on the site, artist Jackie Charley said she "[couldn't] stop laughing" when she found out why she'd been banned from selling the product recently.
Charley, who lives in the Scottish Borders, had tried to upload her painted card featuring the festive bird, along with designs of a stag and a squirrel in the snow, to sell them in time for Christmas but Facebook had other ideas, reported the Guardian.
Writing on Facebook, Charley said the social network gave her the following explanation: “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).”
“Hilariously, Facebook has blocked my Christmas cards from becoming a product in my shop due to their shameful, sexual nature!" she went on to say. "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.”
Some suggested Facebook may have banned the item because of the description Charley gave of the image when she uploaded it – but it didn't include any "trigger" words, so she couldn't understand why it was deemed inappropriate. She said: "There’s obviously nothing in the images themselves which is inappropriate," the Guardian reported.
"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."
Facebook has since lifted the ban after Charley brought the incident to light and we've no doubt many more people will be interested in buying her cards, which are also available on Etsy, following the gaffe.