Facebook boobs again as it censors iconic ‘sexy’ Little Mermaid landmark

FACEBOOK PHOTO algorithms have censored a statue of a fish for being too raunchy. The bronze statue of Hans Christian Andersen’s character The Little Mermaid, depicting the fish-girl with her breasts au naturelle, as is the custom in mermaid fashion circles, was caught by the electronic decency police despite being a work of art on public display.

The Little Mermaid, later christened Aerial by Disney in the film based on the fairy tale, has been a regular feature in Copenhagen harbour since 1913. The bronze statue of the un-Disneyfied norks-and-all version of the debutant scale-tail is a major tourist attraction.

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Danish news site Ekstra Bladet explained that Social Democrat MP Mette Gjerskov took a picture of the statue to link to her blog, before getting a rejection message from Facebook stating that the image had “too much bare skin or sexual undertones” that were not for “artistic or educational purposes”.

It’s not the first time that Danish art has been censored by the social network. C W Eckersberg’s Woman Standing in Front of a Mirror, painted in 1841, fell foul of the same porn-filter after an attempt to post it by none other than the Danish Tourist Board.

Gjerskov has confirmed that after an investigation, Facebook said that The Little Mermaid is a valid piece of art, and that its nudity is exempt from the Victorian piano-leg cover-up rules. It went on to clarify that photos of paintings, sculptures and other art depicting nudes is acceptable.

At the end of last year the Electronic Freedom Foundation created a consortium dedicated to reducing Facebook and Twitter takedowns. Meanwhile in the UK Sky has launched a porn-filter which is on by default, although it’s not known whether bronze statues of mermaids are likely to fall foul of the system.

It is probably a compliment to the sculptor that the algorithms found her so anatomically accurate. Nevertheless, they made a boob mistaking the half-fish for a real nudey lady. Perhaps they just did it for the halibut.

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