Facebook now forbids publishing works of art with sexual overtones

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Images with sexual overtones, pornography, search for partners for sex and sexual hints were included in the list of prohibited content.

Photo Francois Mori / AP Photo / East News

Facebook has updated the rules of the community and has banned users from publishing content that “encourages sex between adults.”

Under the ban are:

  • images and videos of a sexual nature, including works of art;
  • remarks and hints with sexual overtones, for example, “I want to have fun tonight,” sexually provocative slang;
  • offers to have sex, start sex chats, posts about finding partners;
  • job offers in the adult industry, for example in pornography or striptease.

Read the full list of prohibited materials (with examples) here.

According to representatives of the social network, only the content that users have complained about will be moderated. However, the rules concern not only public posts, but also group chats and correspondence in the messenger.

“People use Facebook to discuss the problem of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, as well as to draw attention to this problem. We understand the importance of this problem and encourage its discussion. However, we do not allow the publication of content that encourages sex between adults, promotes them, or was created to organize and coordinate such contacts,” the company said in a statement.

Facebook has regularly been criticized for censoring works of art. In the summer, the moderators removed posts from the Flemish Tourism Bureau with paintings by Rubens, and earlier apologized for blocking the image of the Venus Willendorf figurine from the social network. The statuette, whose age is 29 and a half thousand years, was considered “pornographic.”

In early December, the Tumblr blogging service announced that it would begin to block pornography and images of the genitals, but the ban would not apply to artistic and educational content.

The media associate the change in the rules of social networks with the FOSTA-SESTA laws (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act), signed by US President Donald Trump in April and aimed at combating online sex trafficking. The laws were called “disguised Internet censorship” and criticized for the complexity of the work of Internet companies and their intermediaries, tracking the content of users. Some organizations representing the interests of sex workers also opposed FOSTA-SESTA. Previously, Facebook’s operating director, Cheryl Sandberg, said that the laws would not affect Internet companies.

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