Art historian’s account disabled after falling foul of Facebook censorship algorithm

A curator and art historian who used Facebook to build a network of research, including materials necessary for a forthcoming publication, has found himself permanently banned by Facebook after violating their community standards.

Ruben Cordova lost access to nine years of resources and materials after Facebook informed him that one of the images he posted violated the platform’s community standards banning sexually explicit content.

Facebook’s community standards algorithm identified the nude subject of John De Andrea’s hyperrealistic “Self Portrait with Sculpture” (1980) as a living human being, and despite appeals by Cordova to a human moderator, the decision was not overruled.

The image included a link to a Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition in which the image originally appeared, meaning a human moderator could have quickly verified the legitimacy of Cordova’s appeal that human nudity was not on display.

News of Cordova’s removal from Facebook was reported by online arts magazine, hyperallergic.com who went on to note that this is not the first time artistic works have fallen foul of the social media platform’s censorship algorithm. In 2016, Facebook censored a photo of Copenhagen’s famous “The Little Mermaid” statue, “which is ironically the country’s most photographed sculpture”.

To read the full article on the Hyperallergic website, click here.

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1 Response

  1. panicprevention says:

    This is hilarious! I mean not for the poor sucker who lost all that work, but if Fakebook’s super advanced algorithms can’t tell the difference between real body parts and fake/artistic ones, then it ain’t all that advanced…

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