It took just over four hours for Facebook to remove the film magazine Ekko’s page promoting the new film about Danish travel icon Simon Spies. Ekko’s current cover shows a naked female breast with the nipple clearly visible, a violation of Facebook’s nudity policy. Thus, Ekko’s nipple joined author Peter Øvig Knudsen’s 'Hippie' books and Ekstra Bladet’s Page 9 girls on the American media verboten list. Knudsen and Ekstra Bladet were both censored by Apple for displaying female breasts.
Ekko editor Claus Christensen is sure that it was the boob that got him banned.
“I don’t think it was [film director] Christoffer Bro’s designer glasses,” Christensen told Journalisten.dk, referring to the boob's co-star on the cover.
Danish standards different
“I am surprised that this very influential site does not allow nudity,” said Christensen. “It is remarkable that we have become dependent on a medium that does not have quite the same relationship to freedom of expression as we have.”
Christensen said that he was aware of the Knudsen case, but really didn’t think that the Ekko cover would be censored.
“Compared to what is acceptable in Denmark, this is nothing,” he said. "We must try to push the US. media and their attitudes”
Even a relatively tame institution like Berlingske newspaper found itself on the fuzzy end of Facebook’s censorship policy this week. The paper put a link on its page to a story about the 1970s era children’s sex education book, ‘Elle-belle-bolle’. The book, which contained 40-year-old black and white photos of a couple having sex and used common street terms for genitalia, was being used to illustrate how the conversation about sex between parents and children has changed and become less graphic over the years. The link led Facebook users to the article, which contained a photo of a naked couple lying in bed together captioned with the word, ‘Satisfied’.
Shut down leads to policy change
Berlingske had previously been reprimanded by Facebook for linking to a story about Knudsen’s 'Hippie' books with pictures of the offending breasts. This being Berlingske's second trip down boob lane, its Facebook page was shut down for 24 hours along with a stern warning that another violation would lead to Berlingske being permanently removed from the social media site.
"Facebook has a strict policy regarding sharing of pornographic content and any content of a sexual nature where minors are involved. We have also introduced restrictions on the display of nudity,” writes Facebook under the 'Nudity and Pornography' in its Community Rules section.
Berlingske editor Tom Jensen said this brush with Facebook exile will make the paper rethink its policies.
“There is nothing else we can do,” he said. “One may think the policy is stringent and ridiculous, but if we violate it, we run the risk of being blocked from this important platform.”
The 'Elle-belle-bolle' book was first printed in 1973 and sold until 1976.