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10 totally innocent things you can’t do on Facebook

Photographer Jill White caused Facebook to suspend her account after she posted a picture showing her two-year old daughter imitating the original Coppertone advert. If you’re not familiar with the image, it shows a girl with her having her bikini bottoms pulled down (slightly) by a little dog. In White’s version, the dog is replaced by her other daughter. The photo ended up being flagged, and White warned that if it was posted again, she’s be banned from the site.
Facebook has rarely been consistent when using the ban hammer, and here are ten other examples where Zuckerberg and his team have over reacted to nothing.

Don’t pee against fences

While this is solid life advice, Facebook isn’t keen on seeing pictures while you do it. The offending picture, in its censored form, appears here and ties in with Jill White’s story rather well.

Don’t kiss a dude, if you’re a dude

Richard Metzger Facebook
Richard Metzger, a talk show host, had a post removed from Facebook in 2011. Facebook gave no reason aside from it containing nudity or sexually suggestive content. All it featured was a still picture of two guys about to kiss.

Don’t breastfeed kids

Facebook got its bra in a twist over breastfeeding for a while, when it decided such images weren’t something it wanted showing up on people’s feeds. Except in some cases, it may have had a point. Mom Lauren Ferrari received plenty of attention due to her breastfeeding photo, which turned out to show a 5-year-old pretending to be a 2-year old. Dodgy “jokes” aside, breastfeeding pictures have recently become acceptable again.

Don’t live somewhere with an unusual name

Effin Ireland Google Maps
The Irish town of Effin offended Facebook’s sensibilities, and it refused to recognize the village. Although it was never confirmed, it’s likely because of its similarity to the F word.

Don’t share the same name as Mark Zuckerberg

Mark S. Zuckerberg had to supply his driving license, birth certificate and even proof he was able to practice law in Indiana before Facebook would let him open an account. However, even though he did all this, Facebook still banned the account he’d worked so hard for, because he shared the same name with the site’s founder. Silly Facebook.

Lose weight, but don’t show pictures

Photo by Marilyn McKenna

Photo by Marilyn McKenna

Marilyn McKenna posted a picture celebrating her loss of more than 100 pounds in weight, but it was removed by Facebook for promoting an “idealized physical appearance.” Subsequently, the site changed its mind and said the deletion was actually because it promoted weight loss products. The product in question? McKenna’s free website on losing weight.

Don’t have a birth defect


More than any other story, this was one from which Facebook should have stayed away. The Walker family posted pictures of their newborn son, who sadly lived only eight hours due to a fatal condition where he was born without parts of his brain and skull, which Facebook removed.

Don’t take unfortunate shots in the bath

Does this picture show a lady showing her breasts in the bath, or is it her elbow? Facebook clearly thought it was the former, so it quickly removed the offending image. Shame it turned out to be the latter.

Don’t mimic classic art (with breastfeeding in it)

Kate Hansen Pictures Facebook

Kate Hansen Pictures

Artist Kate Hansen’s piece in her Madonna and Child Project series, which you see below, was removed three times from Facebook. While other artwork depicting nudes remained, this work contained breastfeeding, a Facebook no-no.

Don’t have an unusual name

Facebook has consistently had a problem identifying genuine names from those that could be used to create fake accounts. Elmo Keep, Steve Webb, Hiroko Yoda, and Rowena Gay are all examples of genuine people who’ve struggled to make an account with the site. Additionally, those with the surname Arab – popular in Palestine apparently – have also had problems.
In the majority of cases, Facebook has owned up and either reversed its decision, or clarified its position, but the ease with which flagged photos can be removed continues to get the site into trouble. We’re sure Jill White’s situation won’t be the last of its type.

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