HAWICK, Scotland - Facebook image processors may have taken the term “robin redbreast” a little too literally last month when they banned a Scottish artist’s animal-themed Christmas cards, saying the social media network doesn’t allow “the sale of adult items or services.”
Jackie Charley, an artist based in Hawick, Scotland, wrote on Oct. 27 that Facebook had blocked her Christmas cards from her online shop due to their “shameful, sexual nature.”
The cards in question boasted innocuous images of robins, deer and other wintry creatures.
“Please judge for yourself! (Can’t stop laughing!),” Charley wrote, “And if you’d like a pack of six at £5.99, plus postage and packaging, let me know.”
Commenters on Charley’s post also found themselves laughing.
“I think it’s the robin,” one woman joked. “He’s definitely got a ‘come hither’ glint in his eye.”
Some commenters wondered what the squirrel was doing with his nuts. Another had an opinion on the deer.
“Yes, he’s a strapping buck; are his antlers too sexy?” the woman wrote. “Maybe I need to avert my eyes.”
Others did not find the ban as funny.
“Hilarious? More like frightening and sad,” one man wrote. “Meanwhile, you can post without any problems pics of your gun collections and racists can group together to share ‘ideas.’ I’ve reported so many pages, I’ve lost count.”
Charley assured her followers that they could find her Christmas cards and other work on her Etsy page, BothycraftStudio. As the story of the ban on her Facebook store went viral and made news across the globe, she found herself with new fans.
“Big shout out and thanks to everyone who has liked my art page over the last few days,” she wrote on Monday. “Every little click is much appreciated.”
Many on Twitter also had opinions on Facebook’s reaction to the cards.
The artist's rendering of this robin would make Georgia O'Keeffe blush. Scandalous!— chestmedicine (@chestmedicine) November 13, 2017
I'm so glad Facebook is there to protect us from this. https://t.co/k5k2jHbfU1— GeorgeMonbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot) November 13, 2017
“I’m so glad Facebook is there to protect us from this,” one man wrote alongside a link to a story from the Guardian.
“Facebook can immediately ban a #robinredbreast Christmas card, but apparently is incapable of countering #fakenews to any meaningful extent whatsoever,” another wrote.
Mashable reported Monday that Facebook had reversed the ban.
“Our team processes millions of images each week, and occasionally we incorrectly prohibit content, as happened here,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “We approved Jackie’s post as soon as we became aware of our mistake, and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused.”
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