Facebook removes image of Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue for breaking nudity rules

The 102-year-old statue of a nude female figure fell foul of Facebook's community standards

Doug Bolton
Wednesday 06 January 2016 14:23 GMT
The Little Mermaid statue is one of Denmark's best-loved sights
The Little Mermaid statue is one of Denmark's best-loved sights (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

One of Copenhagen's most-visited tourist attractions is the world-famous Little Mermaid statue, a bronze figure of a nude woman based on the fairytale by renowed Danish author Hans Christian Andersen.

However, the 102-year-old mermaid has fallen foul of Facebook's strict rules against nudity, after Danish politican Mette Gjerskov had one of her posts removed from the site because it contained a small image of the statue.

The post, which linked to a blog post she had written for Danish broadcaster TV2, was banned shortly after being published, in a move Gjerskov called "totally ludicrous" in an interview with Ekstra Bladet.

In Facebook's guidelines, it says the social network removes photographs displaying genitals or "focusing in on fully exposed buttocks," claiming it restricts nudity because "some audiences within [Facebook's] global community may be sensitive to this type of content."

However, it explicitly says they allow photos of "paintings, sculptures and other art that depict nude figures" - but the Little Mermaid statue must have been too much.

Da Danmark valgte at blive middelmådig, mistede vi indflydelse og magt. Længere er den ikke. Klogeåger og debattører er...

Posted by Mette Gjerskov on Saturday, 2 January 2016

Writing on her page after the post was removed, Gjerskov said: "More than a little comical. The Little Mermaid is simply too undressed for Facebook. I can't post my blog because TV2 has chosen the picture of the mermaid."

She added: "I didn't see it coming that our national treasure would be categorised in line with child pornography and other such abominations."

Fortunately for Gjerskov and Denmark's national monuments, Facebook quickly noticed the error and reinstated the post.

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