Facebook says Paris’ renowned Musée d’Orsay “violates community standards”

Facebook today banned mention of a new art exhibition at Paris’ famed Musée d’Orsay impressionism museum, claiming that the exhibit violates Facebook’s “community standards.”

Ruh roh.

The exhibit in question, called “Masculin,” is a look at the naked male form from 1800 to the present.

Well, that was a tad too much for Grandma Facebook.

Here’s what I posted last night on Facebook – a French newspaper report on the exhibit. It included a risqué ad that is on the streets of Paris for all to see:


And here’s what happened to my post:


I get that Facebook worries about nudity.  But are we really going to start banning art exhibits at one of the world’s most famous museums?  Really?

Here’s a promo video that the Musée d’Orsay did for the exhibit, below. You might not want to post this on Facebook, there are some nekkid mens in it. Actually, the video is rather brilliant. It does what I suspected it did – the actor is recreating famous works of art. Here are some screen shots from the video – real art on the left, the “live” video is on the right:





And here’s the actual video the museum posted on YouTube:

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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40 Responses to “Facebook says Paris’ renowned Musée d’Orsay “violates community standards””

  1. wmforr says:

    Well at least they are comfortable with six. But they will not tolerate six fiends.

  2. ron says:

    Just to tell the truth: these posters are not to be found on Paris’ streets. These were the posters for a similar but a bit smaller and more contemporary show in Vienna. Paris posters are rather conservative.

  3. pappyvet says:

    Community Standards?! WHERE? When they get rid of al the thinly disguised hooker ads,I might begin to believe it

  4. caphillprof says:

    There’s no rhyme nor reason to Facebook’s alleged community standards except that they seem stuck in the 19th century.

  5. Indigo says:

    I posted this link on F-book a few hours ago with the comment “Facebook? C’mon! Grow up!” It’s still up and has two likes and four comments.

  6. cambridgemac says:

    Why do you hate America?

  7. cambridgemac says:

    Remember when Disney was about to open EuroDisney and the suits decided that local (French) employees would not be allowed to sport mustaches – and that wine would not be served in the restaurants on the grounds. Wow. The provincialism and arrogance of good old Merkan bidnissmen. We are truly #1. At some things. (For those who don’t remember, the first year’s attendance was not good. Lots of changes later.) Ruh roh indeed.

  8. cfox says:

    Just proves that Mrs Grundy has survived and inhabits a computer, making arbitrary decisions on morality based upon standards that are Victorian.

  9. emjayay says:

    I thought I had see the three naked guys poster before. On the internet I mean. I think it was an article about the controversy.

  10. Anonymous says:

    To be fair, Facebook takes down a lot of nude or semi-nude photos if they’re reported. The question is, who reported art and why?

  11. emjayay says:

    I would like to, ahem, point out I posted a link to the page with the video yesterday.

    Can I have a free round trip ticket to Paris from NYC please?

  12. karmanot says:

    try 666 ! :-)

  13. magster says:

    Only $50??!!

    Last joke. This is a serious post.

  14. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    A friend once said, “The same men who can’t stand the sight of two men being affectionate will spend nearly $50 to download a film of two women having sex.”

  15. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Thanks for the video. It was great. That actor had an incredibly expressive face.

  16. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Not if you’re into tea bagging. Jest sayin’.

  17. magster says:

    Well, scrotums are pretty terrifying.

  18. magster says:

    Female Nipple = Rated R.
    Humanized lion throwing his humanized lion brother off a cliff into a stampeding herd of wildebeasts = Rated G.

  19. magster says:

    Those pictures made facebook moderators choke on their Barilla spaghetti.

  20. Butch1 says:

    The homophobes are afraid of the male human form or that they will be attracted to it. Why did we get the pilgrims? ;-

  21. arcadesproject says:

    Weird that a splendid museum can violate community standards but vicious abuse that drives young people to suicide is OK.

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  23. arleeda says:

    I typed in the numeral 6 in response to a math quiz posted by a friend and was told it violated Facebook community standards. So I wrote it out, six, and that was okay!

  24. Tor says:

    Watch out for the Penis Police.

  25. HtW says:

    Interesting as your actual post of a plain link couldn’t possibly violate anything as it’s just text. They must refer to the thumbnail and yet it is Facebook that insists on automatically formatting links in this manner as default.

    Instead of removing it, why couldn’t they just lock it into text format without a thumbnail?

  26. Monoceros Forth says:

    Ah, I’ve heard of that. I shouldn’t watch it, yeah.

  27. Monoceros Forth says:

    Well, Ebert was talking about American rating systems after all. My scepticism about his proposed solution was that American theaters would treat his proposed “A” rating the same way they treat “NC-17” now, as an excuse not to screen a movie.

  28. tomtallis says:

    They showed this exhibit in Vienna and there was a flap there about the bus shelter posters, which were approximately the same as the one above. People went around defacing the posters by taping over the models’ genitalia. Naturally we went to see the exhibit.

  29. fletcher says:

    Don’t they already have a rating system with an “A” (adults) rating in the United Kingdom?

  30. Monoceros Forth says:

    I wish I could get to Paris, period. :p I’ve been to that other great glory of Europe, Rome, but seriously I’ll rather hate dying without having at least glimpsed Paris.

  31. Polterguest says:

    It is. Just watched the video twice. I wish I could get to Paris to see it as do love the Musee D’orsay.

  32. BeccaM says:

    Aye, I’ve noticed that as well. Also: Two women kissing = not a problem. Two dudes kissing = often banned.

    Personally, I found the Paris exhibition above to be quite beautiful and inspired.

  33. ComradeRutherford says:

    “Are we really going to start banning art exhibits at one of the world’s most famous museums?”

    Yes, obviously. But graphic violence will be promoted and celebrated.

  34. Polterguest says:

    Facebook and YouTube are even more hypocritical (than the nudity versus violence angle.) They seem to be MUCH more likely to drop the ban hammer down on male nudity or sexuality rather than female. Well at least (of course) the kind of female nudity and sexuality that primarily titillates straight males.

  35. jomicur says:

    If you’ve never seen it, you should check out the documentary THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED. Very highly recommended.

  36. BeccaM says:

    It is sad that something as natural as the human body, simply displayed artistically sans clothing, is deemed indecent and violating of community standards, whereas graphic violence almost never is.

    My term for it: Hypocritical prudery.

  37. Monoceros Forth says:

    Oh, for the love of–why is it that male nudity is still such a taboo? You can bet that Facebook wouldn’t have given a curse about the female equivalent.

  38. Monoceros Forth says:

    The late Roger Ebert liked to point out in many of his reviews in the Sun-Times that the American system of rating movies tended to foster a kind of smirky, juvenile attitude toward sexuality. Movies with honest sexuality in them would be condemned to the margins with an NC-17 rating or no rating (both of which mean death in obscurity because most theaters refuse to screen movies not rated “R” or below), but if you just kind of hinted at sex with a wink and a nudge you’d be fine. Meanwhile, of course, even extreme violence caused no trouble.

    Ebert’s proposed solution was a new “A” rating but I don’t think that would have solved any problems.

  39. jomicur says:

    This sort of nonsense is a large part of why discerning, intelligent Americans have always preferred European movies (with French ones taking pride of place) to our homegrown product. American movies tend to be either cutesy or just plain condemnatory when it comes to any kind of sexuality or even just sensuous physicality. This country got off to a bad, bad start with the damned Puritans, and we have never recovered.

  40. JayRandal says:

    Interesting video. Not vulgar in any manner but a bit provocative. Male frontal nudity frightens some
    Americans but French have no problems about it.

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