It was a small riot in the blogosphere: When the popular culture blog Dangerous Minds posted a picture of two men kissing on Facebook (as an illustration for an article), they got a surprising result: Facebook deleted the photo, leading to an uproar over Facebook’s perceived homophobic move. The story turned into a minor media flurry overnight, with gay rights advocates expressing extreme displeasure with Facebook’s move. Facebook, which has been increasingly under fire for infringing on users’ privacy and selling user data to third parties, now had a new public relations thorn in its side.
Pink News reports:
The image, of a gay kiss on UK soap EastEnders, was removed for being “sexually suggestive” and “abusive”.
It was used by US writer Niall O’Conghaile to accompany a blog post about the ‘kiss-in’ held to support a gay couple who were kicked out of a pub.
Richard Metzger, the editor of the Dangerous Minds blog where the news story was published, posted the story on Facebook but received a warning from site administrators about the image.
However, Facebook then reinstated the photo, claiming that they had pulled it in error:
Everyone can relax today. Facebook has formally apologized for erroneously pulling a photo of two dudes kissing, says All Facebook.
The page protesting the censorship, called Kissing is Cool, had over 41,000 participants and the organizer called it a success, posting this today:
“The statement from Facebook: ‘The photo in question does not violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and was removed in error,’ the statement, obtained by America Blog, says. ‘We apologize for the inconvenience.'”
What do you think—did Facebook pull the photo in an actual act of corporate homophobia, and then cover themselves later, or was it an actual mistake? And what are the best ways to protect our rights on the Internet and in social media?