us on Facebook
/ April 18, 2011
Facebook Removes Photo Of Kissing Gay Men, Users Respond In Anger

Last Wednesday, staff members at a London pub asked a kissing gay couple to leave, prompting hundreds of Brits to participate in a “gay kiss-in”, attracting media and closing the pub for the night.

After the event, the Dangerous Minds Facebook page used a photo of two men kissing to accompany a post about the protest, but found it had disappeared by the following morning, as had the event page organizing the kiss-in:

Ah…yeah… it seems that the sight of two fully-clothed men kissing was too much for Facebook, or too much for some closet-case asshole…who complained about it.

Typically, the “report” button on Facebook flags content so that a site administrator can decide if the content violates Facebook’s (wordy) Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Reporting content does not alone guarantee its removal; someone from Facebook must voluntarily hit the “delete” key. And according to the email Dangerous Minds received from Facebook, the photo did violate these terms:

Shares that contain nudity, or any kind of graphic or sexually suggestive content, are not permitted on Facebook.

Yes, that’s right. A photograph of two men kissing is too “graphic or sexually suggestive” for the folks at Facebook. But the onslaught of anti-Japanese comments and groups linking the tsunami with Pearl Harbor including “Karma is a bitch” and “Forget Japan, Remember Pearl Harbor” were ignored by Facebook administrators.

Don’t forget, Facebook just added “civil union” and “domestic partnership” as options in the “relationship status” field of user profiles, a progressive move on Facebook’s part. But this week’s content removal is a step backward.

Enraged Facebook users are responding by switching their default profile picture to the controversial photo, posting it on walls, and generating as many instances of the picture on the site as possible. It’s like an early Easter egg hunt for Facebook! Happy hunting!