How should Facebook decide what’s art and what’s pornography? The question comes to a head in a French court case Thursday with the social network accused of censoring a 19th-century painting of a woman’s genitals.
“L’Origine du Monde” (The Origin of the World), an 1866 oil painting by the realist painter Gustave Courbet, may hang on the walls of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.
But its status as a cherished work of art did not stop Facebook shutting down the account of a French teacher who shared a picture of it, because of the social network’s ban on nude images.
The teacher, Frederic Durand, accuses Facebook of deactivating his account “without warning or justification” in February 2011.