CROSSING LINES

Facebook Fails Again By Censoring An Illustrated Gay Kiss

Facebook has a horrible track record when it comes to censoring gay and lesbian kisses. Their policy is so bad in fact that this weekend they censored a kiss between two male cartoons—two very hot male cartoons, but still.

The image shows two sailors — both men — kissing in Times Square under the words “VICTORY IN NEW YORK.” It obviously pays homage to the iconic V-J Day in Times Square photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, whose Life magazine photo has repeatedly been imitated in movies and broader culture during moments of celebration.

For example, these particular sailors are actually drawn from a memorable Diesel advertisement shot in 1994 by famed gay photographer David LaChapelle.

Hundreds of people had “liked” the image before it was taken down. In a boilerplate message sent to users who had shared the image on their own walls, Facebook cited its indecency policies in general as reason for censorship. The policy bans “content that is pornographic or contains nudity, or is inappropriately sexual.”

Facebook later said the image did not violate the site’s guidelines and then apologized for the inconvenience.

Keep in mind, Facebook uses a mix of human moderators and computer censor-bots to keep dongs and boobies out of childrens’ faces. It’s most likely that some hater saw homos kissing and then flagged the image as inappropriate. Facebook tends to remove first and then apologize only if asked about it, but we wish we could think of some system that would help keep Facebook from removing such queer images.

The company made an It Gets Better video and added “domestic partnership” to its list of relationship statuses, so it’s not like they’re rabidly anti-gay. But we find ourselves wondering how often this happens to straight couples. Maybe we’d feel a bit better if we knew our hetero counterparts get their affectionate photos banned as well.