After an international media firestorm, Facebook has rescinded its decision to censor naked images of a $40,000 doll posted by Australian jewellery designer Victoria Buckley.
Six months after Buckley posted pictures on her Facebook page showing naked porcelain dolls modelling with her jewellery, Facebook told her take them down, saying they were a violation of their terms of service.
“I was totally shocked when the images were removed. These same images are appearing uncensored in mainstream media around the world,” Buckley told QMI Agency Friday. “I'm tired of the female form being an object of prurience exploited by men. I think people are so becoming used to the female form as a symbol for lust, that they have trouble reading it as a representation of other values.
A protest group calling for the pictures to be uncensored was also removed by Facebook, within 48 hours of its creation.
But after those images turned up in newspapers, Facebook is doing an about-face, calling the removal of the photos an oversight.
"We've investigated this further and determined that we made a mistake in removing these photos. Our User Operations team reviews thousands of reported photos a day and may occasionally remove something that doesn't actually violate our policies. This is what happened here.” said Facebook spokesperson Victoria Freeman.
“And although we believe the doll would benefit from clothing to protect her fair skin, we apologize for the mistake and encourage Victoria Buckley Jewellery to upload these photos again if they so choose."
Buckley did not immediately respond to QMI's request for comment, but the photos were reposted to the site Monday evening.
Buckley calls the dolls - which were created by Marina Bychkova for Enchanted Dolls and are worth between $6,00 and $40,000 US - “fine art” that shouldn't be censored.
“I have to say I'm not a doll lover. In fact, I loath 99.99% of dolls. Enchanted Dolls are art works,” she said. “For me, they are best seen, not covered. The detailing of their bodies is what wipes our eyes clean and gives the slight 'shock of the new' that partly defines a true art work.”
The social networking giant also recently came under fire for removing images of women breast-feeding.