03 August 2018 Posted By : Administrator

Montreal museum fights Facebook censorship over classic art

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has had a problem with Facebook: the social media giant's censors are very prudish.

Even though the site is supposedly off-limits to anyone under the age of 13, Facebook has extremely strict controls when it comes to any artwork depicting the human form or nudity.

The MMFA ran into those controls earlier this year when it tried to place ads advertising its current Pablo Picasso exhibit.

In May, the museum created an ad with Picasso's 1956 work Femmes a la Toilette, but the ad was summarily rejected.

The museum then submitted a second ad for approval featuring a more abstract painting titled Large still life with pedestal.

This too was rejected, but it was only this week that the museum was able to talk to someone at the multinational company about the problems with the ad.

Once a real, live person got involved, Facebook Canada approved the original ad.

Pascale Chasse of the MMFA said social media sites frequently automatically ban ads containing artwork depicting nudity.

"This is fine art and they look at is if it was a bad ad about sexuality or nudity or something with bad taste. They don't [understand] the difference between that and an art of work," said Chasse.

According to the museum, representatives from Facebook admitted their automatic system has a problem and so will review their system.

"They are telling us that they will have a specific regulation for fine art because probably now they realize they can't look at fine art like the same way that they look at the regular ads," said Chasse.

The exhibit at the MMFA, Picasso - From Africa to the Americas, continues through September 16, 2018.

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