This development is just so jaw-droppingly ridiculous that I felt compelled to report it. The following message appeared on Season of Mist’s Facebook page early this morning (Pacific Time):
“French death grind extremists BENIGHTED just had their Facebook account removed for displaying their new album cover. Everywhere else on this planet you can see that it depicts the breast of a woman. Maybe they should have shown an AK 47 instead as that seems to be more natural and acceptable. Let’s talk about blatant and ridiculous censorship, shall we… ?”
As you can see above, Season of Mist has changed its own Facebook banner to censor the image of Benighted’s new album cover (the title is Carnivore Sublime), apparently to preserve SoM’s own presence on Facebook (or at least to further drive home the point of that announcement quoted above).
Facebook hosts pages by porn stars. In fact, there’s a Facebook page called “pornstars” whose banner includes this photo:
But hey, there’s not a nipple anywhere to be seen in that photo, so it’s all good, right? (The “pornstars” page has 661,000 likes, compared to Benighted’s approximately 8,000 — a number that of course will not be growing.)
And yes, Facebook also hosts pages devoted to AK-47s, including a page called “AK-47 Fan“, which includes this photo in the banner:
No nipples there. Just a young man with his back to the camera, proudly brandishing his sporting implement of choice while demurely hiding his nipples.
And although I haven’t taken the time to look, I’m pretty sure there are metal-band FB pages with with banners of album art depicting rape and evisceration of women (I’m thinking about certain brutal death bands). But of course it is the insidious nipple that so threatens the corruption and degradation of young minds that it cannot be allowed to pollute the holy temple of Facebook, even if the nipple appears in an image of a young mother that’s far from lascivious.
I’m sure that Facebook doesn’t monitor all the bazillions of pages it hosts. Instead, it responds to complaints. And so some douchebag must have complained about the Benighted page, and Facebook reacted.
By the way, here’s what Facebook says about nudity on its current Community Standards page (note the irony):
“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”
Here also is a statement about “Reporting Abuse” that appears on that same page:
“If you see something on Facebook that you believe violates our terms, you should report it to us. Please keep in mind that reporting a piece of content does not guarantee that it will be removed from the site.
Because of the diversity of our community, it’s possible that something could be disagreeable or disturbing to you without meeting the criteria for being removed or blocked. For this reason, we also offer personal controls over what you see, such as the ability to hide or quietly cut ties with people, Pages, or applications that offend you.”
In case you don’t know what the uncensored Benighted album cover looks like, here it is:
There’s also a censored version of the album cover, which I’m told by someone who follows the band that Benighted actually substituted for the nipply one, to no avail:
And now, let’s have some Benighted rage that’s a fitting musical accompaniment for how I’m feeling at the moment (thanks to Vonlughlio for the tip on this ridiculousness):
UPDATE (Feb 16, 2014): Benighted now have a new Facebook page: