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Why Does Facebook Censor Gay Images?

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Photographer Michael Stokes, among others, says his work is regularly censored by Facebook even when the images clearly don’t break the rules. Who makes these decisions?

Michael Stokes is a well known photographer with a thriving business. His beautifully staged images of physically fit men are familiar to many. He’s also a photo collector and historian who recently produced a book with Taschen on WW2 photos of soldiers at ease and quite naked.

Stokes tells a story on his father homosexuality in his facebook page. “Charged with the crime of homosexuality, my father received a dishonorable discharge from the United States Navy and was put in military prison. It was not until the latter years of his life did he tell me. His Navy boyfriend at the time was also dishonorably discharged. My father said that even though they were never caught in the act, they were simply tried on hearsay. Within months of his discharge from the Navy, my father married my mother.”

These are some of the censored photos by Facebook

Stokes has a large following on Facebook, with more than 260,000 likes, but he says the experience there has been befuddling and frustrating. Stokes says that, according to Facebook’s own standards, he has not broken the rules of what’s allowed and yet photos repeatedly get censored. He suspects homophobic users are reporting his page and trying to get him banned, but the inner-workings of Facebook’s moderation system are opaque.

The Advocate contacted Facebook for comment about Stokes’ case and received what is becoming a fairly standard explanation from a spokesman: “We mistakenly removed a post from this Page after it was reported to us. As our team processes more than one million reports each week, we occasionally make a mistake. We apologize for the inconvenience that it caused.

Source: The Advocate

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