Last week, talk show host Richard Metzger posted a story to Facebook about a "kiss in" held at an English pub that had ejected two men for kissing. Facebook quickly removed the story—apparently because of the above picture.
Oddly enough, the picture came from a Facebook event being used to promote the kiss-in. But according to Metzger, that event has been removed too. Here's the email Facebook sent to Metzger:
Content that you shared on Facebook has been removed because it violated Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. Shares that contain nudity, or any kind of graphic or sexually suggestive content, are not permitted on Facebook.
This message serves as a warning. Additional violations may result in the termination of your account. Please read the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities carefully and refrain from posting abusive material in the future. Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.
The Facebook Team
A quick perusal of the blog post Metzger shared doesn't reveal any kind of "nudity" or "graphic or sexually suggestive content," unless you're so sensitive that two guys kissing counts as "sexually suggestive." (A search for "making out" brings up a number of pages with similarly "explicit" photos of straight couples kissing here, here, here and here.) So what's the deal? As Metzger points out, Facebook itself claims that an administrator "looks into each report" of a violation, so it seems unlikely that this is the result of an automatic ban (as happened to a number of people with the last name "Arab" last year). We've reached out to Facebook to see if we can get an answer, and we'll update if we hear anything. Until then: No gay kissing on Facebook.
Here's the original photo: