What a fascinating era we live in! On the one hand homosexuals can get married, march down the high street in leather thongs (or less), and proclaim their "pride," as children twerk for their pleasure, while on the other hand major social media companies seem as prudish as elderly maiden aunts at a Victorian church meeting.
A case in point: recently I decided to spend a few dollars to push one of our articles on Facebook. This rather topical one actually, and mainly because the writer refuses to accept a fee. Imagine my surprise when I got the following message from Facebook:
"Your ad content violates Facebook Ad Guidelines. Ads are not allowed to promote the sale or use of adult products or services, including toys, videos, publications, live shows or sexual enhancement products."
I always knew that reading Alternative Right boosted your sex drive and fertility, but I needed to find out more, so I immediately replied:
"Your system seems to be completely haywire. Try using humans to check things."
This prompted a response from one of Facebook's 'fleshbots.' I assume it was human because it had a human name – Amy – and she assured me that she was "here to help":
"Your ad was rejected because the image doesn't follow our ad policies. Ads may not use overly sexual images, suggest nudity, show a lot of skin or cleavage, or focus unnecessarily on specific body parts. This is also applicable to the images present on your Pages. (on the URL associated with your page) Please make the necessary edits and recreate your posts. If it’s an ad created from the create flow, you can edit it in your ads manager."
I was still no nearer to understanding this mystery, so I shot back:
"You got it wrong. Just admit it!"
This prompted a more precise reply from Amy:
"I have attached the image of your ad that violates the said policy that is present on the URL associated with your account. Kindly edit/remove the image and upload a new one in compliance to policies to get the ad approved. Thanks. Have a great day."
If you are over 18 and no longer a virgin, you may be permitted to look at the X-rated image that Amy attached, otherwise just go back to Pornhub:
There you have it – a well-known Neoclassical painting, created in accordance with the standards of the French Academy, is now considered somehow "obscene" in an age where hard-core fist fucking and rape porn races by, like a mighty river, only a few clicks away from every computer screen, along with videos of ISIS sawing off another few heads. How did that happen? Yikes! We definitely do live in strange and interesting times.