Elbæk, the leader of The Alternative, said on Monday that he was banned for posting two photos that contained nudity. One was from Copenhagen’s Culture Night while the other was a famous photo from 1969 that shows Danish artist Lene Adler Petersen walking nude through the Copenhagen Stock Exchange carrying a cross.
The photos can be seen via Elbæk’s Twitter account:
“I think they are fantastic photos because they are about nudity and power,” he told broadcaster TV2.
Although the ban was short-lived, Elbæk said it’s evidence of Facebook’s power in dictating who can see what.
“They [Facebook, ed.] can of course say that I can just refrain from using [the photos]. But Facebook has gotten so big that it is almost a monopoly,” he told TV2.
Elbæk’s ban comes just weeks after Facebook found itself in the centre of an international controversy after censoring posts in Norway that included an iconic Vietnam War photo of a naked girl escaping a napalm bombing.
Facebook went so far as to delete a post by Norwegian PM Erna Solberg in what is believed to be the first time the social media behemoth directly censored a government leader.
Facebook later backtracked on its decision and the company’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, personally wrote to Solberg to tell the Norwegian PM that the social network ultimately decided that the “the global and historical importance” of the Pulitzer Prize winning photo by Nick Ut Cong Huynh “outweighs the importance of keeping nudity off Facebook.”
Earlier this year, Facebook censored Danish MP Mette Gjerskov when she attempted to post what is perhaps the most recognizable image in all of Denmark: the Little Mermaid statue. Facebook reversed its position shortly after Gjerskov filed a formal complaint.
In 2013, both Facebook and Apple were the heavily criticized in Denmark for censoring nude photos from Danish author Peter Øvig Knudsen’s book on hippies. Those photos can be seen here.
Elbæk told TV2 that “it is completely grotesque that historic photos and artistic photos can be removed because of American puritanical morals.”