Friday 21 October 2016

Facebook: Sorry - we got it wrong on 'sexy' Molly Malone statue

Published 16/07/2015 | 14:45

FAIR CITY: Molly Malone
FAIR CITY: Molly Malone

Facebook have apologised for deeming the world renowned statue of Molly Malone 'too sexy' to publish.

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Earlier this week, Facebook told Dublin author Frank Whelan that they wouldn't publish his book's cover which featured an image of the Molly Malone statue.

Frank Whelan with the cover of his book 'Diary of the Wolf'.
Pic Steve Humphreys
14th July 2015.
Frank Whelan with the cover of his book 'Diary of the Wolf'. Pic Steve Humphreys 14th July 2015.

After initial confusion in which Facebook thought the advert was for a dating site, the Dublin writer explained the advertisement was for a novel.

But the image of Dublin's fabled fishmonger was just too steamy for Facebook.

The Molly Malone Statue
The Molly Malone Statue

A member of Facebook Ads Team wrote to the author, stating: "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."

The author then pointed out that the statue stands in the middle of one of Dublin's busiest shopping areas. Despite this, Facebook's final response to him was "our say on this matter remains unchanged."

Frank's story was published yesterday - and Facebook promptly did a u-turn on their Mollly Malone decision.

The company issued a statement in which they apologised for their actions, and admitted they made a mistake.

“Our rules around nudity are in place to reflect the wide range of people on Facebook," the statement said.

"We always aim to strike a balance between artistic expression and making sure our global community feels comfortable. In reviewing this we made a mistake and quickly restored the advert once it was brought to our attention.

"We apologise for any inconvenience we caused.”

Their initial ban on Dublin's famed fishmonger attracted the ire of some Dublin citizens.

"This is nonsense. Tens of thousands of parents are photographed with their children at the statue every year. Molly Malone is a well known image of our city," said Dublin city councillor Dermot Lacey.

Alex Connolly, spokesman for Failte Ireland, said he would not be surprised if thousands of images of Molly Malone are not already "plastered all over Facebook by visitors to Dublin."

"Molly Malone is one of the most photographed statues in Dublin and in all of Europe.

"Rigidly applying such rules would also exclude images of many statues of ancient Greece and Renaissance Europe," he said.

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