Facebook administrators ‘reject lesbian t-shirt ad’

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An advert for a t-shirt bearing the slogan ‘Lesbian wanted’ has been rejected by Facebook advert regulators, the Danish producers said today.

In the latest of a series of seemingly over-cautious and inconsistent reactions to gay images on the social networking site, the Danish custom t-shirt company T-Out said Facebook left it unable to promote this particular item to gay women.

T-Out told PinkNews.co.uk: “It’s very strange really because we’ve had ads on Facebook before with one of our designs – one with the word “Gaytoy”, which has a design based on the Playboy logo. That one was approved without a problem, but when we tried targeting women (interested in women) with the design “Lesbian Wanted”, then the ad was rejected.

“The only reason given was that the image could not be accepted, and then they referred us to their guidelines. We couldn’t really see that it was either sexual or political in any way.

“Obviously, we’re not interested in fighting Facebook, we’d just like to know what was wrong with the picture, since we did nothing to break any rules, and so it could only be the word ‘lesbian’ that set off some kind of alarm bell.”

Facebook had not responded to an enquiry by PinkNews.co.uk this afternoon.

Earlier this year, a Facebook page called L’Homme du Jour, which posts photo shoots of male models to a generally gay audience was suspended after an image was singled out for being inappropriate.

The administrators’ access to the page was eventually reinstated after the image of a model in a skimpy swimming costume proved too much for the advert moderators. The social network had originally said it contravened community standards rules in its Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, but later reneged.

Facebook also told PinkNews.co.uk this year it would be looking into its advertising system after revelations that an automated keyword generator suggested advertisers target users by terms including “faggot” and racial slurs.

The system automatically generated terms related to those entered by the advertiser, which it based on the activity of users who were picked up by the advertiser’s original terms.

The network was quick to point out that any advert would have to be cleared by a person, so there was no danger of racial or homophobic slurs being used to target consumers.