Is Facebook Homophobic?

A gay kiss photo causes an online uproar

This photo was banned from Facebook? (courtesy of Dangerous Minds)

UPDATE (April 20): Facebook issued a statement of apology, saying: “The photo in question does not violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Compared to much of what’s on Facebook these days, a photo of two adult (and completely clothed) men kissing hardly seems like a big deal. We live in an age of same-sex smooching on popular mainstream television shows like Glee after all.

But according to Dangerous Minds, we may be taking a lot for granted. Recently, a photo promoting a “gay kiss-in” in London was abruptly removed from Facebook following a warning to page administrators, saying that the photo is prohibited because it contains either “nudity” or “graphic or sexually suggestive content.” first reported about the controversy in the U.S., which has inspired Dangerous Minds and many other Facebook users to post thousands of images of same-sex couples kissing in protest – everyone from Batman and Robin to ordinary Joes (and Janes).

While Facebook has not yet responded to the situation at press time, the folks at Dangerous Minds have said the photo in question is actually a still from the popular BBC show “Eastenders” in which one of the main characters (Christian Clarke, played by actor John Patridge) swaps spit with another man.

“The picture has itself caused a scandal in the U.K.,” writes Niall O’Conghaile of Dangerous Minds, “as it was a gay kiss that was broadcast before the watershed, and as such led to a number of complaints to the BBC.”

He also adds, “I used this particular photo because I considered it to be quite mild (no groping, no tongues). The photos I had considered using before I chose that one are much more racy. Oh the irony!”