The SHOCKING photos that violated Facebook’s policies!

Update: The account is now unblocked, with this message from Facebook:

I’m so sorry for the inconvenience caused, there was a temporary misconfiguration in our photo review systems which caused a very small subset of users to be incorrectly enrolled in one of our checkpoints. There was no issue with your original photo, we have a combination of automated and human-review systems dedicated to keeping people safe, and a bug caused one of these systems to incorrectly enroll a small number of users into checkpoints.

We have since remedied the issue, and remediated all affected accounts. Please let me know if you or others are still experiencing any difficulties.


This morning I posted this adorable photo on Facebook:

Nut the cat hugging my face. Photo by Theodore Gray

Being a cute picture of a cute cat, it got a lot of “likes” and comments. A few hours later I followed up with this photo (accompanying text in the caption):

Another photo of Nut and me. Here you can see in more detail how Nut presses her face as hard as she can into mine. She does this all night, by the way. If I move my face away, she rearranges herself to grip the back of my head as tightly as possible. If I'm face-down on the pillow, she slides her paws under into my eye sockets and mashes her head into my ear. It's very cute but I don't think I could stand it every night.

Shortly thereafter, FB wouldn’t let me view my feed, instead giving me this message:

“We noticed you may be posting photos that violate our Community Standards. Help make Facebook better by cleaning up your photos and removing friends that post nudity or other things that violate our standards.”

Then it took me directly to all my photos and said,

“To keep your account active, please remove any photos that contain nudity or sexually inappropriate content. Check the box next to each photo you need to remove.”

I didn’t have a single dirty photo to check, so I checked none and then clicked the box that said, “I have checked all my photos that violate Facebook’s policies.” For that, I was rewarded with this:

“Because you uploaded photos that violate our policies, you won’t be able to upload photos for 3 days.

“If you have other photos on the site that violate our policies, be sure to remove them immediately or you could be blocked for longer. After this block is lifted, please make sure any photos you upload follow Facebook’s Policies.”

Followed by another checkbox that says,

“I understand Facebook’s policies and I won’t upload any photos that violate these policies.”

But I haven’t checked that box yet, because I really don’t understand Facebook’s policies. At all. Maybe Franz Kafka could explain them to me. Can you?

UPDATE: several hours later, I still can’t see my FB home page/news feed. This is what I continue to get instead:


Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

45 thoughts on “The SHOCKING photos that violated Facebook’s policies!”

  1. Come to think of it, something like that happened to me once. I wanted to link to a YouTube video of a Japanese pop song that was a hit in the USA back in the 1960s, when it was known as “Sukiyaki” (the lyrics had nothing to do with sukiyaki, or food, but the word was Japanese). The video was an evocative B&W vignette of lost romance. Nothing remotely sexual. But FB wouldn’t allow the link because the video violated their standards.

  2. Ridiculous. I’m not ever going to let someone tell me what or what not to put on a website unless it’s an illegal act. Probably why I’ve never wanted a Facebook page but YMMV. I don’t know how you could stand up to such a totalitarian policy but good luck.

    (BTW, I wish I’d come up with the witty comment of the previous contributor 🙂



  3. Facebook apparently employs standards monitors who are — is there any polite way to say this? — “furries.” They enjoy thinking of sex with furry critters. Most of the time these pervs get together and dress up as furry critters.

    Normal people don’t find those photos sexual at all — a furry might get excited, though.

    Bad luck of the draw, you know?

    I wonder what other fetishes Facebook employs.

    See this clip from the original CSI:

  4. I can’t imagine what the H they’re talking about! I’m new to FB and there’s plenty of offensive material there I can assure you. Nothing about these two photos or the text could possibly be considered as such.

    Are you joking?

  5. It *could* have been an inadvertent click of the “report nudity” link by someone on your friend list (or anyone on FB depending if the viewing privilege was “everyone”) that triggered the series of events. And the messages and actions could then have been auto-generated when as part of a workflow when such reports come in. They say they have a team who could take up to 72 hrs. to look into it “manually.”

    Here is FB’s reporting flowchart:

  6. The problem is obvious: that cat is NAKED! You’d better put some clothes on her if you want her to move in proper Internet society, my good lady.
    (More seriously, could it be that the cat’s name, “Nut”, tripped one of their algorithms?)

  7. maybe they think the freckle (or blemish) on your skin below your chin in the first photo is a nipple? i dunno, it all seems silly to me, that you’d have to put up with this.

  8. This sort of thing is all too common on FaceBook. And the way things are setup, it’s impossible to complain unless you can get your story into the New York Times…

    Lesson: Don’t depend on FaceBook.

    Way e

  9. There must be some mistake, really. These pictures of a young woman’s face with her kitty…you know that is’n’t porn.

  10. I think you misunderstand how Facebook works. Those alerts and warnings happen if one of your Facebook friends reports your images as being offensive (using the “report image” feature). it will automatically give you a warning/temporary ban, only if there are further complaints will a human get involved. Perhaps one of your “friends” doesn’t want to keep seeing bullshit photos of you and your cat.

  11. Friends (Facebook or the real variety) do not and should not have the right to censor somebody’s work or opinions, whether automatically or through human intervention. They of course do have the right to criticize the work or argue against an opinion on their own blogs, which is also an expression of free speech, but not to stop the original photos, in this case, from being seen.

    I’m going to get off my high horse now. Good night.

  12. I knew the day was coming when breaking up with Facebook would be necessary. I just didn’t expect it so soon.

    My money’s on one of the Sita-hating fundies flagging your Eve quilt. (Is the Air quilt on FB?)

  13. @jesse – Ah yes, one of those many superfluous nipples that you find on practitioners of witchcraft. Or possibly on illustrators who use red ink.

  14. Yay Facebook!

    Always helpful in reminding us why giving control of your webpresence to someone else always ends in tears.

    Beautiful photos btw Nina. Glad you have this separate site.

  15. Hi, Ed,

    As a furry, I’d like to point out that forensic scientists can’t actually run an “enhance” function on a low-res photograph to make it magically have more pixels. Hence, it’s not unreasonable to assume that CSI embellishes a hell of a lot of things.

    Perhaps I can clear up some misconceptions.

    Furries would not find either of those photographs attractive or arousing. The weird pink hairless ape-thing on the left side is a major boner-kill, first of all. And second, the cat’s not even in a decent pin-up pose; it’s just that weird side-angle and some awkwardly-placed paws. This is a much better example of what a furry might actually find stimulating.

    And no, us pervs don’t get together and dress up as furry critters “most of the time.” It’s really only a couple of times a year, depending on how many cons we can make it to. Putting a fursuit on is such an ordeal that it’s usually not even worth it to put it on at our weekly dungeon orgies (which all of us have, no exceptions; it’s kind of required). It would also kind of get in the way of the depraved, unprotected sex with multiple anonymous partners, because the vast majority of fursuiters spent $2400 fucking dollars on that costume and therefore don’t want to get them messy.

    And it gets hot enough in those things when we’re doing charity work, entertaining sick kids in the hospital, or just acting silly in public for random people’s amusement. This is why whenever you watch a video of some of the 0.1% of fursuiters crazy enough to actually have sex in these things, they’re always moving at this really boring pace and it’s not very exciting. Because otherwise they would die of heat exhaustion.

    Oh, did I mention charity work? Yeah. We raised over $200,000 this year for animal welfare and wildlife charities. And just under $1 million since 1997, but with the exponential growth of our fundraising that’s likely to double in a few years. Because, you know, we have to make sure the animals are still around for us to engage in depraved bestiality with. That must be the reason why we care so much.

    There’s also, of course, the vibrant subculture of artwork which drives a collaborative economy in which copyright is irrelevant, and the social movement involving spiritual and philosophical animal identities which has fascinated University of Waterloo sociologists. But sex with animals is so much more interesting than that.

  16. Hot Pic 😉

    I’ve dumped FB for G+ for things like this.

    The #Caturday posts are like one long porno stream of cat pics 🙂

  17. Cat lovers are obsessed. Go check yourself for toxoplasmosis, then check what “wonders” this parasite does to your brain. I should ask FB for their algorithm – pictures like thesee are really disgusting.

  18. Hi, I’m Tru Flo on FB. Obviously you are being persecuted by some kitty pervert who is trying to stay in the closet while working for FB…they oppose your innocent kitty relationship out of lustful jealousy and the fear that if they don’t they may get outed…

  19. I’ll give the paranoid answer. Maybe someone reported you to FB because they oppose some of your political or religious views. Watch out! Next, you may be getting 28 anchovy pizzas delivered or become a lifetime member of the jelly of the month club C.O.D. Hope not!

  20. Regardless of whether you can see your timeline…, can other people still see your posts?

    And, can you still make new posts to Facebook via another service like and have other people on Facebook see those posts?

  21. Yep, the only thing FB doesn’t let me do is view my own news feed. I can post, I can comment (on whatever posts people make on my wall), but I can’t get to my home page and see what others are posting. Someone who works at FB is working on it. Says it’s a bug and is unrelated to anything I’ve posted. But it’s still not fixed, and I’m still getting the “you posted pr0n” message that takes me to my photos and tells me to “remove” them.

  22. Interesting–so, FB still works for you as a marketing tool; and you can also, presumably, continue posting porn! 🙂

    Isn’t the part they’re withholding… the part that’s supposed to keep you coming back?

  23. I’m pretty confident I know what happened. I don’t think it was a complaint or a vendetta. Rather, it was a case of artificial stupidity. I think the first picture was completely irrelevant. What mattered was the caption on the second picture. Imagine you are a program looking for disguised pornography and you come across these:
    “Nut and me”
    “see in more detail”
    “Nut presses her face”
    “as hard as she can”
    “does this all night”
    “she rearranges herself”
    “grip the back of my head”
    “as tightly as possible”
    “face-down on the pillow”
    “her paws under into my eye sockets”
    “mashes her head into my ear”
    “very cute”
    “don’t think I could stand it every night”

    Um, this blog doesn’t have community standards for comments, does it?

  24. nuts…

    Nina’s photo was by FaceBook bounced
    there was no good reason, Nut was quickly trounced.
    no ‘splaining, no ‘sorry, reason not a smidgeon,
    no inkling of knowledge, Nut was just a pigeon.

    Capricious deleters censorship embrace:
    “Nina shouldn’t post with nuts on her face.
    Censorship is ugly – that may be a fact,
    but we fulfill our function by busting a Nut”

    From this very action, from sheer lack of reason,
    from lose semantic filters, thoughts in my head fission:

    Choosing captive portals as a means of expressing
    one’s very invention, one’s creative ‘fessing
    leaves the author a hostage to folks who would rather
    censor without reading – ’cause reading’s a bother.

  25. No cats named after mitsri goddesses allowed apparently ha ha.
    Enjoyed your this land is our land cartoon…
    “Wally” New Zealand

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