Facebook apologizes for removing pic of guys kissing

Facebook has apologized for removing a picture of two men kissing from a member’s page.

The company has reinstated the page and issued a statement saying, “The photo in question does not violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and was removed in error.”

The removed picture (right) was a promotional photo from the British soap opera “Eastenders.” It had been posted on the Dangerous Minds Facebook page to promote a “kiss-in” at the John Snow pub, a London bar that recently ejected two men for sharing a smooch. The event drew more than 800 protesters last week.

The administrator of the Dangerous Minds page said he was notified that the picture was removed for violating Facebook’s “terms of use” policy. That policy states, “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.”

Facebook’s removal of the picture unleashed a rebellion in cyberspace. In addition to dozens of open letters posted online blasting the company for discrimination, numerous members posted pictures of same-sex kisses on their Facebook pages. Others created pages just for people to share photos of men smooching men and women locking lips with women.

Although Facebook seemed to imply that the picture’s removal was the result of a programming glitch, the company claims that a Facebook administrator “looks into each report thoroughly in order to decide the appropriate course of action. If no violation of our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities has occurred, then no action will be taken.”

That suggests that a person, not a program, removed the picture.